Philippines,  Travel

My First Airbnb Experience – Airbnb in Cebu

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It’s been a few years since I’ve heard about Airbnb. I have created my Airbnb account since 2016. While I was planning my one week in Japan trip, I actually looked for a great place to stay in the Airbnb app. In the end, we decided to just book the Infinity Hotel Dome Osaka. It was one of the most unique hotels we’ve stayed at. There was no staff and have a self-check-in and self check-out system. It sounds a bit complicated but it was not. They will email you all the details you need to know before your trip. My favorite part about it is that it looks like a Japanese apartment which made it a memorable experience for us. It is a similar experience to Airbnb but the only difference is we have booked it through booking.com. This 2020, I finally decided to try my first Airbnb experience

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First Airbnb Experience

I’ve always been hesitant to book a place through Airbnb. I’ve heard so many Airbnb horror stories that I did not want to risk it. I always want a stress-free trip as much as possible. Even if I always find several great places with several great reviews in Airbnb, I still prefer booking a hotel. However, on our recent trip, I finally decided to try it out and had my first Airbnb experience in Cebu. I’ve always liked how you can find so much more affordable accommodation in Airbnb rather than hotels.

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One of the reasons why I prefer booking a hotel at booking.com is because they offer free cancellation. I have used their free cancellation option a lot of times when our trip to Korea was canceled and when we needed to change the dates for our trip to Shanghai. Airbnb does not have a free cancelation option so when you book, you must be sure of the travel dates.

Airbnb in Cebu

We booked with Angel. Her condo unit is at Avenir Condominium. The location is perfect since it is a walking distance to IT Park and Business Park.

Room

Airbnb in Cebu

The first thing that came to my mind when I first saw the room was that it looked better in real life than the photos. The room was so big and spacious and it can accommodate up to four people. The check-in time was anytime after 2 P.M. We were arriving in Cebu at 6 A.M, I have messaged the hosts asking if they have storage space to store our luggage before check-in time. The host was really responsive, she told me that as much as they want to accommodate my request, she cannot store our luggage before our check-in time.

First Airbnb Experience

Fortunately, another great option is to go to the traveler’s lounge in SM City Cebu. We have 2 cabin-sized luggage and one big backpack and we only paid 50 PHP (1 USD) to store our things. Aside from luggage storage, they also offer services like showers, phone charging, massage chairs, and many more.

Airbnb in Cebu

Angel’s place did not have any closet but there was some space where you can hang your clothes. Several hangers were also provided. One of the things I liked about this place is there is also Netflix available. Angel also provides iron for clothes so no need to worry if the clothes have creases. There’s a small dining area as well where we can have some breakfast.

First Airbnb Experience

Kitchen and Bathroom

Angel’s place also has a small kitchen area. She provides a microwave oven and heater. It’s perfect to make our coffee in the morning and when we need to reheat our food. The utensils can be found on the cabinets.

Airbnb in Cebu

The bathroom was not too spacious nor it was too small. It’s just the right size. She also provided toiletries such as shampoo and toothpaste. There’s also a hairdryer in the bathroom which was really great.

Airbnb in Cebu

I really had a great time staying at Angel’s place and would stay here again on our next trip to Cebu. There are a lot of shopping malls and cafes near her place. I love the panoramic view of Cebu from the room. The wifi is really great as well. I really enjoyed my first Airbnb experience and I would definitely try renting apartments more on our future trips. It made our Cebu trip much more enjoyable and memorable.

Tips for First Airbnb Experience

If you are booking Airbnb for the first time, here are some things that you should know.

  1. Read the reviews of the host. By reading the reviews of guests who stayed with the host, you will have an idea of what to expect. Try to check for the cancellation review. Some hosts cancel their guest booking months before their trip but some of them cancel just a few days before.
  2. As much as possible, try to look for superhosts. Angel was a super host so that is one of the main reasons why I booked her place. Superhosts have great reviews and highly rated by guests so you are assured that you won’t be scammed.
  3. Check for extra fees before booking. Most hosts charge service and cleaning fee. Most hosts hire cleaners to make sure that the place is in the best condition for guests.
  4. Make sure to message your hosts if you have any inquiries or concerns. You can ask them if they provide toiletries, or if there is wifi, etc.
  5. Lastly, do not message the host outside of the Airbnb app. If you encounter a problem with the Airbnb place you booked, you can always report it to Airbnb. For example, the hosts said that the place has fast wifi and a spacious room. If the place is not what the host promised, you can report it to Airbnb and the message in the app can be used as evidence. Airbnb can give you a refund depending on the situation so that it is fair to both hosts and guests.

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First Airbnb Experience

Have you tried Airbnb? How was your experience with Airbnb? Are you also hesitant to book your first Airbnb experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments πŸ™‚

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Ever since starting her travel blog on April 2019, Fae has loved taking photographs of new places and sharing them online. Now, in her 20s, take a peek in her life as she pulls you into a world of travel, food and lifestyle.

