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Airbnb

Photography, Travel

Airbnb Experiences: Photographing London

August 21, 2017

Airbnb Experiences

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A few weeks ago, I was looking for a place to stay for the next leg of my trip on Airbnb. Some of this was done on the Airbnb app so when I opened it up, it showed me their new “Experiences” first and they were all London based since that is where I am currently. My interest was peaked by a photography tour and I saved a few to a wish list but didn’t book right away.

Then last week, I was in Brighton and realized I had one more week in London without much planned. I decided to book one of the photography workshops for the next evening. While I think I do okay with my photography skills, I know it never hurts to learn more and get someone else’s perspective. Plus, I figured he would have some great photography locations.

Booking the Experience

Once you find the experience you want to do, you click see dates. Like booking an apartment, some experiences are only certain dates. For many experience hosts, this is a way to supplement their income, so they aren’t available every day. For that reason, you may need to find a few so you can figure out which ones fit your dates. You can add guests if it is more than just you.

Airbnb Experiences

Some tips when booking are to make sure your experience is being offered in a language you understand. Make sure you meet the terms. One I looked at says you must be able to walk six miles. Some experiences do not allow children. Keep in mind that for now, the experiences are only available in 15 cities. Once you have checked all that you are ready to book your experience.

The Experience

Eventually, I chose the Photographing London experience with Tim. Our meeting point was a chain called Pret a Manger, so I arrived a few minutes early to make sure I had the right spot and to grab a bottle of water. Soon Tim arrived and then slowly the other participants arrived. After brief introductions, Tim went over each of our cameras with us and some tips for shooting in manual. Then we were off!

Tim had a route planned for the evening and said we may not make it all the way depending on how long we stopped on the way. I don’t want to giveaway Tim’s route, but you can guess some of it by the shots. It was great to be with a bunch of other photography lovers and to have people to compare shots with. Tim gave tips all throughout and looked at everyone’s photos and gave suggestions.

I really loved the experience. Not only because I got some amazing shots, but this was the kind of tour I liked. There were about six of us plus Tim. I was not charged a single supplement and we were all from different places around the world! Some people were living in London but others were visiting. I would say the experiences are a great thing for the solo traveler. You get to do something at the normal cost and meet new people!

The Results

Here are just a few of the photos I came away with from the experience. I highly recommend doing Tim’s Photographing London if you are in town.

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences

Have you done any Airbnb Experiences yet?

 

Apartment, Hotel/Accommodation, Prep, Travel

5 Things I Look For In An Airbnb Apartment

June 8, 2015

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The other day a friend was asking me about Airbnb and I began to tell her what I look for in reviews, so I thought I would pass along what I look for in an Airbnb description and reviews, other than recent good reviews. (Above are the very cool keys for the apartment I stayed at in Rome!)

  1. Bed comfort – I have arthritis and I need a comfortable bed, otherwise there will be no sleeping. This isn’t always an obvious one in the reviews though and you may have to read a couple of pages of them. If the bed is truly horrid, most people mention it right away. If the bed is comfortable, they may not mention it at all. Look at the pictures to. Is it a real bed or a sofa bed or futon? You know what you can handle and what you cannot.
  2. Host responsiveness – This isn’t just how quickly they respond to your initial contact about a reservation, but how they respond if there are any issues during your stay. Personally, I haven’t had any issues, but you want to know that they will fix issues. Many people state if they have had issues and if they have been resolved. I once was looking at a place in Istanbul and all the reviewers said the host changed the apartment to a different one once they arrived. This was a huge red flag for me. I didn’t consider any of his listings.
  3. Shower size – This may sound silly, but showers in Europe are tiny. The Rome apartment I stayed had a small shower and people had commented on it. I thought well, I am small it won’t be a big deal. It was even a tight squeeze for me to get in and I had to step in sideways! If you are tall, look and see where the showerhead is located. Nothing worse than bending over to wash your hair.
  4. Location – Not as simple as it seems. Being near the tourist attractions can be more expensive in some cities. In Rome, I opted to be in Rome but further out from tourist things, but close to public transportation. I really enjoyed this as it felt like I actually lived in Rome. Being near good public transportation is key for me, but you may want to be close to the action and walk. You should keep in mind how much transportation from your location will cost, as it doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on transportation and save money on the accommodation. If you are unsure about the location, contact the host and look at what the reviewers are saying too.
  5. Noise – Remember you are staying in an apartment with neighbors that if they are loud there is probably nothing you can do about it. Not that this doesn’t happen in hotels too. Sometimes street noise is also a factor and not much you can do about it. I have seen several listings for lovely places, but everyone has complained about the noise. Now when I travel, I always bring earplugs!

Sometimes you will see recent negative reviews and I always consider those a warning sign to stay away. However, sometimes the negative reviews are quite old. Look to see if the host has responded and see what more recent people have to say. In the beginning of some being new to Airbnb, they may have made some mistakes and have learned from them. Also, remember you get a rating as a guest too so keep the place tidy and follow the rules!

Airbnb is giving out $25 credits for everyone that signs up through my link. I do get a $25 credit if you stay and $75 if you host, but nothing else and this was not given to me as incentive to write this up.