I’m an Introvert. My awesome husband is an unapologetic Extrovert, so naturally, to him the idea of an Airbnb was cool! He had stayed in one several months ago and was eager to repeat this for our trip to Savannah, Ga. This would be my first Airbnb. As an introvert, the idea of lodging in the home of a stranger who might want to actually communicate with me in person was unsettling. So, of course, we did what would make me cringe the most. We booked a room. With an Airbnb. In a bungalow. With a live-in host. Who works from home.
The hubby was impressed by the house’s location (walking distance to the historical district), previous guest reviews, the space description, and the price. Since it was a holiday weekend, the hotels were charging astronomically. My 5 yr old was impressed by the bunk bed situation.
So, of course, her vote was thumbs up. Since I couldn’t look like the crazy person that I am, I agreed. And with a “click” we were on our way to my first Airbnb.
Was this going to be like ride sharing I wondered? You know, with a bunch of unwashed people and quirky unwritten rules. Rules like:
- No eye contact for more than 3 seconds
- No handshaking or hugging
- Respect one’s personal space (3 ft body radius)
- No small talk
- No asking to share my food or drink (especially my wine)
Oh wait, those are my personal rules. Well anyway, my concern was that I would be denied the anonymity that staying in a hotel afforded. I love hanging out the “Do Not Disturb” sign with the knowledge that I will indeed, Not Be Disturbed. So, I did some online investigation.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is basically a facilitator that connects Hosts (homeowner) with the guest (that’s you). Space is rented in homes for guests seeking short term lodging. The “space” varies. It can be a single bedroom in an apartment. It can be several bedrooms in a house plus kitchen and living room access. Or it might be an entire house or condo! Depending on your needs and your wallet there are many options available. Some friends of mine rented an entire cabin in the mountains for a bachelorette party and had a great time! Me and my gang like to travel light. We simply needed a place to sleep at the end of the day, for 2 nights. So, we rented a single room with a bunk bed and access to the living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Pre-arrival Airbnb information
I must say, what the host did before we even got there was priceless to me. As an introvert, a lot of face-time with a stranger and having to inquire about rules and regulations shortly after arriving is not my cup of tea. That all of this was handled before we even booked the space was appreciated. In her posting, everything was described and explained in detail. From the interior decor and detail of all the spaces/amenities, we had access to, to the Savannah Open Container Law. A very detailed information section and a Q & A handled by computer calmed my nerves and set the tone by introducing rules, regulations, and boundaries straight away. Boundaries are everything to an Introvert.
The house was as described on the Airbnb website as part of a group of updated cottage row houses built in 1900. It was located on a quiet one-way street with FREE parking. And if you’ve ever stayed in Savannah you’d know how rare and coveted FREE parking is. The decor was very British throughout the house. The bathroom, however, was Moulin Rouge French chic. I loved it!
The online post boasted that the bungalow was within walking distance of historic downtown and Forsyth Park. The space was described as having a private interior locking bedroom including a twin over a full bunk bed (my daughter’s selling point). It went on to point out that there was full access to a connected living room w/ 55″ Roku TV and Amazon Echo (access to music/info). Wifi, Netflix, Prime Video and cable included. We also were promised access to a full kitchen and washer/dryer.
Our Airbnb Host
Our host was a single woman who owned the house and worked from home. I was a little leery of this as I imaged fighting off some nosey busybody with nothing to do but be around every corner and ask a billion questions. But she was nothing of the sort. She was in fact quite pleasant, friendly and reiterated that she would be as available or as invisible as we wanted.
That she was a knowledgeable host who could provide personalized advice to help make the most of our trip was the cherry on the top. This was by no means our first trip to Savannah. A certain handsome man proposed to a certain glamorous blogger here 17 years ago. But, this would be our first time as a family and getting some great advice about the neatest places to go from a Savannah local was a perk. I confess, the part she wrote about there being a fully stocked Coffee and Tea station was probably my tipping point. Give me a Keurig, medium roasted coffee pods and hazelnut creamer and I’m on board!
As the post stated, she did indeed have a plethora of maps and pamphlets on local attractions. But, talking to her and getting her personal take on all the interesting happenings around town was much better. She actually pulled out one of the maps she had available and explained the free bus system, circled/labeled great places to visit/eat/entertain the little person and more. She even offered to babysit if we wanted an adult’s night out!
The Verdict on my First Airbnb
I give Airbnb a big Thumbs Up! Our family trip to Savannah was more fun and was better than staying at a hotel. It was even better than staying in town with friends or relatives (Shhhhh). And certainly better than staying at our own house! This place was well stocked, organized and deep cleaned. True, there was no one behind the scenes cleaning our room or replacing the used towels with fresh ones. But, because this wasn’t our own house we treated it better and I was obsessed with leaving it all clean and orderly before we left out every time. That meant I always came back to a neat and tidy place. The OCD freak inside of me was giddy with delight!
So, if you have never used Airbnb, I highly recommend it. Just do your homework as with any similar situation. Make sure it’s in the right area, it’s good for your wallet and that the host’s reviews are favorable. I’m still not ready for a traditional B&B, but this recent trip, outside of my comfort zone, has given me a definite boost of confidence in my social interaction abilities. So much so, that we have just booked our next adventure using Airbnb in Denver, Co.
What do you think about staying at an Airbnb? Let me know what your thoughts are or add your own reviews in the comments below! I’d love to know if any other Introverts have tried an Airbnb and would you do it again?