My First Airbnb Experience in Oakland, CA

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I’ve known about Airbnb for a few years now, but haven’t gotten around to using it until my trip to San Francisco last year. After our trip to Seattle, my husband and I wanted to spend a week in sunny San Francisco, California thinking it would be great way to end our America trip. During our Agoda search for a nice, budget hotel in San Francisco’s city center, we were quite surprised by the results we found – boy, it was not good. As it turned out, almost all the budget hotels we came across for the ones in the city were too small, shabby, and overall just didn’t cut it for us. So we tried with Airbnb instead, which was something we have never done before. To be honest, I’ve always been a bit skeptical about Airbnb because of the stories I read about the risk and dangers of using this service, plus the idea of staying in a stranger’s home made me feel uncomfortable. However, after I saw the different listing of properties around San Francisco and Oakland, I pretty much knew right away that this time we had to rely on Airbnb if we wanted to have a nice, comfortable stay during our San Francisco trip.

We wanted to stay somewhere that was further out of San Francisco’s city center, but also close enough for us to conveniently commute back and forth

There were lots of cool and attractive properties dotted around San Francisco and Oakland area, which made it quite difficult for us to decide on which property to book! We wanted to stay somewhere that was further out of San Francisco’s city center, but also close enough for us to conveniently commute back and forth. Also, we wanted to book a property where we can have the entire space to ourselves, so we could truly enjoy the comforts of a private home.

We finally decided to book a property that was located in Temescal, Oakland – a hip and vibrant, multicultural neighborhood full of unique shops, restaurants, and cafes (sounds very much like my kind of neighborhood). Plus, commuting from the neighborhood to San Francisco is very easy with BART, the Bay Area’s subway system.

The property was listed as, ‘Cute & Quiet Apartment in Temescal, Oakland’, and the place was what I expected. The photos on the Airbnb site were accurate and the house/apartment was really warm and homely. Situated on a quiet residential street, the apartment was within walking distance to restaurants and cafes.

For $90.17 per night, we had the whole place to ourselves and we felt good every time coming back to this apartment after our day trips – it really felt like we were at home. The apartment came with the amenities promised like free Wifi, a comfortable bed, kitchen, heaters, wardrobe, bathroom, etc. The place didn’t have a TV, but we weren’t fussed with that because we were out everyday most of the time anyway.

This apartment is quite Kinfolk, don’t you think? Very Instagram-worthy

I was happy and beyond relief that our first experience with Airbnb was a great success. We stayed at this lovely home for a total of six nights with total cost of $773.91 – cleaning fee, service fee, and occupancy taxes included. During the time of our stay, we didn’t get to meet our host, but she was very friendly and was always reachable whenever we needed to get in touch with her. This peaceful apartment had an excellent rating and many positive reviews, and I could see why! I really hope we’ll find other amazing Airbnb listings like this one for our future travels!

A Few Things to Keep In Mind When Using Airbnb:

– You should always make sure to check the reviews and ratings of the host. Remember that these properties are basically other strangers’ homes, so you need to be more cautious. I remembered reading each reviews one by one to really make sure that the host is trustworthy. If the host has at least 3-4 positive reviews, I think that’s a good sign.

– Do a bit of research about the neighborhood where the property is located. Is it a safe, walkable neighborhood? What’s the neighborhood known for? Is it close to the main attractions, or does it have any good restaurants and shops around?

– It doesn’t hurt to do Google Street View of the actual location of the property you’re about to book. Make sure the place really exists! Trust me, because we once had an incident where we booked a hotel on Agoda for our New York trip, and it turned out that that hotel didn’t exist! It was a total nightmare.


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