Air bed and breakfast aka Airbnb is an online market place where people rent out entire homes or rooms for a set price. I’ve always heard about Airbnb and decided to use the company as a cheaper alternative to hotels during my trip to Nashville and Memphis, TN.
I have heard various stories about African Americans being discriminated against while attempting to rent out a room. For example they would request a room, and the host would respond and say the room is unavailable. The person would then ask a friend of a different race to request the same room and somehow the room became available. As a result of the discrimination, Innclusive formerly known as Noirebnb was created by Zakkiyah Myers and Rohan Gilkes.
Due to hearing about discrimination on Airbnb, I decided to look for African American host when choosing a place to stay. While searching on Airbnb I looked for location, price and positive reviews. You can send private messages to your host if you have questions about the property, check in etc. Host usually respond quickly. If it is your first time using Airbnb please use this code www.airbnb.com/c/tiffanyh5 for a discount.
I told my mother that I would be staying at a Airbnb for the first time and my host was male. She immediately became panicked and questioned the safety of staying with other people. However, I felt very safe in each location. Below is my experience with each host.
I arrived in Nashville Tennessee at approxmiately 11:30 pm, my host lived about 25 minutes from the airport. My host Derrick text me and informed me he had a early morning and would leave the key under the mat. I arrived at the location but it was difficult to find the house number because it was not located on his mailbox and it was dimly lit area. I eventually found the address and the key was indeed under the mat. The room I stayed in was very basic and good for one night. It was a child’s room with a bunk bed. I assume that maybe the host had children who come over on the weekends. I make this assumption because I did not hear any children while staying the night but saw toys and bikes at the home. I heard my host getting ready for work but never had the opportunity to met him face to face. The cost of the room was $39.00 a night.
My second airbnb was in a residential location with a majority of the neighborhood being African American from what I observed while driving down the street. Before arriving, the host sent me a text informing me that the key was under the mat. I loved the decor, it was very artsy and I loved the various colors throughout the room. I later discovered the host is an artist and painted the art in the room. The room was big enough for a bed and couch. I loved the couch because it felt like I had a living room inside of the bedroom. On the table near the bed, the host left a letter with detailed information about things to do in the city. In addition the other note talked about the WiFi, use of kitchen, bathroom etc. While reading about the home, I was told there was a pit bull named Sasha that enjoys cuddling. I knew there would be dogs in the house but I was not aware of the breed of dogs. After telling her I was afraid she agreed to keep Sasha in the room during the remainder of my stay. In addition I failed to print out my Grey Hound bus ticket. The host agreed to print out the ticket and placed it on the kitchen table. I also left my phone charger and the host has agreed to send it via postal mail. The cost of the room was $67.00 a night.
My third Airbnb was located near downtown Memphis, TN. Most people cautioned me about the neighborhood but I’m glad I stayed at this location. One side of the street is the projects (low income subsidized apartments) and the other side where I stayed was town homes. I arrived and the host Kenneth informed me that the door was open and the key was on the kitchen counter. The house was very cozy and also had art throughout the home. I had my own bedroom and bathroom. I was allowed to have access to the kitchen and laundry room. As a result of accidently leaving my phone charger at Airbnb #2, Kenneth offered to drive me to Walgreen’s to purchase a iPhone charger. After wards he gave me a mini tour of Memphis pointing out various land marks such as the local college, Beale Street, museums, churches etc. The only thing I did not care for, was the cameras located in the hallways of the home. Other than that I loved the location and loved the host. He went above and beyond as a host! I would recommend his home to other guest! The cost of the room for two nights $167.
This was my first time using Airbnb and I was pleased with my host and accommodations. It is definitely a cheaper alternative to a hotel and you feel like a local instead of a visitor. Also if you have a spare bedroom, you should consider renting out a room on Airbnb or Innclusive to earn extra income and meet with other people.