Airbnb.com: How to Rent an Apartment for Less than a Hotel

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We took a different route this week for our accommodations in Pittsburgh to visit Mary’s family. Instead of the Holiday Inn, where room prices were about $189 a night, we choose to rent an apartment for far less.

The service is called Airbnb.com, and it matches up people with spare bedrooms, unused apartments and even houses to give them a little income and give travelers a little more space.

On the website, it was easy to find an apartment right in the neighborhood of Shadyside, where we needed to be. After a quick payment of $206, which covered the rental rate of $70 per night plus a $21 fee for Airbnb, we got many emails from the firm and from the apartment owner who lives in Florida. When we didn’t show up the first night after staying an hour outside of the city unexpectedly, we got emails asking where we were!

The apartment was on the third floor and was simple–one bedroom, kitchen living, dining room and old fashioned bath. The few plugs that there were had two prongs, presenting a challenge for our phalanx of electronics requiring charges. We had originally planned a little get together with family and friends there, but after we saw the big long stairway and hear the loud creak of the wood floors, we decided not to have guests over.

For a three night stay, the apartment and the Airbnb service were perfect. Comfortable place to stay, not having to sleep on someone’s pullout couch, and a location just ten blocks from Dad’s house.