As I am flying back home from Iceland, I am looking back on my first experience with Airbnb. Iceland is a pretty small country as far as tourism infrastructure goes. They are currently building at a rapid pace, but it is so hard to keep up with an 8.3% increase year after year in tourists.
As a traveller, I have very certain and peticular tastes when it comes to certain things. I am very picky about trying to stay in US chain hotels. I am top tier elite in Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood properties. Since there is none of these chains in Iceland (Marriott just started to build a hotel in Reykjavik), I looked at trying to stay at the Hilton Nordica. Those thoughts were quickly smashed as they wanted about $529 per night during our stay. I then remembered that Icelandair has their own chain of hotels! Getting in contact with someone was no small task, as their only number was a direct line long distance to Iceland. After finding an email address to inquire as to if they give out travel industry discounts, I was greeted with an email in the morning stating that they did at 30% off the best rate! This did help bring down their cheapest rate to about $143 a night, a bit pricey for me, but way more doable than at the Hilton.
This is where Airbnb came into play. I have seen the horror stories in the media about it, but I was curious to see what was out there. There are a couple of options to look for either a room in an apartment/house, a whole apartment, or a whole house. I went with looking for a whole apartment or whole house with the option of looking only at places that allowed an instant booking. I quickly found a small studio apartment for rent for, no joke, $50 a night! I thought this was a mistake! Nope! The total was $112 for both nights! Ah, but I got smart! Since I had an account already and was not eligible for a $25 discount since I did not join off a referral, my wife signed up with a referral code and booked it! So now we were paying $87 total for both nights! $43.50 a night! Amazing!
Once we booked the apartment, our host reached out to us and was amazing thru the whole process. She asked us when we were arriving and trying to accommodate us with her departing guests from the day before. The downer part was that the other guests were not leaving til 11am, so we had to stick with the noon check in time, which is rough coming in on a 645am redeye flight! After milling about Reykjavik for a couple of hours and ending up cluelessly paying $55 for breakfast (dang exchange rates!), we finally showed up at the apartment. The apartment was attached to the house where the host lived, but had a separate entrance and no connection to the main house. The apartment was very small, and had no TV, but did have a full kitchen which we used a lot due to the prices of eating out in Iceland. The host knew that we had an infant with us too. She also has a child about the same age as her, so she provided a baby crib, and some toys for her to play with which I thought was a very nice touch. Free WiFi was provided by the host too, so there was a way to kill time at the apartment and have “background noise”.
All in all, we had a great time and the apartment was as advertised and expected! If you want to give Airbnb a try, use my coupon code! You get $25, I get $25! https://www.airbnb.com/c/averdoorn3?s=8
Until next time…..