This was not our first rodeo. We have used Airbnb a bajillion times at this point. In all honesty, I knew better. There were HUGE red flags that I ignored. I was looking for something in Playa Del Carmen that was cheap, downtown, and walkable to the beach. When this Airbnb listing popped up saying it could fit 4 people, I booked without reading all the details and giving it more thought. That might have been fine for a few nights but not for a month. Turns out it only had ONE bed. The other two people were to sleep on an air mattress.
Also, it had NO air conditioning! Now, in certain parts of Mexico that is okay. However, in the Riviera Maya, that is a death sentence. Maybe I am exaggerating just a bit but it is as hot as the fiery pits of hell in Playa Del Carmen.
The closer we got to our trip, the more anxious I got about this Airbnb. I was so paranoid, I called Airbnb to try and get out of it but with their long-term policy, I couldn’t cancel. If I did, I would lose the entire $694 I paid.
I tried desperately to think of a way to get out of it. One morning before our trip, I noticed the Airbnb host listed another house with two beds and air conditioning. It would actually be cheaper for the month. I quickly wrote her and asked if I could switch. She said sure but it would be $260 more! I told her about the price being lower and she said that was an error on Airbnb’s part. It was actually a higher price.
I am pretty sure she knew I was desperate. We decided to talk off of Airbnb. There we worked out a deal so we could both get out of needing to pay Airbnb fees. THIS WAS A BIG MISTAKE! Once you go outside of Airbnb, you lose their protection.
I canceled the first place on Airbnb and then sent the host 260 more dollars through PayPal for this new place. She got to pocket the money from the place I canceled plus the money I sent through Paypal.
We arrived at this new Airbnb the next day. Our first impression was that the place looked super unique. However, we quickly started to see a lot of things wrong with it. The kitchen area was janky. I thought something was surely going to catch fire.
The nonstop construction was unbelievably loud.
Even with air conditioning, that was actually a separate charge, the place had a damp feeling.
Even more so, the place seemed like a dark cave.
I was in for the surprise of my life when a mouse started running around the room and even more so when I took the fitted sheet off my bed to discover the nastiest mattress I had ever seen in my life. Jump over to this YouTube video to see it. You be the judge. Is that not the nastiest mattress you have ever seen?
Eating was out of the question when I saw droppings of some sort in the cooking and eating utensils. Did I mention the cockroach I saw the first night?
We tried to stay which is why we hung in there for 3 nights but eventually I had my travel agent friend find me a luxury resort nearby to relax at for a week. Definitely not our typical way of travel but much needed.
I think I have finally learned my lesson with these kinds of places on Airbnb. Actually, our resort stay ended this morning and we are in our new Airbnb that we absolutely love! Here are 4 things I did differently with this booking.
1.Searched for a Super Host
Superhost go above and beyond to get this distinguished rating. You are almost guaranteed an amazing stay if you book a place with a super host. When I saw that this new place had a super host, I knew we were going to have a great stay!
I was first drawn to our new Airbnb by the amazing photos listed. Typically, great photos where you can see everything clearly is a really good sign. Crappy photos are a sign to run away!
One of the first signs that something was going to be wrong with the nightmare Airbnb was the fact that the host took forever to respond. Sometimes over a week or more to answer any questions I had. However, this super host responded to everything on the same day and he is in another country.
It’s all in the review. Typically, if there are a ton of great reviews, you are not going to have any issues at all A host does not get to see what a guest wrote about their place until after they write a review for the guest and vice versa. It keeps everything honest and fair. The Airbnb we are currently in had over 50 five star reviews.
Time To Save Money!
Now that you know the four things I did differently this time in order to ensure this Airbnb experience was a success, you are ready to use my code to get $40 off your first stay! You can get the discount HERE! Happy Airbnbing!