Most of us work in a 9 to 6 job earning a decent sum of money. We commute to office in various Indian cities which in itself is like going to war daily. Doing that for whole month gets us our paycheck.
In such circumstances, last thing we need is our hard earned money disappearing at an alarming pace during trips abroad. During my travel to 37 countries across continents, there are few things I have picked that help in extracting maximum bang for our buck in expensive foreign locales. Accommodation is one the major expense head when travelling anywhere (India or abroad). While one can list out number of ways to cut down on this expense, today I am providing tried & tested method that does not compromise on comfort & experience.
I discovered AirBnB in 2014 while planning for our trip to America. Like any other new thing, I was tentative about it. So out of 4 places we went to in States, I booked 2 AirBnBs (Boston & Chicago). And boy, they turned out to be fantastic.
Ever since that day, we have been to places as diverse as Canada, New Zealand, Poland, Finland, Philippines, Hungary, Brazil, Chile etc. and we have been staying at AirBnBs. Now 2.5 years & about 30 AirBnBs later, I can safely say there is nothing like it.
How does AirBnB save enable cost savings?
So how exactly do you save when you ditch a hotel & stay at someone’s apartment or private room???
- AirBnBs, most of the times provide you a kitchen or access to one. This enables you to purchase fresh produce from neighborhood supermarket & cook up something on your own for breakfast, packed lunch or even a lazy late dinner. Microwave meals also become a possibility in such setting.
- In addition to this, most of the listings have bare essentials like coffee, milk, butter etc. for the guest.
- The depth of local information that an AirBnB host can provide you, far surpasses any concierge or even Google for that matter. Weekly specials at corner restaurant, better tour agency, cheaper bus company for those day trips etc. are just few tips that our hosts has shared with us.
- AirBnB enabled us to have a peek into how locals live on a daily basis. No hotel in world can give you that. Those long chats with hosts in cosy living rooms over wine or coffee provides one enough insight into how people think & live in a specific geography. Also, based on my personal experience, all around the world people are awfully interested in India. There is so much they want to talk about. So your travel doesn’t end when you come back to home every evening. It continues over those conversations with people. Free of cost as well !!!
- AirBnBs far outnumber hotels in most of the cities in world. More choice means better prices, more amenities, better suitability to one’s needs etc.
- About one fourth of our hosts have provided us support in local commute with in the city. E.g. Smart Cards for metro travel, early morning or late night drops to bus or train stations etc. Now this is not the norm and is not expected out of a host. But it still happens at times.
- For long term traveler, access to a washer & drier goes a long way in terms of cost & comfort.
I can go on & on about how AirBnB has enabled us to travel around the world. The above mentioned points largely capture the benefits one accrues by using this option.
Over so many stays in various cities, I have also worked up a mechanism to nail a perfect Airbnb in any city in the world. But that’s for a different day!!!!
P.S. : I wrote this post on a domestic flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago in Chile in extreme turbulence. If I am able to post it, that means I made it!!!