Hey MTV, Welcome to my Crib

Kristina Rosen

You heard it here first. Gone are the days of the tiny home and fixer upper obsessions, 2018 is the year of Airbnb.

If you’re unfamiliar with Airbnb, it’s basically the millennial version of renting a hotel. Through this online site, hosts can lease their homes to guests for a few days or several weeks. It’s free to set up an account and once a profile is created, it’s easy to search for listings throughout the world, make reservations, and pay online.

I did the honor of writing MTV’s first script for their next hit reality show, Airbnb: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. In the series premiere, students from the University of Kentucky share their most memorable Airbnb experiences.

The good: “I recently rented a room in Chicago and it was awesome. He was a young guy, it was a smart house, and he was renting his spare room to help with his new Tesla payments. I learned that I will only stay at places with a lot of reviews.” -Alexandria W., recent UK graduate

The bad: “One time in Paris my bed was in the guy’s kitchen (which was quite an interesting surprise) and he was up cooking breakfast at 5 am everyday.” -Katie C., senior

The ugly: “When I did an Airbnb in Paris it took me and my friend a half hour to find our bed the room was the size of a closet. We finally found these strange poles and discovered our bed came down from the ceiling and was the size of the whole room.” -Emily L., junior

The weird“I stayed in a hostel-like situation in Savannah, where a Polish lady hitchhiked with my friend and me because we couldn’t sneak out. My advice: just embrace the experience for what it is, laugh about it, and ALWAYS TAKE A FRIEND WITH YOU.” -Sarah B., senior

Airbnb is not like a typical stay at a hotel. Instead, travelers stay in comfortable, home-like spaces that offer a different, more unique experience than hotels normally do, which appeals to millennials.

If you’re still inclined to give Airbnb a try after hearing the good, the bad and the ugly, here’s what else to know before you go:

  • The company doesn’t do background checks on users, so choose carefully and keep that in mind when making reservations. Reviews are the best bet since the only people who can post a review for a site are the ones who have stayed there.
  • The “A” watermark at the top right hand corner indicates that professional Airbnb photographers took the photos. It’s the seal of approval from the company that what you see is what you get.
  • Choosing Airbnb means sacrificing certain hotel amenities. Don’t expect a formal check-in, room service at any time, or a remade bed each morning.
  • Ratings work both ways. While you have access to rate your stay, a host can rate you. Keep that in mind if you plan to use Airbnb in the future.

Bottom Line: Airbnb at your own risk.