To hostel? Or not to hostel? That was my question. Luckily I had previously had a bit of experience with Airbnb. I knew friends that used it, I have friends that are hosts, and I think the idea is great.
However, I had no idea how it was approached in a different country. While traveling in Australia so far I have used a few different hostels, and although they are great for meeting other travelers and having fun, they have a few downsides. I think the most important is that you are sharing sleeping space, and if you’re with all other strangers that might result in you staying up literally all night.
Hostels also, while being great for meeting people, end with you forced in a small space with others constantly. I’m just not someone who enjoys 100% constant interaction with other humans. I think at some point in my childhood maybe I did enjoy this, but my recent travels have shown me that I really do like my own company and I am comfortable when I have some space to myself.
Now, because of my own personal traits, Airbnb is basically a dream. Here are the biggest benefits (according to myself):
- Your own room. Now, obviously you have options when you select a place to stay. I look for something that has a private room, and a real bed. And internet. Those are pretty much the basics for me. The website itself offers you some great filters so you can really hone in on what you prefer and what will make you comfortable.
- Interaction with locals. As opposed to hostels where you are surrounded by other travelers, Airbnb allows you to stay with people that actually live in the area. It’s awesome. Provided that your hosts are friendly (and all of mine have been), you have someone to ask questions to about local dining, museums, fun things to do, beaches, and anything else that suits your fancy.
- Security. The nice thing about not sharing a room is that all of your stuff is only with you, and you don’t have to worry about your phone charger running away.
- Oh glorious sleep. Nobody is coming into your room after a night of drinking and trying to get into the top bunk. This might not seem like a huge deal, but after a few nights of questionable sleep, you understand why this is of the utmost importance.
So, if you haven’t tried it yet, Airbnb is awesome. Do it.
My experience in Australia specifically has led to lots of fun conversations with locals where I have been advised about the best activities in each area. However, I did learn that “peaceful” is code for boring, and other travelers ratings really are important. Because of this, I have done my best to write reviews for the places I specifically enjoyed. Some hosts are beyond accommodating and so lovely you want to keep in touch as friends. In these instances I have made a point of telling other people that I would definitely visit those hosts again. Overall, I have stayed in quite a few places and have never had an upsetting stay. It’s absolutely worth checking out.
And thank you to all the Australians that have made my visits so wonderful.