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This is a basic guide for those who have never used a private accommodation rental system like Airbnb and want to do so. Above all, to clear up all your doubts and start using it without fear. This whole series of questions and guidance is based on my experiences with Airbnb (which I have used more than 20 times already, by the way). As you know (especially if you follow me in my Instagram), I am a regular traveller and I use multiple forms of accommodation, including house sitting or Airbnb.
If you want to see the details of the different modalities of cancellation of reservations in Airbnb you can read it in this link. There are from the most flexible to the super-strict. In general most ads have flexible or moderate cancellation policies.
Is using it a different way to travel?
In many cases it is. Especially if we rent in whole accommodations, in my experience it is a way to live the destinations as a local.
Why is it sometimes a controversial system?
If I speak of Airbnb, the system I use, I cannot fail to mention the polemics that accompany this system. From being accused of emptying local life in the centre of certain cities (to invade them with tourists), of raising the price of rents for locals, to promoting a type of accommodation that pays few taxes compared to hotels. There’s a lot of truth in all this. In my opinion, the fact that Airbnb is the target of these criticisms on many points does not absolve Airbnb itself of responsibility, but in other cases, I believe that what is missing are regulations and even taxes and controls on the part of local councils and local governments. I understand that if these accommodations are not controlled, if they are not registered as an economic activity, then they are a mode of unfair competition for hotels and other traditional accommodations. Airbnb is a (large) business and an economic activity and as such has to be regulated and controlled by the authorities. I also believe that strict safety regulations should be enforced for the benefit of travellers and tourists as much as other types of tourist establishments are required to. It’s something that needs a lot of improvement.
Finally Recommending Airbnb?
I think this whole post makes it clear that yes :). Even with my reservations about its controversies and criticisms that are valid (and that I do not overlook and leave my opinion), it is a system that knew how to adapt to the opportunities offered by new technologies.
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