A Tale of Lodging Choices
In this decade business & vacation travelers have had more options to the traditional hotel room than ever before in history because of the popularity of established Bed and Breakfasts, or AirBnB lookalikes. But what are the differences and why choose one over the other? Most people decide on a destination by the photos and the price range. Everyone wants the best deal for the money as well as a great experience and there is no denying the fact that AirBnB gives the world traveler a huge selection of seemingly attractive options. But how to know if the choice should be Bed and Breakfasts or AirBnB?
AirBnB is not a bed and breakfast website despite the name. It could just as easily have been called “Book an Unknown Vacation Rental With A Complete Stranger”. It is an advertising vehicle which will list any rental posted by any person without prior knowledge of the owner or the accommodation. The advertiser can make any claim he cares to make about the rental and both the host and the exact location of the property remain anonymous until a reservation is made and paid for. AirBnB handles the transaction and what happens after that is in the hands of both host and guest.
But buyer beware! You will rarely find legal, licensed, monitored or approved rentals there. You are playing a game of chance with the internet version of the classified ads in newspapers or magazines. It’s a fancier version of Craig’s list, boasting a beautifully conceived website and promising results that are sheer guesswork at best.The paying guest doesn’t know until he arrives if the neighborhood is dangerous, the facility less than represented in a photo, or even if the host is sane and legally permitted to rent space in the building.
In 6 years AirBnB has grown wildly popular resulting in unbelievable wealth for the company and usually good results for the guest. But it is an imperfect system judged to be unfair in a market place where hotels, resorts, spas and bed and breakfasts have had to invest a great deal of time effort, and money in order to offer something that the so called “sharing economy” cannot – TRUST, SAFETY & DEPENDABILITY.
Check on the following internet sites for uncensored reviews from hosts, guests and in print media for AirBnB rentals: Huffington Post November 23, 2015 – TrustPilot – AirBnBHell – Distractify – The Smoking Gun, as well as others, and then decide if this is a good choice for you.
If you decide instead to stay in an established bed and breakfast just Google “bed and breakfasts” in the city or area of your choice and visit their individual websites for photos, history, area attractions rates and amenities.
In a B&B, each property, each bedroom is unique, original, with its own sense of style and space unlike cookie cutter hotel rooms.The owner or (on occasion) hired innkeeper is generally available 24 hours a day, to see to guests’ needs. And best of all since this person is in house, the visitor has a local expert who has already been to the tourist attractions in the city, has eaten at most of the recommended restaurants, knows the best places to shop, where to buy gas, and has an extensive list of print material, guides and maps available. Generally breakfasts are also unique and attention is paid to restricted diets, allergies, or items a guest just might not enjoy.
The B&B owner has been through the hoops with his local city code office, He is licensed, inspected and required to conform to certain basic standards in order to provide lodging. He is subject to spot checks by the Health Department on a regular basis and is required to have a permit renewed each year along with the license to do business. He may belong to local Visitors’ Associations, other B&B organizations and websites. The building must conform to certain standards as to fire protection, windows & door exits, bathroom facilities & number of guests permitted. Parking permits may be required if on-site parking is not available and he must pay local and/or state taxes, file annual reports and carry a hefty insurance load to protect his property and its guests. He has an established business in a community and neighborhood that knows him. He must sometimes spend a great deal of money on advertising in print media and online in order to protect his reputation in this pursuit, which to him, is a way of life plus a source of pride.
So before you, as a visitor, a traveler, put your money down on an unknown, evaluate the risk involved in making your travel plans. Are you willing to bet on the long shot, to take a chance just to save a little cash, or to aim for a sure thing? Think about it.