Trying to organise accommodation for over New Years Eve in Sydney has been a mission and a half.
By the time I fly out to Sydney I wont have seen George for about five months, so we thought it would be nice to stay somewhere that would allow us to relax and reconnect. I highly doubt a busy hostel would provide this so I suggested that we look on airbnb.
A few friends from work had booked places to stay using this site and they highly recommended it as a cheaper alternative to big hotels in city centres. Around New Years Eve we even found that the hostel prices were expensive in Sydney.
For those that have not heard of airbnb, it is a site that allows individuals to list their spare rooms or entire properties online for people to stay in. The length of stay all depends on each individual listing. Some hosts prefer long lets whereas others are happy to accept one night stays. I think the idea behind the site is great as it allows people to easily rent out rooms, within their homes, to make some extra money.
I signed up and created a profile, similar to creating any social media account. Once this was completed, I started to search for some places within Sydney. You can use different filters such as price range to make your search more specific to your needs and you can view the location of each listing on a map.
I found the map view very helpful because one of our key criteria was the distance from the harbour area. We plan to tick off the New Years Eve fireworks from the bucket list and general common sense indicates that public transport will be a nightmare/none existent and taxi fares will be very expensive, hence why we wanted somewhere within working distance.
Over a number of days George and I messaged many listings with a friendly message explaining that we were interested in staying in their homes. So far, all the interactions with people on the site have been very positive and helpful. Even the people who no longer had vacancies for the dates we needed, offered us luck in our search or advice on where to watch the fireworks.
After many questions had been asked and answered by various people from the site we finally made our first airbnb reservation with a lady named Kerri. Her description of herself and her home sounded lovely and the photographs were very inviting.
The place reminds me of a country farm house with rustic wooden countertops and quaint decoration. In one of the photos you can see a porcelain dog statue sat by the fireplace. I think these types of things add character and I cannot wait to find out if the dog has a name.
We managed to secure the booking for £51 for the room per night which was cheaper than some of the hostels.
I am really looking forward to being able to relax and explore the surrounding area with George. I am hoping to feel like this place is a home away from home where we can cook meals and do all the things we used to do together before George left the UK.
I will no doubt blog about how the stay unfolds so if you are interested in using airbnb look out for my opinion on the whole experience a few months down the line.
If you have used airbnb I would welcome your comments about your experience and what you think of the site and if anyone has questions for me about the booking process I am happy to answer them.