84 Comments

  • Ann

    I did hear a lot of horror stories too, before I booked my first one, I was quite hesitant at first but nowadays I find it quite nice to rent an apartment instead of just a hotelroom πŸ™‚
    But I still book just a room from time to time, it all depends on what kind of trip it is and who’s comming with me πŸ™‚

  • Matt Taylor

    That is really cool! The place looked really nice. I have never stayed in an Airbnb. Maybe someday I will stay in one. A great way to save a little money I think.

  • Anna Grunduls

    Hi Fae, thanks for sharing your tips for Airbnb bookings! We’ve booked an Airbnb stay once, it was a good experience. All the reasonably priced hotels in Budapest were already booked and my partner only got a few days free from work, so we had to be flexible. I wish I had your list back then, because if I read the reviews, I would have known that there’s no fridge in the kitchen, which was weird. Other than that, my love and I really enjoyed our stay. He actually proposed to me during that trip!

    • Kelly

      These are great tips. I’ve never used a Airbnb before either. I have heard so many scams lately. It’s good to know about the app and communicately directly through there as well. I never would have thought of that.

  • Sarah

    When it comes to reviews, I kind of stopped reading them, as quite a few are fake online. Especially on Amazon. I think it is crucial to only search for those amenities you need rather than are included because in the end, you don’t know what you are actually paying for. Your experience seems crystal clear and really proves it is crucial to do research before actually utilizing the Airbnb service. Great blog. I really enjoyed reading it.

  • Cris

    The place looks amazing. For some reason, I’m holding back from airbnb. I don’t know why. I definitely appreciate your tips. Maybe it’s time for me to try it out.

  • Stephanie

    It’s funny you say you’d always rather do a hotel, because I was just telling a friend yesterday that I don’t know if I’ll ever stay in a hotel again! We use VRBO or AirBNB for every vacation. I like the extra space, usually having a kitchen, and it’s much easier with kids. I try to find one that they get their own bedroom so we don’t have to have all the lights out when they go to sleep like we would in a hotel.

  • Patrice Rutledge

    Lots of good tips here for first-timers with Airbnb, particularly verifying extra fees. We once had a surprise with that. The place you stayed at looks nice; always good to have your own kitchen.

  • Michelle

    I am so glad that your first Airbnb experience was a positive one. It looks like you had a great apartment. Thanks for sharing your experience and your tips.

  • Lashunta

    I’ve never stayed at an air b&b but I keep hearing about the great deals price wise. I may need to check it out. Glad your experience was a good one.

  • Jeph

    I never try Air BNB yet but I am looking forward to experience it in my upcoming travels! Looking forward to a better experience than what I already had with booking.

  • Jenn - The Solivagant Soul

    I had my first AirBnB experience about 5 years ago but I never went back to it. It was great, but so in the middle of nowhere that I did not feel like repeating. In any case, I booked a place where someone actually lived so the experiences were very different. Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    We too often choose hotels. But we have tried AirBNB when we are visiting family (to have space) or if we have a longer stay and want a kitchen. Always great when the place looks better in real life than in pictures. And wonderful when the host is responsive and flexible. Good tip about looking for super hosts. They have the experience and usually great ratings. Lately the extra fees have been turning me off of AirBNB. The night rate always ends up being about 50% more after all fees are in. Glad your first experience was a good one.

  • Fatima Torres

    You can find good ones, just as there are other ones that aren’t the best experience. We have one in our neighborhood that everyone likes to stay it. It’s all about the accommodations, I’ve found.

  • Bhushavali N

    Yeah! I get you! Even I created my Airbnb account years ago but kept postponing my first possible stay and only did it last year and then I was so smitten that I did twice again last year! Good to know about traveler’s lounge for your baggage. I used Bagbnb, a similar service in one of my trips.
    This house looks neat, clean and awesome! Good to know that it was spacious and its walkable for the main areas.

  • Becky

    Great tips! I’ve personally never stayed in an Airbnb before. My main reason I guess why I haven’t is that I always travel by myself so I prefer to stay in Hostels so that I can meet new people. I think if I was traveling with a group of friends, however, I would probably give Airbnb a try πŸ™‚

  • littlemisadvencha

    there are a lot of good AirBnb homes here. you might want to check Abaseria and Horizons 101 next time. <3 i prefer renting these places over hotels. these are what i recommend to my family when they visit here.

  • Farrah

    I’ve never been to Cebu but I’d love to go there someday! I’m glad you had a nice stay! I’ve used Airbnb a bunch in the past and thankfully it’s worked out okay so far–I’m always kinda cautious though because I’ve also heard a number of horror stories!

  • Krizzia Scollon

    I love Airbnb’s! They’re actually more cost effective than hotels and so far, I haven’t experienced anything horrible yet. I haven’t been to Cebu in a looooong time and would love to go back there again!

