Maybe you’re bringing the family down to Costa Rica for a first-time vacation, going with your nuptial entourage for a wedding on the beach, or even planning a few months in Central America during the North American winter to enjoy the warm weather, great beaches, and mellow vibe.
Either way, booking a hotel night-by-night may get insanely expensive – or downright impossible if you have a big crew looking for accommodations during the high season.
But, instead of just perusing the hotel websites, there’s another great option – Airbnb. The good news is that Airbnb is not only present, but thriving in Costa Rica - a fantastic option for vacation rentals, long-term stays, or any other arrangement you need for housing.
So, instead of just sharing a boring list of Airbnb listings in Costa Rica (which you can access on Airbnb Costa Rica, of course), I wanted to bring you a little fun background about the company itself.
1. Based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a privately owned accommodation rental website, with 1,500,000 unique listings in 34,000 cities in 192 countries all over the world.
2. By renting out rooms, space, or even entire private residences, Airbnb is offers cheaper, more flexible, and often more charming and comfortable alternatives to a hotel room.
3. For instance, a recent query showed that a night in a hotel in San Francisco would set you back on average $229, however Airbnb was able to offer room at approximately $165 and cheaper.
4. It’s perfect for families who wish to rent out an entire apartment on vacation, young couples or solo travellers who wish to explore foreign destinations on a budget, or anyone who’s looking for more of an authentic traveling experience.
5. While Airbnb is just about a household name today, the company started from extremely humble beginnings. In fact, Airbnb was born from the desperate attempts of two guys struggling to pay rent to earn a few bucks back in 2008.
6. Roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia couldn’t afford to pay their rent in their San Francisco apartment. So they came up with the idea of setting up and renting out three air mattresses in their apartment for travelers in the area, including breakfast as a perk.
7. They even created a quick website, Airbedandbreakfast.com 8. Soon they had their first guest, 2 men and a woman, who paid $80 each.
8. The light bulb went on that this was a great idea, so they enlisted their ex-room mate, Nathan Blecharczyk, into the fold to create a better website, promoting the concept of personal rentals to others, earning about $200 a week.
9.. The boys even raised their first $20,000 in funding to grow the concept. They decided they needed to advertise and promote their listings with better imagery, so went door to door in New York and took beautiful photos of their listings.
10. That helped them ramp up to $400 a week and a slow but steady upward trajectory.
11. Although they were spurned by bigger investors, they didn’t give up, and eventually went on to raise $119.2 million from various investors, including actor Ashton Kutcher (who is still a strategic advisor for the company.)
12. In 2011, the company started its overseas expansion, opening its first international office in Hamburg, Germany.
13. Certainly no company has climbed to greater heights in a short time than Airbnb, as only six years after their inception, in 2014, the company earned a 10 billion-dollar valuation.
14. According to The Wall Street Journal, Airbnb expects to climb to $10 billion in revenue by 2020 led by the current CEO, Arne Sorenson - one of the major players in the hospitality industry.
15. The “traditional” hotel industry doesn’t think highly of Airbnb, as Marriott International stated on CBS that Airbnb was an “interesting experiment,” but they “did not see them as any threat.”
16. Airbnb guests stay longer than average travelers (average travelers stay for 2.8 nights while Airbnb’s average is 5 nights).
17. About 20% of people staying with Airbnb are staying more than 30 days or more – perfect if you’re going to be down in Costa Rica for a month or two – or even half the year!
18. While it’s a household name in the U.S., still less than 50% of locals are familiar with Airbnb in Costa Rica, so the movement that’s labelled “the sharing economy,” so the company is anticipated to still see exponential future growth.
19. How much can regular people earn by renting out their homes? In New York City, one commercial host made approximately $6.84 million dollars from renting out their properties in the US between 2010 and 2014.
20. Along with their meteoric rise, Airbnb certainly felt some growing pains, as not all customer experiences were glowing. In fact, the company has endured a number of scandals involving theft, property damages and an array of sordid activities in hosts’ apartments.
21. In one instance, Airbnb promised to pay the damages, expected to be at $75,000 after a house was destroyed during a ‘drug-crazed orgy.’
22. CEO Brian Chesky was recently shocked by an incident involving a woman’s home that was ransacked by an Airbnb renter. In response, he instituted a $50,000 Airbnb guarantee protecting future hosts from damage.
23. An Airbnb guest once stayed at a house where the host died midway through their stay, confusing the matter of checking out and payment.
24. According to reports in the New York Post, “entertainers” of questionable character regularly pose as tourists renting out Airbnb listings in New York City, helping them security avoid cameras and saving money compared to hotels.
25. One Airbnb host was forced to pay tenants $1,700 to vacate her apartment after they refused after 30 days, citing California tenant’s rights laws and demanding a payment of relocation fees before they left.
Despite this small number of issues, the vast majority of Airbnb customers have wonderful experiences and thoroughly enjoy their stays – especially in Costa Rica!
Need help with booking a place in Tamarindo, Guanacaste, or Playa Jaco? Hit me up!
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