Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thank You Airbnb!! - My review of the best travel site at the moment!

When I was planning my trip to Europe this summer two things were killing me – airfare and hotel rates. Even bed and breakfasts were so expensive. At one point I almost gave up the holiday planning and decided to book myself in a 5 star spa in Thailand for a week – trust me, it was turning out cheaper.

There must be an internet fairy or something because by mere chance I stumbled upon what I now call a travelers saving grace –
I had my doubts while I browsed through it. Mostly because I couldn’t believe the rates and the accommodation that came with it but apparently people were raving about it. I had the choice between expensive hotels and inexpensive couch surfing, this somewhere fit in the middle.  

I took the bold step and booked my Switzerland and Florence stay with airbnb and I couldn’t have had a better stay anywhere else than I did via the airbnb hosts. The dynamics of my entire holiday changed because of this, for starters I had more money to spend of food and then I met some amazing people!

My host in Luzern, Viki, hosts two rooms in her lovely apartment right in the city center, I loved making breakfast and looking out from her kitchen window, it seemed like I lived in Luzern forever. Viki on her own turned out to be a gem of a person and even volunteered to drop me to Zurich if I missed my train early in the morning. Now where would I find that in a hotel?

Viki's amazing home

In Florence, though it took a while to find and I almost saw half of Florence while looking for the apartment, Mario’s apartment was one of the most beautiful homes I have seen. Mario, taking a break from work was right there to pick my bags and take them up several flights to this old building and as soon as I took a breath he spread out on his dining table the map to Firenze and marked each restaurant and bar I should visit and what I should eat where. Mario and Harry left me the sweetest note and some chocolates for my journey back home. It was the sweetest end I could have had to my trip.

The view from my window at Mario's apartment

In the end I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, mostly because I was so vary about booking from the website. 
However the fact that when I was in their city, I referred to their address as ‘Home’ kind of says it all! My hosts were such nice people and made each day I spent in their home a lovely one. 

Airbnb as an organization was apt with emails, reminders and most of all the cost of my entire stay, making it so cheap!

I am back and already planning my next trip and guess where I went first – this time I am deciding a vacation spot based on a pretty vacation home for rent. 

For all you travelers out there, before you rush and book into a hotel, check out this website and you might actually live, eat and party like and with the locals! 

Until my next update from the recent trip to the updates on the next upcoming one – Happy Travels!

All images copyright - idle tuesday afternoon thoughts 

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