Saturday, June 13, 2015

Tempting Fate with Airbnb

People ask me if I travel a lot.  And it is hard for me to answer because what quantifies as "a lot"?  I think the amount I travel is manageable (and enjoyable) for me.  If other people travel at my frequency they may say "I'm always on the road" while others may say "That's it?"

I have always wanted to test out a service like Airbnb.  From the company's website: Airbnb is a trust community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.  On one of my work trips to Arizona in February I decided to test it out Airbnb.  I did it on the company's dime because 1) I'd save the company money because Airbnb is usually cheaper than a hotel room and 2) I'd have a paper trail in case the experience didn't go well.

I found a place that was close to where my meetings were, it was a place all to myself (they have options to rent a room as well as share a room ... I went with "Entire Place"), and SUPER cheap.  Contacted the owners and made arrangements for my trip.
The place was a standalone structure in the back yard of the main house.  The house had a beautiful backyard with orange trees, huge pool, and big yard.  I also had access to the pool if I wanted to go swimming.  In order to get to into the backyard (and my Airbnb place) I had to go through the gated driveway.  I was given access via my personal code which I keyed into the gate's key pad.  I felt more secure at the Airbnb location than I did at most hotels.
Free coffee, tea, and sodas. The desk even had blank cards and stamps in case you wanted to mail a note.
Plus, the neighbors behind the house trained police dogs.
Thoughtful toiletries for travel warriors.
The building in the backyard wasn't anything fancy but the accommodations were better than expected!  Queen size bed, wonderful linens, large desk, fully stocked mini fridge, snacks, toiletries, books, etc.  There was no TV in the room but I don't usually watch TV when I travel for work (my days are filled with work stuff and my nights are filled with sleep).
Free snacks! Budget friendly work trip!
Did I mention everything in the mini fridge and snacks were free?  Yep.  And I had free WiFi.

I'd recommend using Airbnb but I will say to do your homework on the property before booking (just as a precaution).  I had to cut my trip short due to weather at home (wanted to get home before I flights were cancelled) and the Airbnb owners graciously reimbursed me for the unused night.  Much better than staying at a hotel!
Little chocolates were on the bed welcoming me to my first Airbnb experience!

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