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Welcome. We want your thoughts about what should be covered here.

Welcome. We want your thoughts about what should be covered here.

Old Nov 23, 16, 12:38 pm
  #1  
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Welcome. We want your thoughts about what should be covered here.

Peer to peer rentals of privately owned properties are becoming a significant move in the lodging sector. We've created this new forum where we can discuss our thoughts about business practices and more. I would love to crowd source what all this forum should cover. Would you please share your thoughts? I'll start.

What we should discuss in this forum
  • Comparisons of one network versus another
  • When to choose an Airbnb or VRBO property instead of a traditional hotel
  • Advantages and disadvantages of these properties
  • Risks of these networks
  • How do services work from the host's end

What we shouldn't discuss in this forum:
Help us out. What do you want to discuss here? Are there links we should provide to other sites? Is there a tripadvisor version of rating propeties?

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Nov 28, 16 at 10:31 am
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Old Nov 23, 16, 12:48 pm
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This would be a good place for guests to learn from hosts about how the services work from the host's end--I think there are often misunderstandings that could be addressed.

Edited to add: for example, a wikipost for each service called "Ask the Airbnb Host", "Ask the VRBO Host," etc. could be created, and FTers who are hosts could subscribe to them and answer questions that come up.

Last edited by travelmad478; Nov 24, 16 at 5:14 am
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Old Nov 23, 16, 6:58 pm
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I would love to see an avenue for people to review and recommend / not-recommend specific AirBnB / VRBO properties similar to what we see in the various hotel threads.

Just like I turn to the hotel threads when there are multiple of my preferred chain in a given city, this would be useful, particularly in big cities where there are hundreds if not thousands of listings.

The mechanics are definitely a challenge - would you group by cities? countries? - but that would be a valuable resource.
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Old Nov 25, 16, 7:11 am
  #4  
 
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Is/could Agoda be covered in this forum? Their point earnings used to be good, now it's not so good, and I just got an email about a new Gift Card reward program. It would be good to discuss this somewhere...
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Old Nov 25, 16, 7:39 am
  #5  
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As I said when this was being discussed in TB/TBT, there are rentals of this sort beyond AirBnB and VBRO:

Various villa rental services and clubs

Home exchange matching services.

Services offered in association with major events.

Home stay cultural exchange programs, sometimes run by local tourist bureaus and sometimes arranged by, for example, short language courses, etc. A far extreme would be some foreign exchange programs that emphasize the home visit.

Commercial serviced apartments. (Marriott Executive Apartments presumably are discussed in Marriott, but there are local and regional versions, often with dedicated buildings and often oriented to business people who have longterm temporary assignments).

Stays in student dormitories when school isn't in session. (Budget Travel?)

One on one swaps and rentals of time share units where permitted. Some of these would fall into the above categories and might be included on AirBnB/VBRO. I've noticed a few of these posted on FT.

Bed and Breakfast properties. Are these considered to be non-hotel? Sometimes they're like inns (or even boutique hotels) but they can be very much like AirBnB rooms except for how they're found and rented. For instance, you still see Zimmer Frei signs in small German towns.

Rooms for tourists in monasteries, convents, etc. Not all of these would be Religious Travel.

Conference centers that rent excess rooms to the general public. They're similar to hotels but hard to find.

Hotel schools that run a hotel. Some of these can also be hard to find but others are listed as ordinary hotels and can appear in Michelin guides, AAA listings, etc.
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Old Nov 28, 16, 10:28 am
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I would like to see a sticky where you could list phone numbers of airbnb - useful if you can't contact your host during an emergency.
I found it difficult to source this information when left without heating/water - it's there but hard to find.
It could be listed by continent and sub divided into countries.
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Old Nov 28, 16, 10:33 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
This would be a good place for guests to learn from hosts about how the services work from the host's end--I think there are often misunderstandings that could be addressed.
I've added it.

Edited to add: for example, a wikipost for each service called "Ask the Airbnb Host", "Ask the VRBO Host," etc. could be created, and FTers who are hosts could subscribe to them and answer questions that come up.
Solid suggestion. Feel free to start such a wiki for whichever service it is where your properties are listed.

Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
I would love to see an avenue for people to review and recommend / not-recommend specific AirBnB / VRBO properties similar to what we see in the various hotel threads.

