Tech Front Runner: Airbnb
Everyone I know, or whose close to me at least, has a case of wanderlust and that’s partly the reason I’m always eager to book my next trip. Sometimes, I’ll have a trip coming up, but the researching phase, getting psyched up and playing out the bucketlist in my head sends me out of control and in result – I end up having multiple trips booked.
I mean what’s more exciting than a holiday countdown? Well, counting down 2 or 3 trips!
A common theme with my recent trips has been the explosion that is AirBnB. Working for OTA (online travel agent) myself, I understand the key role that online platforms have played in the travel / tourism industry over the last decade. Airbnb has added another layer to that. It’s given the chance for holiday goers to have their own little slice of haven with the ‘hosts’ being anyone that want’s to offer their home out to stay in.
Airbnb vs. OTA
- More choice: each property is unique and individual. Whether you’re selecting a room or an entire home, it gives you an insight as to how the hosts live.
- Personalisation: not just a general e-mail from the hotel customer services. The host is there to provide a much more tailored experience.
For our Spanish Christmas trip we were lucky enough to have our host provide us with a hamper full of fresh and local produce so we wouldn’t be sat in our first day going hungry (be it that we flew in on Christmas Day!).
- Price: initially I thought Airbnb would be the expensive but with an extensive accommodation portfolio I can filter through and see what my budget can get me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all cheap and cheerful as there’s plenty of luxury properties. But not all trips are booked for that reason, well not for me personally. For the up-coming Porto trip, as it’s for a birthday we opted for something a little ‘nicer’. We didn’t want to comprise on good views and a central location. Upon booking, we bagged our city-view flat for under £25 per night which I found to be really good value for money.
- Inspiration: you don’t necessarily book, but aligning with Trip Advisor it can help influence where you may or may not want to stay. At times, I’ve found myself browsing accommodation for hours – finding other areas I’d like to go and explore.
Although, Airbnb states it’s not a direct competitor of OTA’s the introduction of select hotel groups have been noted as part of their portfolio forcing hotel sites to keep a close eye on the future of the company. This won’t eliminate booking on hotel sites for me altogether but just favorable for reasons stated above. An option to do things a little more differently.
Happy holiday planning!