During my recent trip to Goa for the International Film Festival, I wasn’t sure how many days I’ll be able to spend and didn’t book any accommodation. Took the booking apps for granted. Thanks to those apps which gave me a big soup in the last minute and made me to search for alternates.

Remembered one of my friend’s blog post about his recent Airbnb experiences, logged into the website. Registration procedure was little tedious especially the photo verification process. This entire process can’t be completed without installing the Airbnb app on your mobile.

After I logged in, narrowed down my search and zeroed on a particular property. There was an option to contact the host. Using which I messaged my host asking about the usual stupid questions. Although all details were listed on the website, was little reluctant to believe as we are already used to see the photos being shown in the booking websites and the apps vs reality.

I blocked the property for 24hours within which I should make the payment and confirm. However, there is no assurance that the blocking will wait for 24 hours as it will be showing available for others who search with the same parameters and if some one makes the payment then my chance of getting that property is lost.

As I was left with no other choice and having less than 24 hours made the payment and confirmed the booking. Once the booking is confirmed, I was able to see my host’s contact number and the host’s profile too.

Reached the property after sharing the locations on WhatsApp, excited to see the place which I had booked. VFM cannot be the suitable word to describe. Our host was also kind enough to guide us with the nearby food joints.

We had a private bath attached bed room, a shared living room and a kitchen. There were few other guests too staying in the same property. People woke up early morning, go for jogging, buy milk while returning and prepare their own tea. As the entire kitchen was accessible for the guests, the milk can be stored in the refrigerator. A guest cooked rice from the kitchen and ordered curry from Swiggy for his dinner and Maggi or Oats for his breakfast.

All these cooking stuffs were not my kind. Just used the refrigerator to drink cold water and the washing machine to wash my dress.

I now realised how true what ever my blogger friend mentioned about Airbnb. Felt if I had planned well based on Airbnb accommodation, I could have saved lots of money which I spent on coffee, dinner and breakfast and by carrying only hand baggage.

My initial booking for 2 days at that property was extended for about a week.
No wonder that Airbnb, the decade old tech-hospitality platform that started in 2008 in a flat in San Francisco, California, out of a necessity to pay rent, has now turned into one of the world’s largest platforms for accommodation. With 4.5 million properties across 81,000 cities and over 300 million guests.

Telling about my host, She’s from a Sainik family. A riffle shooter and a Physics researcher. She also teaches Physics for school kids around.

On a casual chat with my host, she briefed that the problem in India is that people won’t respect this as someone’s home and treat as a cheaper alternate to hotels and make the hosts to run around like the room service guys in hotels.

The newly launched Airbnb Experiences allows travellers to explore unique destinations by offering magical, handcrafted activities powered by locals.
In India, Goa is the second largest market for Experiences after New Delhi. Recognised as one of the fastest growing tourism markets in India, Goa holds a special importance for Airbnb. Only last year, the brand partnered with local insiders in the state to curate Airbnb’s Goa Insider’s Guide offering travellers a look at stunning homes spread across the state as well as unique ideas to authentically experience Goa ‘Like Locals’.

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