Booking a vacation doesn't need to be stressful thanks to websites like Airbnb and Roomorama. Both companies offer great alternatives to hotels for backpackers, retirees, families, professionals and even dogs! But which one is right for you? Tripping.com is here to answer all of your questions about being an Airbnb or Roomorama host or guest.
About Airbnb and Roomorama: What can I expect from these companies?
Airbnb has expanded their inventory to 1,000,000 properties in over 190 countries as of February 2015. Airbnb is headquartered in the United States, and it has all kinds of rentals from apartments to chalets to yachts and more.
Roomorama properties can be found in more than 5,000 locations across the globe, and it is headquartered in Singapore. The inventory mainly consists of bedrooms, houses, apartments, bed & breakfasts, hotels and hostels. As of 2015, Roomorama reported their average user books a stay for 9 nights or longer and spends more than $1000 per booking, well above the industry average.
The Airbnb app and Roomorama app both have excellent features that make it easy for travelers to book a trip and hosts to manage reservations and respond to requests. Both companies also are responsible for handling payments between the guests and owners through their own secure platform. Guests and hosts do not exchange credit card information, and hosts do not receive payment until 24 hours after their guests check in. This system helps keep both parties honest in order to make for a positive vacation rental experience for both parties.
Guest Fees: Do I need to pay extra to book a room?
There is a guest fee for Airbnb guests that is usually between 6 to 12% of the total booking price. If the number of nights reserved increases and or the price per/night is high, the guest fee will likely be closer to 6% of the total price. Guests from the EU are subject to VAT taxes as part of the booking fee as well ( see, below "Taxes").
There is a "Roomorama fee" for all travelers that is based on the total booking costs including taxes, processing fees and surcharges. Once a guest enters all of their accommodations, the Roomorama fee will be displayed directly over the subtotal. Typically the booking fee is slightly more expensive than the price per/night, but sometimes the fee is less than 50 percent of the cost per/night.
Host Fees: Do I need a subscription to list my property?
You can list your home for free on Airbnb and Roomorama. Airbnb charges an extra 3% processing fee on the total price to the host every time someone books the rental. The reason for this is because Airbnb handles the payment transactions between the hosts and guests through their secure platform. Roomorama, however, does not charge hosts processing fees.
Insurance Policy: Am I protected under Airbnb or Roomorama?
Hosts are protected when they use Airbnb under the Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance as of January 15, 2015. Hosts' belongings are covered up to $1,000,000 from harm during a guest stay. However, highly personal items like pets, fine art and jewelry do not have full protection under this policy. Additionally, if a guest is injured during their stay at an Airbnb property, hosts and landlords have protection worth up to $1 million. Both of these policies are negated, however, if the host owns pre-existing renter's insurance or homeowner's insurance from an outside carrier.
Roomorama does not provide insurance for hosts or guests. Instead, the company encourages hosts to enforce a security deposit in order to account for any property that is damaged or broken during the guest's stay.
Customer Service: How do I get in contact with Airbnb or Roomorama?
Airbnb and Roomorama have personal support teams to answer any questions. Both companies highly encourage hosts and guests to work out any problems they might have before contacting 24/7 support, but in case an issue cannot be resolved, their contact info is listed below:
Airbnb: Access the customer support center here or through their app, or contact the staff directly by telephone number: 1-855-424-7262
Roomorama: Click on "Contact Us" on the very bottom of the homepage to fill out a form, or email staff directly via email@example.com
Guest Reviews: How does Airbnb and Roomorama facilitate property ratings?
Airbnb uses a 5-star system for their user reviews. There is an overall rating that is averaged and visually displayed on each listing's homepage. There are also six additional categories vacationers can rate: accuracy, cleanliness, location, check in, communication and value. Guests can also leave public comments. Their ratings for each category, however, remain private and are not displayed next to their user name.
Roomorama uses a "thumbs up or down" rating scale. Hosts are encouraged to rate their experience after the checkout via email in order to make for a more transparent community. Guests can also post comments that are displayed on the listing's homepage.
On both Airbnb and Roomorama, owners are not permitted to change or comment on guests' ratings. This ensures that hosts attract travelers through honest reviews and rental descriptions.
Canceling Your Trip: What policies do I need to know about before I cancel with Airbnb or Roomorama?
|Full Refund||Partial Refund||Refund after Check-in|
|Flexible||100% refund 24 hours before check-in||After check-in, can cancel future days of trip after 1st 24 hours||Nights not spent within 24 hours of cancellation are refunded 100%|
|Moderate||100% refund up to 5 days before check-in||Within 5 days of check-in or 24 after: 1st night non refundable, remaining nights 50% refund||Nights not spent within 24 hours of cancellation are refunded 50%|
|Strict||50% refund up to 7 days before check-in||No refund within 7 days of check-in||No refund after check-in|
|*Super Strict||50% refund up to 30 days before check-in||No refund within 30 days of check-in||No refund after check-in|
*Super strict policy is for special circumstances such as long term stays and is by invitation only.
|Time of Cancellation||Amount Refunded|
|7 Nights before check in||Full Refund; minus the Roomorama fee|
|7 Nights - 24 hours before check in||Charged for 1 night stay plus Roomorama fee|
|24 hours - after check in; no shows||Charged for 2 nights stay plus the Roomorama fee|
Certified hosts from Roomorama are permitted to create their own personalized policy. If guests cancel, they are still required to pay the Roomorama fee. Renters are responsible for knowing if their rental has a personalized cancellation policy before they book a vacation. If extreme weather prevents you from traveling, you must contact customer service if you would like to be considered for a cancellation credit that can be used toward another booking at Roomorama.
Dogs Allowed? Everything you need to know if you want to bring your pet on vacation with Airbnb or Roomorama
Owners decide whether or not to allow pets in their rentals at Airbnb and Roomorama, and they are also allowed to charge additional pet fees. To see if your preferred listing is pet friendly look under "Amenities" for Airbnb listings and "Property Details" for Roomorama listings. Roomorama makes it even easier for animal lovers to filter through vacation rentals with their "Pets Allowed" filter which can be found on the left hand side of the search under "Conditions." Find out more about how to find the perfect rental for you and your pets here.
Rewards and Special Programs at Airbnb and Roomorama
One way Airbnb incentivizes hosts to go above and beyond is through the "Superhost" program. In order to qualify, homeowners must host at least 10 trips per year, earn a 5-star rating for at least 80% of the guest reviews, maintain a 90% response rate to guest inquiries, and refrain from canceling any reservations with the exception of emergencies. As a reward for providing a 5-star travel experience to guests, Superhosts receive a profile badge that distinguishes them from other listings and increases their chances of getting consistent reservations. They also receive a $100 travel coupon if they retain their status for more than 1 year, priority support from the Airbnb customer service team, and exclusive products and features to test before company launches.
Roomorama offers two unique programs to members: ShoutOuts and Roomorama Perks. ShoutOuts is a community bulletin board where guests who are shopping for accommodations are encouraged to post what they are looking for in a rental (i.e., size, destination, specific city, family friendly). Hosts in the requested cities are notified via email, and they in turn can respond to the traveler on ShoutOuts and tell them why their property might be a good fit for their getaway. Roomorama members (both hosts and guests) have access to Roomorama Perks, a compilation of deals in categories such as sightseeing tours, dining out, entertainment and concierge services.
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