What is AirBnb and How Does it Work?AirBnb loosely translates to a bed-and-breakfast solution in a far away city (where you travel via an airplane). More meaningfully, it is a marketplace where anybody can rent out his her living space (could be a couch, a bed in a room, a full bedroom, or a whole apartment), to any traveler from any place in the world. AirBnb portal serves as a one stop shop where travelers can look for apartments or bedrooms at the destinations to where they plan to travel, and hence sort out the accommodation requirement in a fraction of the amount they’d otherwise spend on conventional hotel accommodation. AirBnb occupies the middle ground between hotels and hostels. Hotels are expensive and impersonal. Hostels can get too crowded and for some travelers, it is not really an option to live in a shared space with moderate amenities. AirBnb, hence, becomes the best of both worlds, as travelers can rent out reasonably priced apartments, away from the commercial vibes of hotels, and close to the natural rhythms and cultural aura of the city they’re travelling to. AirBnb tries to solve the trust and security concerns associated with such marketplaces through its registration process. Users need to upload a government issued ID proof, link their AirBnb profile to one of their social media (Facebook, twitter, etc.) profiles, and provide phone number and email ID. Secondly, user reviews, and verified photos of properties have helped implement a system where both hosts and guests engage in genuine conversations, because being unscrupulous is just not sustainable.
How to Book Accommodation Using AirBnb?After you register on AirBnb, you can set a location on the home page, specify vacation start and end date, and see listings of accommodation offered for the location. You can then specify your requirements such as the kind of accommodation you’re looking for (shared room, private room, or entire apartment). You can also sort or filter on price, and access the most relevant listings. You can then use one or more of the following options once you have zeroed in on a listing of interest:
- Add the listing to your wish list, and decide later.
- Get in touch with the host with your queries; you can request information on specific points, and share any details you think are relevant for the host to know.
- Book the place is everything seems ok; you will be taken to the payment page, can pay the amount, and send a little message to the host too.
- If you find a listing iffy, you can flag, after which AirBnb moderators conduct due diligence and verify your concerns.