How Services like Airbnb and Skyscanner Changed the Attitude to Traveling

How Services like Airbnb and Skyscanner Changed the Attitude to Traveling

Two decades ago, a simple traveler could hardly imagine buying cheap flights in a few clicks or staying at the world’s most authentic places affordably while traveling. And then the game changers like Airbnb and Skyscanner came into play. Apart from unlocking the sky and millions of doors abroad, they did something amazing to our minds as well removing the boundaries inside us. Millennials, the generation that leveraged the trend to the fullest, proves that traveling today is not something you occasionally do once a year, but a state of mind.

Such impact inspires. The genius concept of booking everything in just three clicks that made such services so popular is what can catapult your travel booking business to success as well. Think of how the customer experience could get better if you created a website using a travel booking template to help your clients plan and book accommodation, flights, or tours with ease.

Airbnb & Skyscanner: getting boundaries removed

Until the 2000s, you could buy a plane ticket or book a hotel room only by relying on brick-and-mortar travel agencies. The spread of the internet made it possible to search and buy tickets from online travel agencies (such as Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc.) without leaving the comfort of your home. However, planning and booking a trip wasn’t an easy task as you had to waste tons of time and do lots of analytical work to find the best deal and made the final booking. Time-consuming, labor-intensive, nerve-wrecking, plus nobody guaranteed it would be cheap.

With the emergence of such metasearch engines like Skyscanner and Kayak, booking flight tickets became easy even for a child. You could browse, compare, and book hotels, flights, and car rentals all in one place – in an app on your smartphone. The outstanding advantage of the new-generation flight search service was featuring an extensive selection of tickets from low-cost carriers. On online travel agencies’ sites, they were a rarity. This way, an era of thrifty travels began.

Airbnb, a service connecting travelers with property owners, was just in time in 2009 with their broad assortment of accommodation to any taste and budget – hosted by local homeowners, and therefore, often twice as cheap as a hotel suite. Want it quirky or reserved, crowded and social or isolated, luxury or spartan? Airbnb has got you covered. Whether you want a coach for solo traveling or the entire house for a big company, a condo or a bungalow, a tree house or a castle, you are just a few clicks from any of the 1.5 million listings in almost 200 countries around the world.

How Airbnb and Skyscanner transformed the way we travel

1.    Convenience & connectivity

Planning your next travel becomes a breeze with the smart technology by Airbnb and Skyscanner. To organize a trip we no longer have to call agencies, wait, and eventually content ourselves with a scarce range of usually overpriced options. Remoteness and a language barrier, which made it virtually impossible to find a reliable accommodation in the country where you had few to none acquaintances, is no longer an obstacle. Today, we can design, plan, and book our whole trip sitting on our sofas. The services like Airbnb and Skyscanner removed the language barriers and offered an easy search interface that enabled us to find reliable accommodation based on the system of reviews and cheap flight deals literally in 3 clicks.

2.    We can travel more often because we can afford it

Cheaper doesn’t always mean worse. For many people around the globe, it means an opportunity. Before Airbnb, Skyscanner and similar services, the only options most people had were hotels and pricey airfares that seriously hit their budgets and hence limited their options while exploring a new place. Traveling was something most of us could afford at best once a year because we had to work hard in order to be able to spend a couple of nights in a decent place in, say, Paris or Madrid with our families.

It’s such a piece of good news that now we can travel further or more often because flight tickets and accommodation now cost us half the price or even less. The Airbnb’s concept works best for the group travels. Instead of paying for several overpriced hotel suites, you can book an apartment(s) or a house on Airbnb for 25-30% fraction of what you would pay in a standard hotel. Of course, there are cleaning and other fees we should be aware of when booking an apartment with Airbnb, but in any case, we save a ton.


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3.    We can explore a new culture from inside

If you have traveled around the world, you must have noticed that most of the medium-class hotels are pretty generic, unmemorable, and boring. Yup, the standards are usually high, but the emotional content is quite low. On the flip side, staying in a house of a local is always a new bright cultural experience. It brings the quality of your stay to an absolutely new authentic level and makes a lasting impression. With Airbnb, we are now able to experience the real life of the place we are visiting, make friends, and get valuable recommendations for great, tourist-free places only locals know about.

Jen Avery, a travel blogger (Thrifty Nomads) admitted that she had loved staying in pricey hotels until she realized the inner dichotomy of such approach: she wanted to experience the local culture, but in the way no local actually lived there. “Instead of staying in our comfort zone, we stretched ourselves far out of it”, she confesses. “That alone has made for far richer travel experiences (and has allowed us to afford many more).”

 

4.    It helped us lower our standards which led to better travel experience

You say what? How can it be? Don’t the highest standards stand for the best travel experience? Maybe, but it’s true only for rich people who can afford those high standards. If you don’t belong to the caste, high standards mean no travel for you. Because you cannot afford it. For many people, lowering their standards and expectations by using services like Airbnb (for budget accommodation) and Skyscanner or Momondo (for low-cost tickets) opened the world of opportunities. Again, a real experience explains it best. “As we’ve adjusted our standards, I’ve been amazed by the savings”, Jen says in her blog. She wishes she could wind back the clock and “un-book” all costly hotel suites she stayed in and spend the saved money on new travels.

This article may sound like we advertise Airbnb and Skyscanner, but we don’t. We realize that someone’s experience with those services can be polar and absolutely awful because it’s life and circumstances happen. When we decide to lower our standards, it always comes with real-life risks. Our message is: if you take it positively as an opportunity, you get more and better travels.

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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