What you need to know about Airbnb in Los Angeles

I’ve been an Airbnb user the last 8 years now ( Airbnb began in 2008). I have had some wonderful experiences using the service: the Philadelphia Asian couple who made and shared dinner with me, the cool dudes in Culver City, California who I enjoyed playing Xbox video games every night, the San Clemente retired couple who shared pizza and Games of Thrones highlights with me, the young woman in Oakland who let me walk her dogs in exchange for free nights, and countless other wonderful experiences where I got to meet locals and learn aspects of life that I might not have otherwise.

With over six million listings, Airbnb is one of the biggest booking sites out there. In the first quarter of 2019, it booked 91 million room nights. By comparison, Expedia booked 80.8 million.

What is challenging about using Airbnb is the finding the best location within your budget range. For out of work millennials and young international visiting LA for the first time, the lowest price range you can find close to Hollywood or downtown LA would be in the $25-35 a night range. And expect to stay in a more hostel like atmosphere. Most Airbnb Hosts ( particularly the Russians ) tend to cram 6-8 people in a tiny room normally reserved for 4 people.

Experience-wise, I have had my share of fun stays and horror Airbnb hosts and conditions. The few horror Airbnb stories I can share:

  • I book a USC Airbnb apartment arriving to a terribly filthy kitchen and even worst a nasty bathroom. It’s so bad that not even cockroaches would live there. I made my host clean up and reported the property to Airbnb.
  • I used to stay at a wonderful Thai town Airbnb house last year until it became the house of horrors. Guests complain of overcrowding and constant fights between the regulars and the guests. Imagine packing 16 men & women in a 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom house normally reserved for 4-6 adults. Nightly stays are between $ 20-25 so cheap rates would normally attract the riff-raff or unsavory characters coming from the South and the mid-West.

How to avoid booking a bad host & accommodation :

  • I would recommend increase your budget with a minimum of $35-$50 for shared rooms. And $75 for your own private room.
  • Be sure to read up on the Airbnb Host reviews profile. Superhost are a good choice and pick them if you are lucky to find a spot.

As a responsible traveller, I have found Airbnb to be the main cause of overtourism. As Nomad Matt explains . ” Airbnb has created a lot of new accommodation for travelers, which in turn contributes to higher tourism numbers.3 On the one hand, that’s good: cheaper accommodation = more tourists = more revenue. But, when unregulated and combined with the issues highlighted above, increased tourism kills the very places we love. It becomes a vicious cycle: more tourists = more money = more properties on Airbnb = fewer local residents.

Travel Medical Insurance

What is travel insurance ?
When traveling outside of your home country it’s important to buy international travelers medical insurance to cover yourself against accidents or illness. Even if you have private medical insurance at home the chances are this will not cover you when traveling abroad, or if it does cover you that coverage will be very limited.

What your are looking for is a “Travel Medical Insurance Plan“. Many policies are simply “trip cancellation” policies which only cover the cost of your trip if for some reason you can’t go. Travel Medical plans incorporate some components of trip coverage with additional coverage for certain illnesses. Make sure you review the terms of each policy to make sure it covers what you want insurance for (review the benefits and exclusions).

Are you visiting from a foreign country ? Then it would make sense to buy travel insurance. If you and your family members are planning to visit the United States, then everyone should have travel medical insurance to cover for their unforeseen emergency medical conditions. In the US the cost of medical expenses is high and it is good to buy travel medical insurance though you are traveling for a short visit .

I have been searching for the best travel insurance for both domestic and foreign travellers and here are my suggestions.

Visitors Coverage
Visitors Coverage has both fixed and comprehensive coverage plans. Starting at $ 65 per person.Again prices depend if you have preexisting medical conditions.

This insurance company based out of Texas has good customer reviews from several customers.

Global Health Insurance
For foreign visitors planning short visits to the USA

Allianz Travel Insurance 
Got this recommendation from the travel  blogger Social Girl. Fees are affordable. $400 per year would get you ample coverage. Jen recommends the Annual Executive Plan.

You can read more about the different types of travel insurance on this Quora link.

The life of a digital nomad

Welcome to my newly updated travel blog. My site has been out of commission for a couple of months as I was busy building websites for other clients. My name is Elle Gamboa and I’m a full-time web designer and web developer specializing in WordPress and E-Commerce sites. My current blog is built using WordPress & Gutenberg,. In my blog I will share you all the best travel tips to save you money while you are exploring America ( The USA) on bus on train. I know most people fly but there is something more adventurous about exploring the country on sea level.