I got all set and ready to plan my trip for MacWorld 2011 in San Francisco when I started looking at various hotels only to find out that everything was booked or more expensive than a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills diamond encrusted puppy collar. So being lost for what to do next, I sent out a tweet to the Twitterverse asking for some advice from my fellow MacWorld goers on decent, inexpensive, boutique-style hotels in San Francisco. My buddy, Mike Rose of TUAW, told me about this wonderful site, Airbnb.com.
So I decided to give it a shot. What I found at Airbnb.com was that the website is absolutely amazing. In a nut shell Airbnb.com allows homeowners or condo dwellers the opportunity to rent out their extra room or otherwise unoccupied living space like a hotel to people traveling in their area. This works great for a place like San Francisco because a lot of San Francisco people are bi-coastal or frequent flying corporate employees.
There was some great deals on the site ranging from apartments to share with the owner to apartments to take over; with pricing from about $30/night and up. I was luck enough to score a room in Soma, (South of market to the non-San Franciscans) for $65/night. Naturally at first, I thought to myself â€œSo, whatâ€™s the catch?â€ And much to my amazement, there is nothing outside of a $30 booking fee that basically goes to keeping Airbnb in business. To make booking easier, Airbnb.com has a clever IOS application which I promptly installed on my iPhone and through their iPhone application I was even able to check out deals of the day in various locations, too bad I wasnâ€™t on my way to Paris. I found the app easy to use, easy to search, and signing up to actually communicate directly with the temporary landlord was pretty painless as I was able to get updates via email, Text or from Airbnb.com.com.
Before I made my reservation, I decided to view the profile of my host (Joe G) and lucky me, he is one of the designers for Airbnb.com which made me feel a little less like I was signing up be roomies with an Axe Murder. Once I was able to talk to Joe, he sent me a text to let me know I was able to book my space so I did the booking and got my confirmation within minutes. Painless!!!
The next time youâ€™re traveling and you want to save some money, I strongly suggest you check out Airbnb. This San Francisco company has spaces in over 8,000 cities in 160 countries and has nearly 184 million user miles traveled. Click on the link below if you want to see what they have to offer. Safe travels!