I'm excited, finally, to try Airbnb, as I've heard great things from both friends and family. My sister and her boyfriend stayed at a little place south of San Francisco and couldn't say enough good things about the ease of the process and the ideal accommodations they found. The experience reminded my sister and me of a trip we took to Europe, about 15 years ago. We often stayed with friends and in hostels, but in Prague we happened upon a lady who offered to rent her flat. It was perfect! Why didn't WE think of Airbnb then?! Maybe because the internet barely existed?
I work as a therapist in the NYC school system, which means I have the summers off along with many holidays. This affords me a lot of time to travel. I've spent a few summers abroad, volunteering at rehab clinics in developing areas. I spent two summers in the Philippines and used Craigslist to find tenants for the 2-3 months I was away. The first time around was great! A lovely couple stayed at my place and took great care of it. They even kept all of my plants alive! Unfortunately, my second experience was not at all a positive one. My apartment was left in a terrible state, many things were broken or missing, and the place was just dirty. I'm hoping Airbnb will help me feel more confident about the people that live in my space!
Please note: I do say below that I speak German, however please understand that this is in a fairly limited capacity. I can read it fairly well and can speak in basic (and broken) sentences, but usually I'm able to get my point across.