Lifelong Vagabonds home page

Airbnb Friend Invite Credit & Review

5 October 2016 | Mri Grout

Airbnb is yet another option available for travellers and businessmen and women to search for a broader range of accommodation. They offer properties all across the globe and at both ends of the price spectrum, having something for budget travelers (like barns and campervans) and the ridiculously rich holidayers (like private freaking islands and historical castles) alike.

However, its biggest benefit is found when you want to stay in one place for an extended period of time for many hosts offer weekly and monthly discounts, which makes them a heck of a lot cheaper than even the biggest chain of budget hostels. For reference, we once stayed at a lovely one bedoom apartment inbetween Paris and the northwest coast for a mere £140/week. This price, however, was reached with the free £25 credit given when one signs up to Airbnb through a friend invite - like the one conveniently placed at the bottom of this page.

What Room Types Does Airbnb Offer?

1. Shared

I don't really get this option as they're usually not much cheaper than a private room and if you're simply looking to make genuine relations abroad then Couchsurfing would seem a better idea. for one, you're not paying for said relation through the booked room so they're more likely to be made because you two (or three or four or whatever) actually connect, and 2. Couchsurfers are usually also up for being full on tour guides if their schedule permits. However, neither Rob nor I have actually booked a shared room on Airbnb so others' reasons for doing so might not be clear to us for that reason; so if anyone has experience doing so, we'd love to hear the reasoning in the comments below. (:

2. Private

This option, however, I can see the appeal of using instead of Couchsurfing. Some nights you just don't have the energy or desire to be amicable to your hosts. You don't want to spend hours talking because you just want to crash, but you also don't want to be rude so of course you stay up late just talking even if they assured you going to bed was okay hours ago.

It's also more desirable than hotel rooms because of the cosier nature. There're books on shelves, rugs on floors, and an overall homey feel that offers more relaxation and comfort. And though the price for a private room on Airbnb is roughly the same as that in a budget hotel, on Airbnb they also normally give access to a living room, kitchen, and less used bathroom.

3. Entire Place

Surprisingly, booking an entire place can be found for not much more expensive than the other two options, especially if you're staying with enough friends, business associates, or fellow travelers to fill all off the rooms. For instance, there is a six bedroom, ten bed castle up in Scotland that was built in the 12th century and is only going for £500/night on the weekends. Split that between ten people (limit 13), and £50/night to stay in a freaking castle isn't much. And with these, you definitely get a kitchen which will also allow you to save additional money by not having to eat out.

**Random Budget Tip: Some of these Airbnb places would really make for a great and relatively cheap wedding venue (with accommodation!) if anyone's interested. (:

Airbnb 'Hidden' Fees

These fees aren't really hidden due to them being listed in the actual booking form. However, they are not listed in the price per night, which is all you see when searching. This makes sense as they're a fixed fee regardless of the nights spent, but it can be a high annoyance when you get to the booking page and realize the final price is a fair bit higher than you expected.

So, these 'hidden' Airbnb fees are:

  • Cleaning Fee - Normally charged even if you don't make a mess... They can also be nearly as expensive as the price for a night, which makes them absolutely ridiculous. However, luckily, not all hosts charge them and some of those that do, actually make them a reasonable number.
  • Service Fee - These also range widely, with some costing around £20 and others around £3. They don't seem to be based on a fixed percentage, but I have no idea if the hosts themselves set the price of it.
  • Additional People Fee - This one gives us the most annoyance as some hosts will claim their place is for two guests, but then charge you for that second guest... So even though they tell you this before booking, it's freaking annoying. Just say it's for one person. Sheesh.

Airbnb Friend Invite Discount

For those that wish to sign up to Airbnb after reading this honest review (and the small rant about the fees), then I would suggest signing up via the below link. Not only when I get 'paid' to keep Lifelong Vagabonds afloat, but you'll also get £25 (or the currency equivalent) in free credit. However, you can only use the Airbnb discount for bookings over £55, so think of it more like a free night somewhere. (:

Airbnb £25 coupon

Have you ever used Airbnb? What was your experience? Do you think they're better than hostels?