First, let me say that I am a huge Airbnb fan and I’ve rarely encountered an Airbnb host I didn’t like in the 16 trips I’ve taken since 2013. The site, which lets you book short- and long-term accommodations in cities around the world, is an absolute lifesaver. Their customer service is fantastic, and I would absolutely recommend it.
That said, not every Airbnb is perfect. I’ve stayed at amazing places, places that are almost amazing except for that one tiny problem, and places I could tolerate for just about as long as I was booked there.
I’m not sure I’ve encountered a host outright lying, but – like the good marketers they are – they play up the good points and downplay the bad ones. After you arrive at your Airbnb, get the keys, and shut the door, some things don’t look exactly like they did in the description.
If you’re looking for an Airbnb, here are a few things that your hosts might forget to tell you about the apartment’s various features and amenities.
The fine print: Yes, there’s wifi, but it’s shared with our neighbor Bob who works from home and is fond of torrenting movies. Or yes, there’s wifi, but I forgot to give you the password and I’m away on a silent meditation retreat in India without technology (this happened to me once – good thing my boyfriend is a hacker).
2. Cozy attic
The fine print: The ceilings are so low you will most assuredly bump your head somewhere. We have an icepack.
3. Double bed
The fine print: This is Europe, so it’s actually more like a single bed for a very obese person. I hope you two are cozy.
4. Lots of light
The fine print: If you stick your head out the window at exactly 3:43 pm, you might be able to see the sun. Otherwise, turn some lamps on.
5. Essentials included
The fine print: Whoever was in here before you left a half-drunk carton of milk and some vegetables they forgot to cook.
6. Breakfast provided
The fine print: We make some extra toast at 7 am. Will you be wanting some?
7. Third floor
The fine print: In our country we call the ground level M, so that’s three flights of narrow, worn-down wooden stairs to break your ankle on.
The fine print: We have two treadmills and a few sad-looking barbells that will rub your hands raw – but you need muscles to carry those suitcases up the stairs!
9. Friendly roommates
The fine print: We’re extroverted and we think everyone else is, too!!! Let’s bond!!!
10. Buzzer/wireless intercom
The fine print: Those people who clutter mailboxes with flyers will interrupt you with a heart-stopping BUZZ every afternoon trying to gain admittance to the building.
The fine print: We have a hot plate and some forks from Ikea. Do you like expensive takeout?
12. No loud noises past 10 pm
The fine print: My building doesn’t really allow Airbnb, and if you get me in trouble I hope your mother won’t be reading the review I give you. Actually, I hope she does.
Image Credit: Flickr/luvi