It has been a full month in Italy, and we basically live in BnB. After getting to know airbnb, I have been using it as my source for accomodation. Being away from home, it does not feel great at hotels, esp on an extended period of time.
Airbnb provides a very good platform for individuals to lease their property to tourists. I like to stay in bnb for it is a lot more spacious and the price of bnb is similar to that of backpacker hostels in Europe and offer much better quality of living.
In Italy, even for the same room, the charges for one guest and two guests are different, actually quite different. Even if we look for dorms that take 6 people, it will still cost 25 euro each.
When I was searching for bnb, I use 60 euro as my target price ceiling and look for private rooms with shared bathroom with host. Some of them have private bathroom as well. The use of kitchen is also a must, we almost always cook our own breakfasts and dinners. Apart from saving money, Europe just cannot compare to Hong Kong for the variety of dining options and they are all expensive. Apart from pasta, we will, depends on what we can get from the supermarket, cook something slightly different, such as simply stir fry vegetables.
Some properties are solely for guests, i.e. The host does not live there. If we only have two, you either can find a small studio apartment or you may have an apartment with multiple rooms that are all for guests. In that case, you share the public area with other guests.
Personally, I prefer to stay in a real bnb, and live in the guest room of the host's own apartment. We love to share the public area with the host and chit chat with them. This feels like you are visiting and stay with your friends.
Moreover, an apartment that has someone living in is different. The hosts would not mind you using the consumables such as seasonings in the kitchen. They also welcome you to eat their biscuits and pasta, whatever you find in the kitchen. That is different from living in a clean but empty apartment.
In an apartment with the hosts, the facilities are also less bourned to have problems and problems can be fixed on the spot. We saw some friends living in a whole apartment and had various issues with the facilities. We also had experienced wifi issues and the host was no where to be found. But of course, if a family travels together, renting a whole apartment is the best option.
Lastly, we always check comments of other guests. You get a lot of information which the host may not have mentioned in the listing. Some apartments which appears nice but have no reviews … we avoid them also. Just wondering people who stayed there never survived .... Haha!!
I hope you find this useful. Happy travelling!!