Airbnb is an online marketplace which connects individual who wants to rent out their homes and houses to those looking for accommodation in a specific area. It can be anything from a room in a house to an entire property. It has become a massive disruptor in the hospitality space today. Airbnb began its operations in 2008 when two individuals who were designers had space in their house to share, thus hosting three travelers who were looking for a place to stay. Today, millions of hosts and travelers choose to create a free Airbnb account in order to list their extra space easily and book unique accommodations anywhere across the world, thus avoiding hotels. This is one of the ways a host can earn some income using their properties.

On the other hand, the homes have the risk of being destroyed by the guest. In contrast, the guest has the advantage of staying in a relatively inexpensive accommodation during their travel. The Airbnb web-based platform had made sharing easy, enjoyable, and safe for the host and the guest. However, it is important to note that both the host and the guest have advantages and disadvantages. In this case, the review is based on the guest. 

Advantages

Wide selection- Airbnb hosts list a wide variety of properties from single rooms, a suite of rooms, apartments, moored yachts, houseboats, entire houses, even a castle across the website. Therefore, the guest has a wide variety to choose from. The choice depends on their financial budget and what catches their eyes. Also, the experience they want to have in that place plays an important role in selecting the homes listed.

Customizable searches- across the Airbnb website, guest can easily search a home or place to stay during the vacation not only by the location, but by price, type of property, amenities, and the language of the host. This has been made possible due to the customizable searches implemented where the various keywords has been added to reduce the search process.

Protection for the guest- To protect the guest occupying these homes, Airbnb holds the guest’s payment for 24 hours after the check-in time. They then later release the funds to the host, who is the owner of the resident. This gives the guest confidence to choose the accommodations listed on the Airbnb website rather than going to a hotel that might be far from where the guest wants to visit. 

Disadvantages

Additional fees– In some cases, Airbnb tends to impose some additional fees for the guest just like any other lodging or hotels across the world do on top of the nightly rate. Therefore, the guest pays a service fee of 0% to 20% on top of the reservation fee. The additional fee covers Airbnb’s customer support and other services. This may limit the guest from selecting a property that is listed from this website.

Minimum stay- although they offer a unique experience, the guests have a minimum stay period. Most of the host insists that one book two or more days which might not fit the guest traveling plans. This results in disappointment to the guest.Taxes- the guest in various countries such as the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway may be subject to a (VAT) value-added tax. Although the tax varies depending on the country, the tax helps the government in these countries to collect taxes from these people.

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