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photo copyright � 1987 by Elaine Radford, all rights reserved

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my first airbnb -- i'm a believer now

2012-05-04 - 8:18 a.m.

beach heron
all photos © 2012 by elaine radford
great blue heron on the beach at fairhope, alabama

Hotel prices are getting a little ridiculous these days, and DH is not necessarily willing to wait while I arm-wrestle some desk clerk for the "church lady" discount, like I did in Dallas. Even Priceline is getting a tad pricey, especially since Pricelines are nonrefundable. So, for the first time, I tried Airbnb.com, and I must say that I'm very impressed. For $60 a night, plus the 10% Airbnb commission, we got a whole cottage or mother-in-law house, free parking, kitchenette with microwave, dishes, fridge, all kinds of drinks and treats, all kinds of different toiletries in the bathroom, whew, pretty much everything you could want or need in a great neighborhood in walking distance of the pier and beach but with plenty of trees and green.

I knew that they'd have a coffee maker but I didn't realize that this particular couple would provide the coffee too, so we brought our own. They had Starbucks "Blonde" while we are high maintenance New Orleans folk with our Community Coffee "Between Roast." When the lady noticed our coffee, she actually switched out coffee makers to put out a different one that worked better for us. Really super nice...and the price was right. Also, at least for now, there were no bogus hotel taxes, which are getting to be way more than a 10% commission in most places.

I'll definitely be going the AirBnB route again. Hotels, even with their kickbacks and loyalty programs, are pricing themselves out of the market. The math doesn't make any sense. Spend an extra $50 a night, and after a few hundred dollars (Wyndham or Choice) to a few thousand dollars (ugh, Priority Club), then you MIGHT get a free night somewhere you can use it. Maybe that's OK if your employer is paying for your paid nights, through your expense account, but it's becoming obvious that most hotels just want leisure travelers to go away...and go away we shall, if there are other great hosts at airbnb like the ones DH and I just sampled in Fairhope, Alabama.

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