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February 27, 2013


On our Paris trip last spring, Tim and I stayed in a random person’s apartment. Weird, right? We used Airbnb, the vacation site that lists short-term rentals in major cities across the world. We were quite nervous about how it might turn out, especially because of our rusty French language skills and unfamiliarity with the site.


Instead, it became one of our favorite experiences of the trip! The uber-clean studio apartment looked just like the photos and felt more like a nice hotel than an apartment. Parisian hotels are notoriously tiny, but our apartment had a full bathroom, a kitchen, and a balcony – for less than what we would have paid for a closet-sized hotel room. When we travel, we like to experience local shops and neighborhoods, so we mostly enjoyed experiencing a little bit of “true life” in Paris, away from the touristy hotels.

We recommend Airbnb to friends all the time, which is usually followed by a bunch of questions. So here are our tips for booking a vacation rental apartment through Airbnb:

Do some research on the neighborhoods of the city you’re visiting. Getting a feel for the style and safety of the neighborhood will help in narrowing down neighborhood options on Airbnb.

– Look for the “ Verified Photo” flag on the photos. This means an Airbnb professional visited the listing, verifying that the apartment is really how it appears.

Read the reviews. Because it was our first time renting through Airbnb, we purposefully picked someone who had rented her place several times and had solid reviews.

– Look for details about professional cleaning. Many places require a small cleaning fee, and it should be noted in the listing. We appreciated this because we knew the place we chose was professionally cleaned.

What about you? Would you rent an apartment rather than a hotel?

PS – If you’re interested in renting the place we stayed in (above), you can check it out here.

Photos from the official Airbnb listing.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Corlia van den Worm permalink
    March 1, 2013 1:07 pm


    I really like the post you put on twitter. I also strated hosting for Airbnb in Jan 2013, had my first guest 19Feb from North Carolina. Expecting guests from Koblentz Germany in Oct 2013. I love people and it’s interesting meeting people aal over the world. Good getting tips specially to see what guests wants and prefere .
    I am a host in Pretoria Waterkloof Rigde.

    • Corlia van den Worm permalink
      March 1, 2013 1:16 pm

      Waterkloof Ridge Pretoria South Africa!

    • March 4, 2013 3:50 pm

      Thank you! And that’s so exciting you are hosting! I’ve heard South Africa is a beautiful place to visit.

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