I had my first airbnb experience this weekend in Paris. It was a fairly good one. Paris itself was expensive but enjoyable and exactly what I had expected.

My Airbnb Experience

Part of my AirBNB experience, view from the window

If you’ve had your own airbnb experience then I expect this won’t be news to you. Initially I was uncertain about it. Staying in someone else’s place can be fraught with difficulties.   However my host was a nice guy and was very friendly in the messaging beforehand and when we met in person.

The first thing that I found a little odd with my airbnb experience was the booking process. What was odd was the need to introduce myself. Hotels don’t really care about me as a person, they just want my money. Their volume assumptions mitigate the risks they have on damage to the hotel and they don’t have any sentimental attachment to their rooms.

The people letting rooms on airbnb are inviting you into their home. So they are much more invested emotionally in the transaction. So booking takes a little longer, especially when you are a newbie. It’s more like arranging a date than booking a room.

When choosing somewhere to book you need to pay attention to the details. All the places have subtly different offers and inclusions. The Airbnb experience is smoothed though by good user interface design that standardises a lot so that you can tell at a glance what is included. For example do you need to bring bedding?

More of my airbnb experience, view the other way from the studio
More of my airbnb experience, view the other way from the studio

Once the host has accepted your booking the next bit is straightforward. You confirm check in and check out times and exchange contact details. You pay airbnb at this stage and they hold the payment in escrow until after you’ve left.

I had a brief moment of uncertainty when I finally arrived at the street address I’d been given. I was a little late because I’d been caught out by engineering works on the Paris RER. Also, as expected, it was a block of flats and I realised that I didn’t have the flat number. Fortunately as I was messaging my host he stepped out of the door and asked if I was here for an airbnb experience.

The studio we were in was pretty much as I had expected. Not hotel standard, but very similar in quality to the studio I had lived in as a student. It was also stereotypically Parisien in character. The airbnb experience was about as authentic as it comes. For me this is a plus, although others might prefer the same sort of thing they get at home.  This is about your search criteria rather than anything to do with the airbnb experience.



I got excellent value for money, I spent two nights in the 7th Arrondissement one street back from the Seine for under 100 euros. I had cooking facilities, wifi (although it did go out for a bit, and a TV we could hook my son’s tablet up to. All good stuff and I’ll be leaving feedback on the airbnb site.

I enjoyed my first airbnb experience enough to use it again next time I travel. That said I’d be interested in hearing about others airbnb experience.