I’ve been reading about Airbnb for over a year, and now I finally had a chance to try it. It was a totally positive experience! Since I’m living a “location-flexible life” I’m interested in easy ways to find short-term housing. Airbnb seems like a good solution.
With Airbnb, you can choose to rent a room in someone’s house or apartment (while they are living there), or an entire house or apartment (without them there). For my one-week stay in Mexico City, I wanted to stay with locals, so I could get advice about how to get around and what to do in Mexico City. Renting a room in Edgar’s apartment was perfect for that.
I chose his place for several reasons:
– He had many positive reviews from previous guests.
– The neighborhood was Condesa, which I had read many good things about.
– From the photos, it looked like his place was modern, clean, and uncluttered. This turned out to be true.
– I wrote to one other Airbnb host who had a listing that looked good, but she never replied. Edgar replied to my questions right away.
From the beginning, it was a good experience. The location was very convenient, with a metro stop only four blocks away. There are many cafes, restaurants, stores, and a couple of parks within walking distance. A very pleasant neighborhood!
His apartment has three bedrooms and two baths. It was clear from his listing that if a guest was renting the other room, that I would share the bathroom with them. The layout of his place is good for privacy and there is a lock on the bedroom door if you want to lock it while you’re out. Each bedroom has its own little balcony that you can open to get fresh air and step out on to feel the weather. No smoking is allowed in the apartment and it’s easy for those who do smoke to go out on the balcony from the bedroom or living room. His third-floor apartment is reached by a private elevator, directly into the unit.
One small problem happened on my first day: the key to the outside building door didn’t work for me! Edgar had already left for work in the morning and when I was going out, I tried the key to make sure I could get back in, but I just couldn’t get it to work. I sent him a quick email and decided to go out anyway, figuring I could stay out all day until he came home from work.
Luckily, he responded quickly and told me about a button I could push to open the garage door. I never found the button, but a neighbor happened to be coming out when I came back and she let me in. It all worked out in the end because he gave me his extra garage door opener, which worked fine for the rest of the week. The door lock needed to be repaired.
Another small thing turned out not to be a problem. After I unpacked and settled into the room, I realized that I had booked the other of his two rooms, which has a full-length mirror. When I told him, he suggested moving the mirror into my room, because the room I was already in has the more comfortable mattress. So that’s what he did… it was nice!
For the first two nights I was the only guest. On the third night (and for the rest of my stay), two nice guys from Venezuela came to stay in the other room. At first I thought, bummer, I’ll have to share the bathroom, but it all worked out fine. They were very sweet, considerate, and we ended up having many fun conversations about what to see and do in Mexico City. We talked about iPhone apps and shared photos on Instagram. It was great! They were really fun to talk to.
Since my Spanish is still elementary, I appreciated that Edgar spoke English so well. The two guests from Venezuela also spoke basic English and it was fun switching back and forth between Spanish and English and talking about cultural differences and language learning.
I especially appreciated that he kept the place so clean and free of clutter! I used the blender to make a smoothie for breakfast every morning, kept some food in the fridge, and was free to use the kitchen throughout my stay. They even had a washer and dryer in the unit, so I was able to do a load of laundry. All very convenient.
I really enjoyed staying with locals for my first trip to Mexico City. It was a great way to feel comfortable in a new city and make some new friends.
I have two more stays coming up in the near future on Airbnb. Both of those are for entire apartments, instead of a room in someone’s home. I’ll report on those later. I am hopeful that Airbnb will continue to grow and be successful because it’s a good solution for short-term rentals for digital nomads like me!
If you’re thinking of trying Airbnb, either as a guest or as a host, sign up via this link and you’ll get $25 off your first stay. I also recommend reading the articles below, to learn more about it.
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