Can you explain AirBnB to this long time VRBO user?

Old Aug 7, 16, 8:11 am
  #1  
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Can you explain AirBnB to this long time VRBO user?

I have never used AirBnB before, but our family has used VRBO at least 7 times in the past 10 years without any problems.

I'm not finding a large amount of properties available for the destinations I want next summer on VRBO, however airbnb has a nice inventory. So I'm considering making the shift.

The thing that puts me off is the airbnb profile they want me to make. My picture, links to social media, a video introducing myself? Do you find most airbnb renters have all that info completed in their profiles? If I don't do it, will people not rent to me?

Then I'm a little concerned about the racism thing. We are a minority family and I've read articles on the internet about people complaining they don't get rented to b/c of their profile pics. I know you can't believe everything you read online, I'm just curious how prevalent that is. (I'll be looking for rentals in Ireland, Paris and London if that's relevant).

I liked the 'hands off' feel of vrbo. In all the times we rented, I think the owner was actually onsite maybe once. Every other time it was handled by email and keys in a lockbox sort of arrangement. I guess airbnb just feels a little too cozy for me. I don't plan on renting rooms in people's homes, only entire apartments.

So....do I need to post a video and link to my facebook to find rentals or is a picture enough?
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Old Aug 7, 16, 10:26 am
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Hiya.

I found the Airbnb sign up process a bid strange but to be honest, they do it for ID purposes...nothing more.
I have used Airbnb 5 times and every place I have stayed at has been a good experience. Safe areas, place was as pictured in the ad and hosts were nice. The hosts never bothered us. A few sent a text making sure everything was ok during the stay and one host even drove us to a festival we were going to. I can't fault Airbnb at all and it has saved us quite a bit of money.

Honestly, I think you are worrying too much about being a minority family. All kinds of people are on Airbnb so if you are finding more options on there..just go for it.

Tips: Read the reviews and if you have any questions just email the host.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 7:57 am
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I just have a picture and that was enough for me to be approved. I guess they just want to see that you're real and it also makes it easier when you meet them to get the keys. All renters I've dealt with have had a profile picture and a little write-up about who they are. Initially I only needed an ID check by scanning my passport but the last place I rented asked for a picture prior to proceeding so some requests could be renter-dependent.

I don't think you have to worry about being a minority. You're going to diverse cities and I wouldn't expect negative experiences like the ones in the news are common.

Regarding the hands-off style of renting I'm the same way! I'm not sure if it's common everywhere but I did most of AirBnBing in Japan and Korea and there was only one time I had to meet up with the renter (who was late... ...). All other times I was given very clear directions and instructions to retrieve the keys in lock-boxes. I've noticed renters who have a few properties tend to be more hands-off than someone just renting their own place so maybe something to explore while searching.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 9, 16, 10:27 am
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All I needed for ID was to post a picture (or maybe also a FB link, although I really don't recall). I just used one of those terrible Apple Photo Booth ones. It worked.

I think the key to successful experiences is to really read all the reviews and the info about the host. Fortunately, there are other people that go ahead before us and take a chance on new listings and new hosts. I've even seen listings where they state it is a bargain rate as they are just starting and want to get some reviews.

I've done maybe 20 Airbnb places (maybe more?) and 3 or 4 VRBOs. Never had a bad one, although I'm not particularly picky. Some lovely experiences.

The only time I ever got rejected was a place in Paris. Young man was renting it. Pictures of him with cute girls. I said I was a grandmother and would be traveling with my granddaughter. I've no actual idea why I got rejected. My references from previous hosts have all been very positive. My theory is he wanted to rent to more cute girls, and figured even if my granddaughter was cute (she is, but he didn't have a picture of her), she would have been way too chaperoned.

