I like having everything in order before I leave on a trip. I can’t get away from the fact that every now and then I hear of people booking lodgings on AirBnB to turn up and be turned away. I am just not comfortable taking that chance especially in a brand new place where I know no one.
I enjoy using Booking.com to search for and reserve hotels or hostels. (This is not sponsored for sure.) I like the fact that there are lodgings that do not require prepayment and allow for free cancellation for quite a while in some cases. I also like the fact that you can pay some places in cash, my currency of choice to stay on budget. I like that I get Genius discounts, a perk of using it so much.
I like being greeted by someone at hotels. This isn’t always the case with AirBnB lodgings. I do like interacting with staff and having someone to give me tips about the area. I especially love that many hostels have a travel desk with budget friendly options.
Why am I writing this now?
Well, reality smacked me in the face earlier today. I am gifting my father and one of my sisters a trip for his retirement. I want them to have fun travelling together. It’s quite far from home and seeing as they are not seasoned travellers, they will gain more from travelling together.
I reached out to a host about accommodating them because people spoke so highly of her. To my surprise, she responded with concerns that my father wouldn’t be able to speak effectively in English since I am booking their stay and he is travelling with my sister. She insisted on this even after I highlighted the fact that English is our native tongue. It’s her home so her right to do what she sees best. I, of course withdrew my request, logged out of the AirBnB site and went to Booking.com and got on with my business.
You may say that shouldn’t be enough to sway me from using AirBnB. Well, recently I travelled with a friend who is a big fan of theirs. I was most annoyed at the fact that we had to do a self-checkin procedure at 3 different properties. One involved going to a machine, taking pictures of our IDs and typing up a bunch of stuff before being able to access the key. We had to do this to checkout as well. It’s exhausting. I don’t think it’s worth the trouble, for me.
Who knows, I may change my mind with time. As it is now, hotels and hostels will do.