The concept of using Airbnb for business travel management is compelling.
In recent years, Airbnb has made a push to make it even more compelling. Yet, that aspect of their platform is far from dialed at this point. It still takes a considerable amount of time to find, compare, and book your business travel accomodations on their site.
With that in mind, I recently created an Airbnb Business Travel Search Tool to help business owners and executives overcome the major roadblocks I’ve experienced while using Airbnb for anything but vacation travel.
Take a look...
If you’re a small business owner, you likely appreciate the savings inherent in booking your travel accommodations through Airbnb. I know I do.
Dollar for dollar, your money goes further on Airbnb.
why professionals love AIRBNB FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL
For example, when a 3 or 4 star hotel is trading at $300 to $400 per night in San Francisco or New York, a similarly charming property on Airbnb with amenities and in an upscale or central neighborhood might be trading for less than half.
If you are traveling as an employee, you’ll surely appreciate how far your travel budget can stretch on Airbnb. Beyond that, the Airbnb property will almost certainly go beyond the cookie-cutter experience you’ll find at those brand hotels, which is a major plus for many of us. Your Airbnb host will likely be more personable than the hotel clerk, providing you with locally sourced opportunities to see lesser-known neighborhoods, cafés, restaurants, parks and more in your destination city.
This incredible access to quality-rich, competitive properties gives the Airbnb platform a serious leg up, and makes it great for business travel for the same reason it is great for vacation travel: it affords us “savings and soul.”
Of course, Airbnb knows that the property you choose to accommodate your business travel must have certain features such as great reviews, responsive and committed hosts, self check-in, reliable wifi, hangers, an iron, shampoo and other amenities you might expect at a business hotel. Thus, they created a portal that shows only listings containing these features, including listings of entire homes.
All this helps eliminate the variability that is the enemy of business travel while imparting a sense of uniqueness, adventure, and savings that are the hallmark of Airbnb attractiveness.
the major impediment to using Airbnb for business travel
There is still a major impediment to using Airbnb for business travel management, and that is the site itself.
A single search can call up hundreds of listings, with detailed descriptions and reviews that you must sift through in order to find your hidden gem. This can be a fun experience when you’re planning a personal vacation for yourself, with friends, or with family.
But paging through these listings when you're looking to book accomodations for business travel is nothing less than a time suck.
Within minutes of considering accomodations on Airbnb for a business trip, I’ve found myself with a half dozen tabs open, clicking between them to decide which one is the perfect fit, forgeting which ones I've already bookmarked in my head as feasible options. It's exhausting and frustrating. Because the number one goal when booking business accomodations is efficiency. We all need efficiency around booking, checking in, and finding a good night’s sleep in a location that's conveniently located near your meetings or scheduled event.
i created this spreadsheet to help myself - and you!
To help facilitate all this, and to avoid logging into Airbnb and sinking too much work time into research, I’ve created the following spreadsheet for my virtual administrative assistant to fill in for me. I’ve purposely limited the options to a total of ten. That way, I can enjoy a bit of the Airbnb research experience without getting sucked into endless, distracting, and time-consuming browsing.
free Airbnb Business Travel search tool
1. Trip Label: type destination city and dates
2. G - I Columns: Use Google maps for columns labeled Distance From, Driving Time, and Time Searched. Put in the destination of your first (or most important) meeting during your trip, and add the cross street that is listed in the center of the Airbnb location circle.
3. Comments Column: Scan reviews for any comments relevant to business travel (noise level, professionalism of host, location, and access), and include any key points.
4. Total Costs Column: Don’t include the daily rate. Instead, include total costs that reflect all the charges for your stay.
Your unique Airbnb experience does not start when you get to the property. It actually starts when you begin using the Airbnb website. How much time you spend getting sucked into that website is up to you...
My hope is that you find the above spreadsheet immensely helpful for booking your business travel accommodations and simplifying your travel management overall.