Perhaps, most of you have heard of Airbnb, the online network for people who have an extra room and are willing to rent it out to someone for a night or two. I had heard of it, but it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. Homeaway, VRBO and a few others are the sites that I usually think of. While I was reading an article, Airbnb was mentioned and I was planning a short trip to the Salt Lake City, Utah area in just a few days and hadn’t found a place I really wanted to stay.
I typed in Airbnb and began a search for something in the Salt Lake City area. The places looked nice, ranging in price from $50 to $300 per night. The accommodations ranged from single rooms in apartments to full apartments and even a house or two. I changed my search to Bountiful, a community just a couple of miles from downtown Salt Lake and found a room listed for just $35 per night. I read the fine print to make sure I was reading the price right. It was. Nice.
I sent a message to the “host” and within a few minutes had a response back that the room was still available. They give approximately 12 hours to make your reservation. After I made the reservation, I was instructed to send a text to the host that I would be coming. Within a few minutes, I had a nice text returned with instructions on how to get to their home and what I could expect when I arrived.
I arrived in the late afternoon and was met by the host who showed me the room and a quick tour. There happened to be another guest staying from Austria. In talking with the hosts they found it interesting that most of their guests were from Europe. Very few were from the United States.
The set-up was simple, but very nice. Their kids were grown, so they had three spare rooms in the walk-out basement of their home. There was a shared bathroom and a kitchenette for the guests to use with a refrigerator, microwave, stove and toaster oven. And, with a separate entrance, there was no need to bother the hosts. That being said, the Browns’ were very helpful with restaurant suggestions, public transportation and sites to see.
The room was comfortable and clean, with a large closet and a locking door. The house was located in a nice neighborhood and just a few minutes away from shopping and restaurants. The drive into downtown Salt Lake City, Temple Square, the Capitol and the University of Utah was only about 10 minutes.
For a first time experience, I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely use Airbnb again. Is it an adventure? For many of us, it certainly will be. If you are used to hotels and staying the heart of the action, this may not be for you. But, if you enjoy staying off the beaten path, meeting interesting people and getting a flavor of the local community, I would suggest you try Airbnb on your next adventure.
Do a search for your favorite location: www.airbnb.com
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