5 reasons why you should stay in a hosted Airbnb
Airbnb is a great way to save money on hotels. But it's more than just an affordable option - the host can also make a huge difference during your stay.
While most people prefer the unhosted option for the privacy it affords, you should consider staying in a hosted Airbnb property for a few good reasons.
1. A hosted property is much safer
This is especially true if you’re travelling alone. Pick a host for safety’s sake. In fact, this is one of the biggest advantages Airbnb provides over hotels when it comes to solo travel.
In a hosted property, you can tell the host when you expect to be home. If you say you’ll be back by 9pm, and you don’t come back the whole night, the host will be your safety check.
You can also provide them with emergency contact details, such as for your family at home – they’ll know who to contact in a crisis.
Of course, you do need to pick a host that’s reliable and trustworthy; so try to pick properties with a “super host” rating.
Also, don’t forget to be well-insured, even if you have a reliable host. You’ll still need to be covered for the cost of hospitalisation if you get sick, or for the cost of lost or stolen items. You can find the best rates for travel insurance on GoBear.
2. Have the host around to fix broken items
Imagine if you’re in a rented unit in London, in the middle of winter. What happens if the room’s central heater breaks down?
If your host is around, he or she might be able to fix these problems. As many Singaporeans aren’t exposed to conditions like winter, we tend to underestimate how serious this can be. There’s no way you can live in an apartment that’s below 10 degrees. You might end up checking into a hotel, and that's going to cost you a lot more.
So having a host around to fix, or at least source for a handyman to solve the issue, is definitely much appreciated.
3. Tap on the localised knowledge of your host
Some hosts (again, look for the super host rating) are willing to do more than rent out their room. Hosts can show you how to avoid tourist traps, introduce you to great restaurants and shops, and provide directions to local sites.
More importantly, your host might even bring you around if they are free. Having your own personal tour guide who can also bring you home safely? That's more than you can ask for.
4. Three simple words: front door keys!
Sometimes, the front door keys go missing. Perhaps you left them in a cab that drove off, or they fell down a grate. Even worse, you may have been pickpocketed or robbed, and the keys may have been taken with your belongings.
Nothing’s more frustrating than having your money and passport on the other side of a locked door – especially if you’ve just been pickpocketed / robbed, and lost your phone.
Now if you stay in a hosted unit, this is less of a hassle. Just wait for your host to come back and unlock the door, and get a new set from them.
In an unhosted property, you’d best hope the host left a spare somewhere! If they didn’t think to do it, then you’re going to need the help of a locksmith. And bear in mind that, in some countries, the locksmith won’t tend to you if you’re not the registered tenant or owner.
5. Occasional, money-saving perks
In our experience, most hosts are quite gracious. If you’re travelling somewhere near their office, you might be able to hitch a free ride (if they’re driving). You might also come back to the occasional cooked meal, which can give you a taste of the local cuisine (minus the restaurant prices).
Also, some hosts stock up on toiletries free of charge; this can save you a fair bit of money, during a long stay of two weeks or more.
Some hosts also have membership or loyalty cards for nearby businesses – it’s not uncommon for a host to have, say, a 10 per cent membership discount in the café around the block. Some of these deals are interchangeable (you can use their membership card), which can lead to unexpected discounts.