My AirBnB Misadventures and Avoiding the Same Mistake

So you’ve got it! You just booked the vacation of your dreams… or maybe you didn’t, maybe you’re just looking for a place to rest your head at night. Maybe you have a long layover and don’t feel like sleeping on an airport bench. Maybe you just want to venture somewhere new, and get to know the locals like a local would. And you got an AirBnB… and it looks perfect. The photos are legit, the interior seems… nice-ish for the budget, and there’s nothing else you want or need. It’s even advertised as “luxury”.

And then you show up.

And it’s actually a traphouse.

Welcome to Day 1 of our travel (mis)adventures.

I can definitely verify– it’s not a nice surprise to walk into.

Let me just add, this was not our final destination but I can’t help but think what an unpleasant surprise it would be if it had been. It was for a 24 hour layover in LA that we needed an affordable, accommodating AirBnB to relax in and call homebase for just one night. One night.

Advertised on AirBnB as a luxury private room in the heart of Downtown LA, it was neither luxury or in the heart of DTLA. We walk in and immediately see boxes all over the floor with half-unpacked garments and other random things, ONE PIECE of furniture that looked like it was bought the day before we came and smelled like something died and was being covered up by the subtle aroma of marijuana and aromatic candles.

Right, exactly what we had in mind for ‘luxury’.

Oh, and on the way over our Uber driver who was also female refused to leave us or let us get out of the car until we were sure which building it was. She made numerous remarks about it being unsafe to even walk during the day, much less at night. Ironically, in messages with the host, he kept reiterating how “safe” the neighborhood was, which we probably should have taken as a sign that it was the exact opposite. You shouldn’t need to reassure guests how “safe” your space is. It should just be safe.

The price tag was $73 dollars. Yes, I know that’s lowballing it but hey… as a traveler, you learn to work on a budget and we weren’t about to go blowing exorbitant amounts of money for a place we would be in for less than 22 hours. Ultimately, we ended up paying the ultimate price because of lack of research and trying to cut corners.

LET ME TELL YOU…

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

Yes my friend should have done more research on the area, and I should have double checked to make sure it was located somewhere convenient and safe. However, seeing as it was a one night stay, we didn’t think that upon arrival, we would literally be afraid to step out of the front door. After, we got the Hell out of dodge and ran for the Santa Monica beachside was much more to our liking. It was a wonderful stay and our AirBnB was in a prime location. If you’re ever in town, be sure to check out Brian and Lindsey’s little home (the interior was so cute and it was a perfect place to stay if you happen to be a car-less millennial like me).

Below I’ve compiled a list of tips as to how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

— HOW TO GET THE MOST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! —

  •  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION 

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OF YOUR STAY, WHEREVER YOU GO AND FOR HOWEVER LONG YOU PLAN TO STAY.

Please always do your research, lest you end up like us and end up paying even more than you bargained for.

While the reviews of the Airbnb itself may good, please do your research on what street and part of town it’s in. If it sounds too good and too cheap to be true, it probably is. What’s the point in spending money on an AirBnB if you feel afraid to step out of the front door and it’s not within walking distance to anything relevant?

  •  Look for Superhosts! 

Airbnb has worked to make the best hosts the easiest to find! Try to go with Airbnb’s that have the superhost badge! This means they have been verified for excellent service and amenities, and zero cancellations.

  • Read The Reviews… and see how many they have and how recently they were written.

If the host only has 6 reviews… that’s probably not a good sign. You want to stay somewhere that has been verified by numerous people as being a solidly quality place to stay. I wouldn’t say six reviews will necessarily give you that reassurance or peace of mind you’re looking for.

However, if an Airbnb has 20 reviews from the past couple of months… that means many people have stayed there in the past 2 months and enjoyed their stay. It’s a good sign! Just make sure you’re getting everything you’re looking for.

  • Don’t cut corners… you want quality, you’re going to have to pay a little more.

I’m not talking break the bank and clean yourself out, I’m just saying that it makes no sense to get a $75 dollar room, if you’re used to the amenities of a room priced moreso at around $150. You won’t be happy and you’ll end up spending twice as much in the long run. If we hadn’t been able to book a same day Airbnb, we would have been straight out of luck and forced to pay almost $250 for a hotel room… which is the exact opposite of ideal.

I hope my mistakes were able to teach you a lesson.

♡ Questions for Y-O-U ♡

Now here’s where you tell me the good stuff. Leave your worst travel stories below! I swear I can’t be the only one with them! Also… wow does it feel nice to write again. Anyway, I’m sure this won’t be the last you hear from me. I’ll talk to you guys soon!

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