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Whenever we’re planning out an upcoming trip, one of the main websites we use to book our lodging arrangements is, Airbnb. Not only is it always super affordable and way cheaper than a hotel, but it also allows you to meet people and explore your favorite cities on a budget. On airbnb, you can discover some of the most phenomenal places to stay…places you would never get to experience if you simply booked a room in a chain hotel.

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Airbnb allows you to book a place to stay, typically in someone else’s home or rental apartment/condo. These are just ordinary people from all over the world who enjoy meeting and hosting people who are exploring a new area. When searching for a place, you can enter in your location, and refine your search based on living preferences. You can choose between an entire home/apartment, a private room within someone’s home, or a shared room. You can also select a specific area, number of guests, your price range, and specific amenities.

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After you enter in your requirements, it will filter all the search results and give you your options. It will show you the area, the renter, prices, photos, and reviews.

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Airbnb does really well at making sure all of the hosts are trustworthy, reliable, and responsible people. They offer a secure messaging system to communicate between guest and host, display honest reviews from previous guests, and they must provide a verified ID with identity checks. If at any point, a host demonstrates suspicious behavior, there will be a flag at the top of their profile.

Disclaimer: With any website, safety comes first! It’s important to pay close attention and recognize suspicious behavior or inappropriate activity. As a guest, read all the reviews carefully before you confirm a booking. Also, keep your communication and payments with your host on the airbnb website. A host should not be asking you to provide money in any other form. As a host, pay attention to the guest’s ratings and make your rules known. Let them know what they have access to and what they don’t.

Within the past year, we’ve booked several Airbnb’s and have been satisfied with all of them!! They work so well for us because we don’t like paying for a hotel room that we’re barely in. We also don’t want to get stuck in a creepy hostel sharing a bathroom with 15 other people. Another reason we prefer Airbnb is because the hosts are usually nearby if you have any questions or concerns. Sometimes, they’re even willing to give you a tour and will give you the best recommendations. This is great for us because we don’t like doing “touristy” things. We would much rather explore the off-the-beaten-path destinations.

If you read any of our Thailand blogposts, than you’ll remember that Taylor and Kendall stayed in a really nice Airbnb (click HERE for listing) that was an entire apartment, with a massive pool and also came with a moped for transportation! Their 5 night stay was ONLY $141!

About a year ago, we rented an entire house off Airbnb in Clearwater, Florida (click HERE for listing)! Not only was it right on the beach, but our host left us a yummy welcome cake, AND a bag of travel necessities incase we forgot anything. The entire house was very well stocked with everything we needed, plus some! Our host was so thoughtful and went above and beyond to make us comfortable! We stayed 7 nights and split the cost between everyone staying. It only ended up being around $200 a person.

We highly recommend using Airbnb if you’re looking for something more affordable than your standard hotel. They are great if you’re looking to travel solo OR as a large family. No matter where you’re going, there are thousands of great places to choose from.

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