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Airbnb offers money-saving alternatives to hotel rooms

Airbnb offers money-saving alternatives to hotel rooms

Clark Howard September 29, 2015
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Airbnb.com offers a money-saving alternative to book your stay when you want something more than just a hotel room.

Airbnb poses real threat to hoteliers

The service has come out of nowhere to be the dominant player in this field. The funny thing is they came to the game late, after sites like VRBO.com and HomeAway.com had already established a similar niche. All three sites let owners of properties rent their condos, homes, or apartments in competition with traditional hotel rooms.

Read more: How to book the best — and safest — Airbnb

If you need several bedrooms, prefer to have your own cooking facilities, or if you plan to stay for more than a couple nights in a destination, you’ll often get a much better deal by renting an apartment, home, or condo from a private owner.

When the Pope was on his 3-city tour, in NYC alone, the nights he was in town there were 20,000 apartments for rent on Airbnb. In Philadelphia, there were 7,000 apartments for rent during his visit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

If you want to book a stay through Airbnb, look at properties that have lot of reviews. And you must have a credit card for booking because you pay AirBNB as the middle man, not the individual owner you’re renting from.

Meanwhile, the popularity of Airbnb means that a cottage industry has sprung up around the service, targeting those who don’t want to take on every aspect of DIY property management. The San Francisco Chronicle reports you can hire out for cleaning, check-in, listing management; free linens, towels, supplies; decor advice and more on your property.

One thing you *don’t* have to hire someone to do for you and your Airbnb property is take pictures. Airbnb has professional photographers who will take a great picture of your home before you list it online — and it’s entirely free!

Read more: 7 lessons I learned as an Airbnb host

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Clark Howard is a nationally syndicated consumer expert who shows consumers ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. His radio show is heard every day on more than 200 radio stations throughout North America. “Save more and spend less” is more than just a motto for Clark; it’s a way of life. As a successful lifelong entrepreneur, media star and best-selling author, the Atlanta-based “consumer champion” is dedicated to helping Americans of all means get ahead in life.
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