I’m back from Sydney! Once again, it did not disappoint. I have fallen more deeply in love with this city than ever- I really would love to move here one day! Not that I don’t love Auckland of course, I really do, but Sydney feels like my second home. We just click. Usually, we stay with our Aunty who lives near Cabramatta but this time, my sister, friend, and I elected to stay in the heart of the CBD in hopes of seeing the more tourist-y side of Sydney. I personally don’t find Sydney expensive as other people claim it to be but when it comes to accomodation (especially in the CBD), oh boy, your wallet will be crying in protest. It’s pretty overpriced for what you get.
Enter Airbnb. After hours of scouring the bottomless pits of the internet, I vaguely remembered a blogger using Airbnb for her vacation. I was doubtful because her accomodation looked rather un-budget like, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I’m so glad I did!
What is Airbnb?
“Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world — online or from a mobile phone.”
Basically, it’s a trusted website where people from all over the world open up their residence for travellers looking for a home away from home without the exorbitant prices of a hotel. Some are actual homes that they live in, so you have a physical host during your stay, some are people that need guests to stay while they themselves travel, and some just have decided to make an investment out of this business, and buy property to accomodate guests throughout the year. Not a bad business idea actually, but I suppose it would be a bit risky as it depends on season and location.
The most important part I find, is trust. Countless times, I have stayed in places where the photos most certainly do not match the physical place. With Airbnb, the host relies on reviews from their guests to generate more publicity, so you can be sure of excellent service during your stay.
It was super easy to find a place we were all happy with- we wanted somewhere convenient with easy access to public transport, somewhere safe so we would be able to flutter in and out at anytime, somewhere clean (I am fine with any budget accommodation having been in Vietnam, but given the choice, I need a clean bathroom. Please. Most hotels advertise beautiful rooms, but the bathrooms can be pretty shudder worthy), and somewhere inexpensive.
Behold, our wonderful haven during our stay.
The place was fully equipped with everything we would ever need- kettle, oven, toaster, dishwashing liquid, even olive oil for cooking with! I was super touched by all the little gestures such as the Ferrero Rocher in the flower bowl to welcome us when we arrived, the laundry machine, laundry powder, and dryer for us to to wash our clothes, and the umbrella to keep us dry when it rained during the first few days! Oh, and free wi fi. Our host was super nice too, he gave us a brief tour of the apartment when we arrived, then left us in peace but kept in touch via text messages with so many helpful hints and tips of what to see or do in Sydney.This is my dream apartment. Seriously. I was blown away at the location- we were on George Street (the main street of CBD), around the corner from Chinatown and Thai Town, a five minute walk away from either Central Station or Town Hall Station, a two minute walk from Coles Supermarket and some Asian supermarket so we were able to gorge ourselves on Lychee, Mangoes, and Watermelon for breakfast, and wait for it, waaaaait for it- we were on the top floor of the building!
The view at night~
Taking into account the costs of nearby 3 star hotels, we concluded that this was much better value, especially since we saved a lot of money by not having to take the buses/ trains everywhere. Because of our location, we actually walked all around the city without public transport. It took about half an hour to walk between each destination, but hey, good exercise.
Next time you’re looking for accommodation overseas, I would totally recommend Airbnb! It was $200 per night which is a little pricey ($60 ish per person per night), but for this quality? You can’t get much better than that. Bonus- there were great Thai and Korean restaurants right outside, so we were not lacking in dinner options.