  • daniel

    Great post!! I have never used an Airbnb for me personally but it sure seems a great way to integrate with the local culture. That is so great that you have had a nice time, however, most of the people I know didn’t have a really great time for some reason. I would love to give it a try in the future.

  • Ami Bhat

    Seems like a very convenient and clean place. Since I have never used Airbnb, did not know the concept of superhosts and hosts. I have been dilly dallying about booking one shortly and am sure your first experience tips are going to help me get the best deal. Thanks for the caveat about not contacting them outside of the app too. I might have succumbed to it in the quest of being friendly.

  • Yina

    I love AirBnB, it is what a mostly use when traveling for a long time especially if I can cook! I do have to admit that not every place was super tidy. I agree, it really makes a difference when choosing a Super Host!

  • Erica

    Great post! I love renting Airbnbs because I travel really slowly and like having the ability to cook for myself and have a little bit more room/privacy. I’m glad your first experience was a positive one! I agree that it is so, so important to read the reviews carefully. It always takes me much longer to book and Airbnb than a hotel because I go through every single review, and if there is anything that seems even a bit off, I won’t book it.

  • Ha

    OMG your Airbnb looks stunning! I love how tidy and bright the room is, as well as the lovely kitchen. I’m reading your post while sitting on my Airbnb room haha! Love your tips. Checking the reviews and hidden fee is definitely important.

    • Matia

      I’m always into looking for reviews every time I want to avail any services or products online. Who doesn’t want a stress free transaction right? I never tried Airbnb before butbIwoild like to consider them in my next travel.

  • menty

    that looks like a clean and simply airbnb setting, very standard! however, personally i love airbnb’s great options of special stays, maybe next time you can have a try?
    those special ones with special design or setting :DDDD

  • Shreya Saha

    I love Airbnb very much because of its convenience and pricing. You have shared your journey of Airbnb at Cebu very nicely, I would like to share few points those you also pointed out like before heading you should check the reviews and also check cancel review because there maybe some host gives falls or paid reviews. Thanks for sharing your experience with travelers which are really helpful.

  • Brian

    Glad you had a good experience using AirBnB. I’ve only used them a couple of times and it’s been a mixed experience. It’s nice having a few more options to choose from, but I generally prefer staying at hotels where you have more services available to you. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Cat Lin

    I had mixed experiences with Airbnb. I’m glad your experience with your first Host sounds great. Well, the place looks really nice and clean. And having access to Netflix seems a good feature!

  • Rudy @ Backpack & Snorkel

    I have never stayed in an airbnb. A few years ago I considered it for a trip in the US and found that individual rooms were significantly cheaper than hotel rooms but entire apartments were the same price or more expensive than a hotel room. Since we usually stay in one location for only 1-3 nights and then move on to another city and we like to try local cuisine, I did not find enough incentive to rent an apartment with airbnb.

  • Jay Artale

    I’m always a little nervous when I book through AirBnB because of all those horror stories, but so far we’ve been lucky and always had great stays at the accommodation we’ve booked. But they’re not my number one option for booking places. If I find a place on AirBnB I usually look to see if it’s listed on another site too.

  • Yukti Agrawal

    Your first AirBnB experience looks good, though I have heard many mixed reivews about AirBnB. Luckily you got nice stay in Cebu. Good to know that they even provided you with Netflix.

  • Hol

    I’ve never stayed in an Air Bnb but I’ve contemplated it a few times. Thank you for the tips because there are a bunch I would have never thought about like checking other local listings.

  • Krysten Quiles

    I’ve used Airbnb a few times and generally enjoy it. However what bothers me are all the extra fees tacked on. Like… just be up front about how much a place costs a night WITH the fees so I don’t get thrown off when I’m searching. It drives me nuts!

  • Bridget

    These pictures are amazing! Loving the peaceful vibe πŸ’š I have also heard some pretty terrible stories from air b&bs but this post gives me hope that in the future I can try one out. We don’t travel a lot right now with little kids but we plan too in the future! Love your tips they will be helpful when I do start looking into more travel!

  • Joanna

    Your AirBnB looks like a proper luxurious hotel room! It’s nice that you had such a great experience! I usually don’t use this platform because of all the horror stories. Traveling alone most of the time as well makes more sense to me to book a hotel.

  • Di

    We’ve used AirBnb a couple of times, and it’s been hit and miss. Some places were so much smaller than the photo showed. We’ve definitely kept the information of the ones we’ve used, and would use again though.

  • Kay

    Looks like you done well choosing an Air BNB, very clean and minimalist looking. We want to go the Philippines will look into Air BNB too, never tried before?

  • Hannah Marie

    Philippines has many attractive tourist spots. People there are really kind and hospitable. Maybe Airbnb is not bad after all. This is really nice.

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