A first timer’s Airbnb experience in Rome

Monday, June 06, 2016

When I tried Airbnb in 2013, it wasn’t as big and accepted as it is today. I was traveling alone for the first time in a foreign country and for some people, using Airbnb was a bad idea. What made me do it?

1. Budget
Let’s be practical, it was cheaper than a hotel. Location is a big factor when I pick my accommodations and the hotels I liked were either within budget but ridiculously sad looking or way above my budget but pretty. I wasn’t in the right mindset to try a hostel at that time either.

2. Safety 
Like a lot of people, I was worried about staying in someone else’s home. What if he’s a serial killer? When I was searching for a host, I wanted a woman. I was simply more comfortable with the idea. Imagine the profile of the host you like and use it as your guide. I made sure to find hosts that had reviews and photos that were verified. The challenge with Airbnb is it varies per host. So it is beyond vital for you to pick a good host.

3. Live like the locals
This last one would depend on your host. I was fortunate to have a host who was welcoming and treated me like family. She gave me a lot of tips for sightseeing, transportation, food, and shopping.

I was spoiled because my first ever Airbnb host Barbara was fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better experience. Here are some of the reasons why I love Barbara and her place.

1. She is a brilliant host. 
She graciously answered all my inquiries even before I booked my stay. When I arrived she took the time to chat with me and on my first night she prepared dinner for me. She was utterly kind to me and for that I am grateful. 

Barbara is a musician by profession. Imagine this, on a beautiful Italian morning classical music was blasting in the house while I had this fantastic view. How freaking Italian can you get?!? I loved it! That’s the kind of vibe you get when you stay at her apartment. 

2. Your expectations will meet the reality. 

The photos in the listing speak the truth. Her home is beautiful and spotless. 

3. I had enough space in her apartment. 

The room is big enough for all of your things. It’s not at all cramped and you have your own balcony to enjoy the view. You have your own space to just be.

4. Strategically located. 
The Colosseum is a good 10-15 minute leisurely walk from the apartment. There is a bus stop just a few steps away from her apartment and the metro is within walking distance as well.

I loved spending my time in Rome in Barbara’s home and I would pick it all over again just to reconnect and meet her again. 

The Rome leg is part of the 2013 Birthday Trip. Check out the itinerary here. The rest of my Rome posts are here:
Part 1: Tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palestine Hill
Part 3: Campo de Fiori
Part 4: Tips for visiting the Vatican
Part 5: Porta Portese Flea Market
Part 6: A free tour of Trastevere
Part 7: The Free Rome Walking Tour 

Part 8: 14 Free Things to do in Rome
Part 9: Rome Travel Guide

For other hotel options in Rome, click here

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