I'd say about 1/2 my experiences have been hands off, with just a lock box key available. But when the hosts have met me, sometimes they have supplied some very useful orientation and information(particularly about gas stoves and washing machines). The meet can be difficult if not really carefully coordinated. In fact, I look for mention of how smooth the meet went in the reviews.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by Romelle View Post

The only time I ever got rejected was a place in Paris. Young man was renting it. Pictures of him with cute girls. I said I was a grandmother and would be traveling with my granddaughter. I've no actual idea why I got rejected. My references from previous hosts have all been very positive. My theory is he wanted to rent to more cute girls
BINGO
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Old Aug 9, 16, 3:07 pm
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I see in another forum that your 2017 trip is BOS-DUB in the summer. Sounds lovely.

Several years ago I was struggling with high hotel rates in Dublin, and ended up booking a college dorm room at Trinity College. It was wonderfully right in the middle of town. Ramshackle like most college dorms, but worked really well for me. Breakfast was in a huge dining hall right out of Harry Potter. Access to a kitchen was handy for other meals.

The Book of Kells is right on the campus. I lucked out and managed to attend a college theater production.

A search on "trinity college summer accommodation" will turn up a bunch of links. Hard to say what is available now, but might turn up something.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Romelle View Post
I see in another forum that your 2017 trip is BOS-DUB in the summer. Sounds lovely.

Several years ago I was struggling with high hotel rates in Dublin, and ended up booking a college dorm room at Trinity College. It was wonderfully right in the middle of town. Ramshackle like most college dorms, but worked really well for me. Breakfast was in a huge dining hall right out of Harry Potter. Access to a kitchen was handy for other meals.

The Book of Kells is right on the campus. I lucked out and managed to attend a college theater production.

A search on "trinity college summer accommodation" will turn up a bunch of links. Hard to say what is available now, but might turn up something.
Thanks! I'll definitely search for that. I've been looking into hostels as well in Dublin but I'm not sure if it's too much of a party city for my family to feel comfortable in a hostel. Still researching that aspect.

Thanks also to everyone else for chiming in on this thread. I'll make an airbnb profile and see where things lead.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 5:07 pm
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The Dublin Hosteling International looks to have a reasonably good review score. It has private rooms for 2 and 4 people.

Click here to see.

Check the map too. It is out a bit.

The Dublin party aspect is real. Depends upon events and probably other things. Lots of stag and hen parties. I was there during some important soccer game. I never felt in danger, but I definitely felt out of things.

Not in Dublin, but I've enjoyed staying in hostels in other cities. One meets lots of people of similar interests. Good information about things to do and places to eat and such. Europe hostels are frequented by all ages. Slanted toward young, but not exclusively theirs.

And of course there is Priceline, Hotwire and bidding on Priceline. Worth a look, although I suspect summer rates will chase you to the AirBNB, hostel or even college dorm as they did me.
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Old Aug 12, 16, 8:06 pm
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We've used both. I've been turned down on AirBnB a lot of times in Miami and Hollywood. Used my son's ID for the turndowns and "miraculously" was welcomed with open arms. Since they are private residences where the person lives, US ones can turn you down for any or no reason. I don't think it's racism so much as it is that some people are looking for hookups as much as rentals. Always check the HOST'S feedback. Anything less than near-perfect means they're a lot worse. Last one I stayed at, the host canceled 3 days before I got there. Insisted the room was available if I paid cash. Went well. I tried to pay AirBnB their fee directly, but it was a huge hassle.

For a family, a hotel is probably a better option. You might also try couchsurfing.com when it's you alone or you+one. My brother lends out his DC-area penthouse on the weekends at no charge just because he can.

For VRBO, if you can wait until the last minute, you'll get a lot better deal. We email several choices, tell them what we have to spend, and provide a link to our LinkedIn profiles. Usually a few do come back with offers to accept our low ball. They'd rather get a little than none.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 9:43 am
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Recently rented from Homeaway for a trip to San Francisco in the fall. The owner called ( from Hawaii) and her point was really to make sure what kind of renter I am- she did not want careless people or someone who wanted to party . She did answer my questions too. I like to communicate more than once with owners . Am older and have not gotten turned down on Airbnb but maybe that is because I am not really interested in shared spaces. If I was renting a place I would feel more comfortable if I knew something about the renter .
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