Previously, I wrote a blog post about my first time using Air BnB & the mini horror story that happened as a result. However, it didn’t stop there, readers! (Of course, knowing me & my luck.)
During that same study abroad trip last summer, my friends and I also traveled to Dublin, Ireland for a long weekend. While we were there, you guessed it: we used Air BnB.
I want to give a positive shoutout to Air Bnb first: Some of my friends lucked out with an amazing place with a guy who cooked them breakfast and made them delicious tea. I was jealous.
My group booked a flat right outside of downtown, and there wasn’t much to complain about. It was clean (except a huge bag of garbage in the kitchen cupboard, but we’ll overlook that…), we had the place to ourselves, there was wifi and plenty of space to sleep. It wasn’t what our friend’s place was, but it would do. It was just what we needed for the weekend, and close enough that we could walk into Dublin.
We went out that first day on a bus tour that went through Ireland (travel post about that soon!? it was awesome) and came back extremely tired and ready to freshen up. When we went to open our door to the flat, the door wouldn’t unlock. Minutes later, after trying all of the keys plenty of times, fear began to creep in. We couldn’t call the owner because we couldn’t get a strong enough wifi signal, and it was getting dark.
So, there we were. Stuck in Dublin, without a way to contact the owner, with some of our valuables left inside the flat (example: I stupidly left my passport inside), wondering how we were going to survive. Okay, that’s a bit dramatic, but you know how it is when you’re in a foreign country and locked out of your Air BnB, without phone service, without your passport to leave with, possibly stuck there forever…right?!
Did the owner give us the wrong key? Did they change the lock on us? Was our stuff stolen inside?
It’s hard to not think of all of that when you’ve honestly got an overreactive imagination like I do. It was probably nothing, but to me, it was the almost-ending of the world.
By then, it was high time we got someone else involved. I mean, we were not about to sleep on the streets, right!?
We found a security guard roaming the streets, who eventually steered us to the police station. I’d never had any interactions with the police in the States, let alone in Ireland, so it was definitely a first. The police-lady who helped us had to call the owner and explain to her what had happened.
Apparently, she was about an hour away and had to drive all of the way back to let us in, but I was not about to feel bad for this! After my last experience, who knows what she could have been hiding or what sketchiness could’ve occurred while we were gone.
She eventually got there and opened our door for us. She explained that there was a dead bolt we had accidentally locked, which we did not have a key to, and that’s why we were locked out. What she forgot to mention, though, is that she never told us about any dang dead lock before.
I could tell she was very annoyed with having to let us into the flat, but girl! Stand in the mirror and reflect that annoyance back on your own self.
My question is how do you forget to tell someone about a dead bolt that would lock them out? It seems like important information, especially if she didn’t want to drive all the way to unlock it for us. I’ll never know what her thought process was, but it’s made me a little skeptical.
Throughout both of my experiences, I can see there is definitely a type of person who uses Air Bnb to make money, not caring what the experience is like for their guests.
That is why, ladies and gentlemen, it’s super important to read reviews that people leave. If a person has no reviews or ratings, it’s probably in your best interest to steer clear of that person. This is, of course, advice that’s important to use with anywhere you’re staying, not just Air Bnb.
This company clearly does its best to be transparent about what kind of a place you’re getting, but you need to remember: there’s no way for them to know everything. It’s your job to weed through the places and people to find something reliable. Look at all the information, not just the pictures and the prices.
I believe stories like this really set Air Bnb apart. And for as many bad stories as there are, I know there are way more happy endings. It’s a different experience than staying in a hotel, but that’s what makes it so popular!
Now I’m curious…do these two stories scare you away from trying Air Bnb, or are you willing to take that risk and possibly have a great experience?! Comment below and let’s talk about it,