It’s been in the news a lot lately, so I figured this is as good a time as any. Let’s talk AirBnB.
For anyone who follows me on Twitter, you already know that I often sing the praises of AirBnB. But, why am I so enthralled with their company? Well, the truth is without their service, this project would never have been possible. Not every agency has someone with a spare couch; not every city has affordable short-term housing; not everyone is trustworthy enough to share a space with. AirBnB adds legitimacy to those I'm renting from. They provide an extra layer of security to ease any worries I have about traveling across the country with so many important possessions.
Even when I've faced a challenge, whether it be a host canceling a reservation or a bed lacking a mattress, AirBnB always steps up to take care of me. Since this entire project was crafted, organized and arranged by one person, it’s nice to have someone looking out for me—at least in one regard anyway.
The reason I bring this up is because I recently came across this article from San Francisco (Stop #13).
You see, even though the company is based in San Francisco, up until a few weeks ago their service was technically banned from being used there. Obviously, their enforcement of the law has been rather lax, because they’re hovering around 5,000 properties in the area. From the moment I left Cleveland, I’ve always had this small spark of fear lingering in the back of my brain. I wasn’t sure where their laws would end up or what I would do if they finally decided to crack down on the service. The same goes for Portland. I recently had to book a third rental there, because my last two hosts cancelled due to increased pressure from landlords.
Don’t get me wrong; I do understand why landlords don’t want their tenants subleasing rooms. I really do. However, I also see the benefit of these short-term rentals and my ability to accomplish this project is just one of them. Hotels are becoming far too overpriced and couch surfing only offers a certain level of privacy and security. There has to be a middle ground, so people can explore this world of ours. I believe AirBnB is that middle ground.
While very apparent to me now, elements like these weren’t exactly top of mind when I was planning #TGAA out. I just assumed services like this were available, because why wouldn’t they be? You could even say the same about my insurance plan. Did you know that not all plans cover you when traveling out of state? I sure as hell didn’t.
Since I've discovered over and over again that not everyone is familiar with AirBnB, I hope this information helps someone out there. Whether you’re planning a cross-country trip or some adventure all your own, it’s important to look at your plan from all sides. You never know when you might hit a speed bump or come upon a place that doesn't offer the things you thought it did. Thankfully new options are popping up everyday and if you’re truly invested in traveling, all you have to do is look around at what your options are.
UPDATE: Right after posting this, it was brought to my attention that San Francisco legalized AirBnB last week (kind of). I must’ve missed the news about it, but nonetheless, it would seem I dodged a bullet. I just hope I don’t run into any hiccups in Portland next month.