I find myself hopping around the world and needing good, low cost accommodation. Having used AirBnB in the UK, Italy, Turkey and Thailand I have mixed feelings about the services.
Yes, there are some great AirBnB locations and great prices, but some owners are definitely looking for high prices for places that are sadly lacking and things are not always as advertised.
My worst disaster location was on the river Thames in London. A beautifully described river boat in an idyllic setting on a quiet section of the river with nothing but wildlife and the odd row boat. It wasn't the cheapest price but the thought of tranquillity was most appealing. Even the idea of walking across a small park to get to it didn't sound too bad.
Getting there in the dark was a different story. No street lighting, no directions and no lighting to get on to a boat and then jump (I kid you not) to the accommodation boat!
The toilet was ceramic with a pipe leading into a bucket and the shower was unfiltered Thames water with a hand pump to get the water up to pressure. The entire construction was made from scrap, so no windows fitted and the floor was a mixture of rotten wood and metal grating. Most of the inmates were 'long term' and smoked cannabis and drank beer each night, since there was only a single car battery and cigarette lighter socket for electricity and nothing else to do. Really this shouldn't be a problem but they were outside my badly fitted windows talking themselves into depression until 2 in the morning.
I will let my photographs tell the rest of the story...
The front door - mind the first step, it's a leap from one boat to another.
The roof garden filled with rubbish and rotting sofa - idyllic views as long as you don't look at where you are sitting.
Shower water direct from the Thames and no filtering or heating - the Thames smells, so don't expect to have any friends after using this!
The toilet emptying into a bucket - but the floor is metal grating, so chance of slipping on any spillages.
View from the bedroom to the rubbish piled in the corridors and kitchen - although it's difficult to tell the rubbish from the scrap used to build the house boat.
All of this makes for a Slum Boat of London and available on the AirBnB site. AirBnB rely on reviewers to point out problems to other prospective customers but my thoughts lead towards, "what about the first customers?" Who protects them from the dangerous, the dirty and the downright disgusting.
I am sure that profits are made while unsuspecting guests find their way to the slum boats and other potential horrors that can be found on low cost accommodation web sites.