Just like I turn to the hotel threads when there are multiple of my preferred chain in a given city, this would be useful, particularly in big cities where there are hundreds if not thousands of listings.

The mechanics are definitely a challenge - would you group by cities? countries? - but that would be a valuable resource.
This is an interesting suggestion. I'm ambivalent since there are solid resources on the lodging sites (I think). But maybe we need to dabble our toes in this water. For now, whoever feels motivated, it would be great to start a wiki that points to the various destination forums where folks have started conversations on these services.

Originally Posted by InternationalLiving View Post
Is/could Agoda be covered in this forum? Their point earnings used to be good, now it's not so good, and I just got an email about a new Gift Card reward program. It would be good to discuss this somewhere...
I don't think this is a place to discuss Agoda. It's purely a hotel booking site, isn't it? If so, it should be discussed in our Online Travel Booking and Bidding Agencies forum.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
As I said when this was being discussed in TB/TBT, there are rentals of this sort beyond AirBnB and VBRO:
That's an extremely interesting list. I'd love to see others weigh in on what should be included here.

Originally Posted by missdimeaner View Post
I would like to see a sticky where you could list phone numbers of airbnb - useful if you can't contact your host during an emergency.
I found it difficult to source this information when left without heating/water - it's there but hard to find.
It could be listed by continent and sub divided into countries.
Terrific idea. Feel free to start with whatever information you have. I suggest that the phone numbers and websites be in the wiki for the thread.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Nov 28, 16 at 10:40 am
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Old Nov 29, 16, 5:44 pm
  #8  
 
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Pricing tactics and hidden fees should be a main focus of discussion, especially for non-US rentals. There are many profound differences between Airbnb and VRBO, in particular depending on which country you are booking in. On my travels through South America, Europe and Asia I have seen so many "fake" rentals (ie the property you are looking at is suddenly unavailable, but 'fortunately' the person listing it knows of other properties available -- some on Airbnb and some not) as well as multiple-listings by the same user that are essentially deceptive and/or fraudulent. So I've become cautious when using Airbnb. Usually I send an inquiry prior to booking, because that gets a sense of what sort of operator the person behind the listing might be. Reviews on Airbnb are generally overinflated, and plenty of sites such as Reddit cover how ungenuine most reviews tend to be and why. That said, I found VRBO for rentals in the Hawaiian islands to be ridiculous and ultimately didn't go with any of the dozen properties I scouted out. Mailing a check to a property owner seems so antiquated in 2016, and the dozens of listings I reviewed were almost 100% deceptive as to the total cost. For example, a $200-$300 cleaning fee for for a three-night rental. Really? I talked with a woman in her 60's in Kauai who cleans homes; it's essentially a way to make more money off a renter and scam them. Sure, some people do throw wild parties and trash homes -- that's why you take a deposit rather than demanding an inflated cleaning fee.

I am certain expert flyers who know everything about airline pricing tactics have plenty to contribute on this subject
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Old Dec 4, 16, 9:36 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by InternationalLiving View Post
Is/could Agoda be covered in this forum? Their point earnings used to be good, now it's not so good, and I just got an email about a new Gift Card reward program. It would be good to discuss this somewhere...
Agoda is more of a traditional online travel agency. I think that would be at home more in the online travel agencies forum where Priceline, Expedia and Orbitz are discussed. Things on FT don't always need to be points/miles related.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onlin...-agencies-204/

for example:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onlin...good-true.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onlin...ighlight=agoda

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onlin...ighlight=agoda

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/onlin...ighlight=agoda
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Old Dec 6, 16, 9:28 pm
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Comparison of various services

I would suggest one topic be devoted to the structure and process used by the various services. I had a terrible experience with Airbnb and their onerous verification process. Their website was very difficult to navigate and if there were any glitches the system would not let you register or use the service. My issue was with verification of identity. They make you go through a process and then if you change your mind on how you want to provide identification information, that just messes up the system and it won't let you change. I decided at first that I didn't want to provide a scan of my driver's license but then saw that the only other alternative was to allow them access to my Linkedin account and all my contacts....no way and no need. Oh, there was also the need to upload a video of oneself. Again, way too onerous and not private. VRBO is no where near as particular.
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