My First time Experience with AirBnB
This time it is Goa, and we wanted a place more peaceful and relaxing, and not like a regular hotel type, with the facilities of a kitchen – mostly owing to limited access to shacks in the monsoon season and overpriced food at Goa.
A place all to ourselves with the access to stay for few days in a simpler (read cheap and regular) way was all we had in mind.
AirBnB has been operating in India since few years and have become a famous disruptive concept in the field of hotel and travel stays and equally welcoming among the travellers in the last few years due to its concept of local hosting and availability of wide variety of properties that can attract groups on weekend trips to the slow travellers.
The budget range of the properties also varies according to the exact need – in the form of Shared places, Apartments and Villas. Most of the setups are targeted to the set of travelers who believe in self dependency while on move and want to experience the local living more while visiting a place.
Let us put down the our experience stage-wise:
Once the need was fixed with a preparation of rough Itinerary, we started searching for the possible options for stay. We were fixed on mind to keep things simple on budget and needed a kitchen at least to prepare few meals. Kitchen obviously helps you to cook simple recipes when you want your tummy to rest after the night’s heavy meal and alcohol!
Also, we didn’t prefer to book any big villas or a flat with more rooms as that was not needed.
Other facilities such as swimming pools and washing/ironing facilities and attached washrooms could also be checked.
Since this was our very first AirBnB booking, we were extremely cautious about the rules of the place. We even listed out 3-4 properties and contacted the host personally. Yes, AirBnB gives you that opportunity to contact and ask anything to your probable host before even planning to book.
We also contacted and got to know in advance what the house rules were like. Even if Goa is a party lover’s paradise, most of the Goa AirBnB’s don’t allow parties or loud music after a certain time of tonight. So kindly check before you think to book.
After selecting the dates, as we were taken to the checkout page, service taxes were added to the per night stay charges. With each booking, AirBnB charges guests a 0–20% guest services fee and charges hosts a 3% host service fee. For “experiences”, such as walking tours, the company takes a 20% commission from the host.
I personally felt confused at this feature in the site as the budget goes up without a notice and one needs to research more to be within the budget. Also, many properties charge cleaning charges extra over and above the per night stay charges. If you are not willing to pay any and want to keep the property clean during your stay by yourself, you might opt for such properties.
Confirmation communications with location details of the property came from the Host within 24 hours of the booking.
When the stay dates were about to arrive, email reminders came up 2-3 days before with the address and details. We had booked 2 properties in Goa – 1 near the Arpora Saturday Market and the other one near Varem Market at Reis Magos.
- Both of the hosts had shared the location and the assigned apartment number in details after the booking was confirmed.
- Both of the properties were well equipped with kitchen and other amenities as it was mentioned in the site.
- Even the House keeping staffs were courteous enough and came to instant help when we needed for booking or finding cabs/ bikes, etc. or finding local hospitals (we needed one!!)
Read the House Rules carefully before booking. Even if you have a smallest of the doubts, contact the Host through private messaging at the AirBnB site/ App. The Hosts are always happy to help you out.
As per the property policies and the house rules, try to adhere to the same. At AirBnB, you are also reviewed by the host. And since most of the AirBnB properties are hosted by non-commercial local people, it is also your responsibility to act well and treat your hosts well.