When I was figuring out where to stay in New York, I thought I would give it a try. I created an account and got it verified by connecting it with my Facebook, Google and LinkedIn accounts (I personally am yet to get it connected to my Linked in profile). Then I started searching. But since I did not know the localities in New York, I was not sure on booking a rental through AirBnb. So finally went and booked a hotel room instead.
San Francisco city is one of the costliest places to live in the world. So even though I searched relentlessly, I was not able to get a decent hotel for an affordable price. Even the hostels were overbooked. I soon started searching in Airbnb. Since I had my friends there, it was easier for me to figure out the neighbourhoods and I started filtering them based on the neighbourhoods.
When it comes to Airbnb, searching is the easiest part. Especially in a city like San Francisco (AirBnb was founded in San Francisco), you are spoilt with plenty of options. But it was still difficult to find the perfect place to stay. Since I was a first time user, I did not have any references/reviews (Every host/lodger will have to mutually review each other at the end of every stay). I did contact few hosts through the messaging feature but many of them declined saying that their places were already booked (In reality I feel it was because of my lack of reviews/ credibility on Airbnb). Since I was only contacting people with good reviews, it was even harder. Additionally, I preferred lady hosts since I was just being cautious in a new city.
Finally, Michelle (name changed to protect identity) accepted my inquiry. Even though her place was a little expensive compared to the others I had contacted (cheaper than all hotels), I finally decided to go ahead and book. It was a good decision and I was very happy with the whole experience.
For starters, Michelle was very friendly and warm. Even though she was travelling during my 4 nights there, she ensured that I was well attended to. She gave clear instructions on how to get there and how to get inside the apartment. She was always ready to answer any queries I had. Well if you know me well enough, you know that I ask too many questions. She gave me suggestions on where to eat and shop in San Francisco. A perfect host and what I understand is that is hard to find. Since she was a traveller herself, it was much easier to relate to her. It is funny how you can find someone like this halfway across the world.
The room itself was warm and cosy. San Francisco is colder than most cities even in Summer. It was cleaned most days and the sheets were changed periodically. I was free to use amenities like the fridge and other kitchen supplies. Wifi was also included. Washrooms were clean and everything was replenished whenever necessary. I did not use most of the things anyway since I was out most of the days and just came back to shower and sleep. There was another house guest at the time but I just saw him once.
There was a Safeway close by too and I did all my chocolate shopping from there. (San Francisco was my last stop and I did most of my gift shopping from there).
You do not get many opportunities to live like a local. I wouldn’t say that I lived like a local completely too. But this AirBnb experience definitely was the closest thing to living like a local and for that, I add it to my list of things to do at least once in your lifetime. I will definitely use Airbnb for my future trips too.On this joyous occasion of Diwali, please find an Airbnb Coupon Code from my friend Will.Liked it, then pin it.
Find some of my favorite resources I use for booking during my travels.
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