I was looking for a hotel in Auckland and was too frugal to drop 60K HH points on the Hilton. Plus with the $50 off $100 Amex Airbnb offer, I figured I’ll try Airbnb. I found a nice whole apartment that is located in the downtown CBD (Central Business District) area that was about $150 per night, which meant $75 per night post Amex offer. I had spent a good 2 hours finding just the right one and my criteria were – 1. Whole apartment – I didn’t want to share a room at someone’s house. 2. Good location. 3. Nice and clean looking. This apartment met all 3 criteria.
I then emailed the host what the parking situation was since I saw some other posts had free parking. He said I’d have to park on the street or in an expensive lot (apparently parking in Auckland is very expensive.) He also told me I could park in a nearby neighborhood and take a train in. That’s when I said SCREW IT! I’m booking the Hilton.
Although the parking situation was really a minor one in the grand sceme of things, what hit me was the reason why I travel – I know some of you travel for the sights and sounds and don’t care about luxury. For my wife and I, since we only take 2 big trips a year and we try a new location every time, we want it to be the best possible experience. Plus I have millions of points and can’t burn them fast enough so why bother trying to save money when I can burn points instead?
We had stayed at an Airbnb in Mykonos a couple of years ago. It was a superb location in downtown Mykonos but it was 1 room and a very small bathroom with a manual air conditioner. After that experience I swore I’d never use Airbnb again. Then about a couple of years ago, my friends and I booked an Airbnb in Austin, TX. It was a 2 bedroom condo which for all intents and purposes was nice, but you just don’t have that luxury feel of coming back to your room to a made bed, new towels, a clean room, etc.
And that’s what it boils down to – if I am flying in international F, why would I want to sleep in coach? I may as well go all out – YOLO if you will. I know some of you are happy with AirBnb and that’s fine. Whatever floats your boat, but for me, I want the clean room, nice shower, new towels, and hopefully free breakfast. I don’t want to sleep in my uncle’s house and bed.