Day 12: Air BNB

Air BNB has been a valuable tool for us this trip. France and Spain are a lot more expensive than Indonesia or Vietnam, which has meant that this holiday has cost quite a bit more. By using Air BNB, we’ve saved a lot.

Air BNB hosts often offer great insight into ways to save money and know all the best local hotspots as well. Our first host, in Madrid, recommended one of the best tapas bars we visited. It was a great introduction to Spain!

Our host in Toulouse was also a lifesaver and money saver. When we had some car trouble, it was our Air BNB host I contacted. If it hadn’t been for Anna’s advice, we likely would have paid double for the repairs needed.

Small mechanics like St. Simon Automobile don’t come up on the first few pages of Google

Air BNB also offers many different lodging options. You can book a room in someone’s home, or book an entire apartment. Sometimes you will have flatmates, and sometimes you’ll have total and complete privacy. I always try to find options that give us a private bathroom. I can handle sharing an apartment with another guest, but I prefer to have my own shower.

Sometimes you get lucky and get a room with a view!

You can also book activities through Air BNB. Our second night in Spain was spent on a Tapas Crawl I learned about while looking for accommodations in Madrid. A couple of locals host a culinary tour. They’re self proclaimed foodies (like me!), so they knew all the best spots!

Pork belly and cheese! Talk about a good start to the night!

I booked with them through Air bnb and we spent the evening going from bar to bar, trying some of Madrid’s best snacks and drinks. It was one of the best things we’ve done on this trip so far!

Our group at the Tapas Crawl. It was such a well planned tour!!

Of course, things don’t always turn out as planned. We’ve had a bit of bad luck on the site as well, both with rooms and with activities.

When you see a half eaten pig’s leg on the street on your way into your Air BNB … It might be a bad sign….

Some problems aren’t a big deal. In Toledo we had a very complicated check in and terrible lighting in our room. It was all especially irritating because the price was so much higher in Toledo than it had been in Segovia or Avila.

Toledo: Overcrowded, Overpriced

Our worst experience to date has been in Montpellier. Our host is actually out of town, so she has a friend cleaning up for her between guests. This friend didn’t do the best job, and when you add that to the black mould on our walls, and the fact that she forgot to leave us toilet paper or clean towels, we’ve been pretty annoyed.

Dirty fridge
Mould is never fun

Worse yet was our problem with the bed. At one point last night, I rolled over and we heard something crack and fall. I moved a bit again and something else sounded like it was cracked too. We turned on the lights to investigate and discovered that this is an ongoing issue with the cheaply made bed frame. We’ll be dealing with the planks falling again tonight…

Paper towel has been stuffed into the ends, to try to keep the planks from falling out, but it doesn’t seem to help….

We haven’t had much luck in Montpellier with Air BNB actually. We also tried to book a vineyard tour, but the pick up location on the host’s page wasn’t correct, and he never told us. We arrived on time… He was somewhere else and left without us.

We went to an aquarium instead and did a bit of sight seeing. There’ll be more on that in my next post….

So, Air BNB, like everything else, can be flawed. Good hosts are helpful, friendly, welcoming and valuable resources. Bad hosts can have you driving around Montpellier at 10:30, looking for bath towels and toilet paper.

Thank goodness for Geant Casino! Luckily enough … They happened to be trying out a 24 hour format for 3 days when we happened to need towels at 10:30 at night!

For my Day 13 Post, I’ll be writing about our experience with the massive protests happening across France right now! Stay tuned!

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