We found out about AirBnb when we were researching about Osaka. We thought that it was actually a great option but was quite skeptical at first. Sleeping in somebody else’s house that we don’t know and have no previous knowledge of is quite scary when you think about it. No security of the hotel, we don’t personally know the owner of the house and we don’t know what to expect. After carefully thinking about it, we agreed that we should give it a try. Why? We have 2 reasons. First, we are in Japan. Considered one of the safest countries in the world. And the second reason is that, we are on a budget.
How to AirBnB:
AirBnb has great options on their site. They have hosts in 190 countries and more than 130,000 cities. With this wide range, we are pretty sure you can find a host that suits your needs in one way or another.
1. Select a location when and where you want to stay.
- After figuring out where you want to stay. You can now filter your search in your budget. You can choose if you want just a private room, a shared room or if you want a whole home, the dates when you will be arriving, how much you want to spend on your trip and how many people will be staying.
2. Send a request to book.
It will send a reservation request to the host on the dates that you have selected. The host has options to deny or accept your request or ask you questions about your upcoming trip. AirBnb will send you an email if the hosts responds, and you have 24 hours to answer or your request will expire. You can also Contact the host: The process is that you send a message to the owner of the house. Introduce yourself, you can ask question, request for special amenities or prices. If you both agree to the arrangement, then you are booked!
Once booked you will have to pay through the Airbnb site no personal transactions from hosts to guests are allowed Airbnb does take a percentage from the transactions so paying through them is a must. A credit card payments or paypal payments are accepted by the site.
Our AirBnb experience:
We filtered our search for private apartments with a $20-$40 a night budget. We had different options but decided to stay at an apartment owned by Ryota located near Shin-Imamiya Station. He provided clear instruction with pictures how to get to his apartment, the security code of the front door and how to get the keys to the apartment. The apartment is the size of normal single apartments here in Japan. Before you come in, there is a shoe off sign at the entrance, a common courtesy in Japan. The place has air condition/ heater, microwave, stovetop, water heater, fridge, plates and mugs. The bathroom is small as expected of Japanese toilets, but he has toiletries arranged for us. There were 4 sleeping bags arranged for us, but we are a couple, it just means more pillows for us. =) The place also come with a wi fi, the username and password is written inside.
In conclusion, it was a great decision. We have spent $30 a day on what would normally be a $100 a day in one of hotels in Osaka.
Tips on Airbnb:
-Read the comments of other travelers who have stayed there before so can get an idea.
-If you are staying in Japan, check the address to see if it is located near a metro rail station. It will be convenient for your travels.
- Ask your friends if they have an AirBnb account, they could send you a recommendation, you will get $20 off your booking and your friend will also get a $20 off. It is a win-win situation for the both of you. If you don’t know anybody, hey we can send you the email, just message us. =)
- After your stay, write a review about your host so other travelers can learn through your experience. Your host will do the same. This will be beneficial if you would want to use AirBnb in the future again, because now you have a history with Airbnb that other host can look into.
- If you are new to AirBnb, some hosts might be a little skeptical to give you a room. It is quite understandable because you don’t have the history of reviews of other hosts to back you up. They don’t know if you are a responsible traveler or if you will be coming home at 3am loud and waking up the neighbors. Just be friendly and introduce yourself in your messages. Airbnb is a community for travelers, so feel free to mention your travels before.
Good to know:
- If you are still not sure if Airbnb is safe. Airbnb offers a guest refund for travel issue. It falls under 3 categories: (A)If the host cancels within 24 hours of your arrival, or the host fails to provide a reasonable access to your accommodation. (B) The description of the listing on the site is very different from the actual accommodation (not on the same location, size or special amenities) and (C) the accommodation is not clean or as described. You have to provide evidence of the said travel issue to Airbnb within 24 hours, you should have not caused the said issue and you should have tried to solve the said issue with the host before making a claim.
Overall we had great Airbnb experience and would recommend others to try it but do be mindful of your host, country and situation. Keep traveling and stay safe everyone!