I understand that my children are teenagers so we have to find a room big enough for four adults or book two rooms, one for parents and the other one for our children. Hotel rooms in Japan are usually smaller compared to the ones in other countries with the similar price and standard. When I started to find accommodations for our next trip to Japan, first I checked the famous www.agoda.com and www.booking.com. I usually book our hotel rooms from those websites and so far I have good experience with them. However, to find hotel rooms in Japan for the four of us within our budget and in good location was challenging.
Having visited other blogs, I came to know about www.airbnb.com which is a website that listed private accommodation all over the world ranging from a shared room, private room or entire home. I am interested to use Airbnb because they have a lot of alternatives in terms of the location and price. These are steps to use Airbnb services:
- Sign-up to www.airbnb.com. It is a standard sign-up procedure that will only take 10 minutes of your time.
- Decide the type of accommodation that you are interested: shared room, private room or entire home. As I will go with my family, I chose to stay in an entire home in order to get better privacy.
- Decide the location within your destination. I know that I will use train for the local transportation during our holiday so I chose apartments which are near to the train station (my standard is maximum 10 minutes walking).
- Decide the budget. Airbnb has ‘price filter’ that you can use to focus your searching to the places that cost within your budget.
- Start searching.
- When you review a place, read carefully all of the house rules, facilities and all of the reviews from previous guests. Always remember that the people who listed their accommodation in Airbnb are not a professional in the hospitality industry. Don’t expect the same service standards as usually provided by hotels. If you are lucky enough to get a very kind, responsive and friendly host then consider it as a bonus.
- Check whether the accommodation is available on your planned dates.
- When you like a place, you can contact the host. This is also a way to check whether the host is responsive to your inquiry.
- Usually the host will give you ‘pre-approval’ with a deadline to finalise the payment.
- Don’t worry if you pass the deadline. If you pass the deadline but finally decide to choose that accommodation, you can check again whether it is still available.
- When you are sure with your choice, finalise the payment. It requires your credit card number. The owners of the accommodation that I chose use Euro for the payment but I can already see the calculation in my own currency: Rupiah.
- After you paid, the owner will give you more detailed information about the address, mobile number, map with direction to reach there, how to collect the key and so on. One of the owner even sent me the link to her youtube video on how to open her apartment locker to get the key to the apartment.
- There is an option to send automatic message to the other hosts that you have contacted to inform that you don’t need their accommodation anymore.
- Keep the correspondences with the owner. I did ask several other questions to the owners such as how to reach their place, possibility to do early check-in and so on.
Finally, I booked three accommodation via www.airbnb.com : 3-days in Otsuka, Tokyo, 3-days in Nishi-ku, Osaka and the last 2 days in Shibuya, Tokyo. All of these three places come with a free portable wifi included in the rental price! More stories on these three places will come later!