True Life: I tried airbnb

Airbnb gives me hope for humanity. The fact that people can actually trust complete strangers to stay in their homes without any real verification or even meeting them in person?!

So, I'm not sure what's crazier, having a stranger stay with you when you're there or when you're gone. Full access to your stuff, alone, or like the ability to kill you in your sleep.

I mean..what?

Like you’d never let a stranger from the street who knocked on the door in your apartment, but if they email you a few times and offer to pay it’s good. 

It's sort of crazy! But cool at the same time. It's the new wave of peer-to-peer economy. 

This past week in New Mexico, my friend Julie and I were like, lets try this. Let’s airbnb for half of our trip.

New Mexico seemed like an interesting place to truly experience the culture and meet the people, and we were like, hell yes! when we found out we can save around $100 each night by doing it.  

So, for half our trip we decided to Airbnb, and the other two spots we went the safe route with recommendations from friends. Which FYI were freaking amazing. Ten Thousand Waves and Los Poblanos, but I'll write on that later. 

Side note: I’ve done VRBO before when the hosts were away. We rented a huge house in Austin, Texas for Austin City Limits and that worked out so well. You can’t really find a better/cheaper way to host 12 people in one place together. 

We found two spots in New Mexico with lots of good reviews. The first one in Albuquerque and the other in Santa Fe. I honestly didn’t think beyond the photos and the price when booking. Both were good, a nice clean place, and around $75 dollars a night to say. Split between two, that's such a good price to pay!

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Upon arrival, I'm not going to lie, it's a little weird finding someones key under their mat, and walking into their home the same way they do every single day.

But it felt like I was more nervous and cautious than the hosts to be honest. These people that host on Airbnb seem to be used to the traffic of people staying at their house. They were friendly, welcoming and really just talked to us as much as we wanted to talk to them. Like, if we had questions they were helpful and chatty, but if not, they were down to leave us alone.

Perfect. 

I actually asked one of our hosts how much they make on the side having random people in their extra two rooms of the house, and its enough to cover their total rent cost and then some.

At the first house in Albuquerque, we were so centrally located to everything theres no way we could have stayed at a hotel and been closer to the city center. The place was SPOTLESS, we had our own guest room and bathroom and the apartment had a modern pueblo vibe. We didn’t even really see our host until the next morning, and seriously enjoyed chatting with her and having her tell us tips about the city. Because of her suggestions, we were able to find really rad hiking spots right outside the city. Tent Rocks National Park, below. 

At the second place, just as clean, just as nice, her name was Krystn and she really left us alone. Again, it was nice to be in the mix of the city and really made things easier for us to go in and out of our own spot. It was truly like our own home.

Honestly, I couldn't be happier with the decision to go with Airbnb in New Mexico. it was such an awesome experience at both homes, and considering the money saving, ease of access to the best parts of the city - it was for sure the right move. 

Some tips:

  • Read reviews! Obviously. But also leave reviews too because people actually read them and take them seriously. I'm so bad at actually doing this myself, but trying to be a little better with my own review leaving. 
  • Ask questions to be 100% sure about things (where to go, what's cool, etc.). People seriously like helping people!
  • Utilize your hosts.
    • We got so much helpful information from ours that we couldn’t have gotten from a book or website. At our second spot, we also asked if we could leave later in the afternoon than planned so that we could do stuff in the morning, and because it’s not rigid like a hotel, we were able to. 
  • Leave your hosts a gift or card. 
    • This was just sort of a karma thing, it’s nice to sort of graciously let someone know you appreciate them opening their home to you and you’ll continue to share trust and faith in others. I sent both of our hosts thank you cards and $8 dollar Meyers brand candles. (So basic, I know, but candle gifts are really underrated because you never actually want to buy a candle yourself!)  

I think for me the best part of it was the experience of really getting to know someone completely different than me, feeling comfortable with them enough to stay at in their home and feeling like I got more of a true experience than just me on vacation hiding out in my hotel. (Definitely done that before.) I would definitely do it again, and if my building would allow us to let people stay, I'd list our apartment. We're out of town so much, and it would be an easy way to make like $500 every weekend we left! Thats so freaking cool!

Side note, have you seen the Airbnb Instagram? It’s really tight! They have a feed of the absolutely amazing places that people have listed on the site. 

Have you ever done Airbnb? What has your experience been? Any place you'd love to use it? Lemme know, love to hear! xx