After years of sitting on the sidelines and hearing mixed reviews, I finally decided to give Airbnb a try for myself. Admittedly, I’ve had an Airbnb account for quite some time but always chicken out and opt for the familiarity of hotel booking instead. But the hotel prices for my last trip to D.C. were outlandish and although I’m always down to travel, I believe in doing so on budget. So, I reset my password and logged onto the wonderful yet frightening world of Airbnb!
Accessibility and privacy were the two biggest factors for me when booking. Once those two filters were applied to my search, it narrowed things down a bit. I was initially drawn to two places but decided on a cute little basement apartment in the Brookland area. The host had great reviews and the location was about 15 minutes away from everything I had planned. In Texas, I’m used to everything being at least 30 minutes away so that was a plus in my book! But wait, here’s the kicker; the cost for our entire 5 day stay was significantly less than half of the cost of booking a hotel in my desired area. Although, I was still a tad-bit nervous, booking was the easy part. I made sure to choose one with a flexible cancellation policy just in case I changed my mind.
The drive to the place was the most nerve-racking part. Wondering if the host was going to be nice, if the place was going to look like it did in the pictures and wanting to make sure my travel partner was satisfied with the living arrangement as well. Upon arrival, I immediately knew I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience. When the Uber driver pulled up to the house, the host was standing out front. She greeted us, was extremely pleasant and offered to help us plan our itinerary while there. When we walked into the basement apartment, it was JUST like the pictures. Everything was brand new since it had been recently renovated. The kitchen was fully stocked with everything you’d need as well as snacks, water and juice. There was free WiFi and the host had even put together a helpful little booklet with tips for navigating the city and provided two Metro cards for our use while there.
Needless to say, our trip was definitely made better because of where we stayed. The neighborhood feeling we got and interactions we had were something we haven’t experienced in a long time and is probably one of the most memorable moments of our trip. I’m certainly glad things worked out the way they did because now I will be more prone to opt for an Airbnb instead of my usual hotel stays. So if you’ve been on the fence about it, I’d say go for it because you never know until you try.
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