All photos by Alvaro/Airbnb
By Aaron Cranford
Not many people can say they lived next to Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but with the help of Airbnb, I booked my first apartment there.
After contacting 11 hosts on Airbnb, I finally found the apartment that provides everything I need in the location I want and for the price I am willing to pay. Some of the hosts never responded to me, but most others did within 24 hours from my initial message. However, if you use Airbnb, send more than one message. There were a few hosts who did not engage in conversation, and I simply could not trust them.
I wanted to find someone that would respond to all of my messages because doing so develops trust between the host and the tenant. I wanted to find a host that could immediately help me in a time of need while in Rio, and I believe Alvaro, the host, can do that.
Most hosts I talked to told me they usually do not rent rooms on Airbnb for as long as my stay, which is 83 days. But Alvaro did not mind me booking for that long. He only requests that I pay for the electricity I use while there, which he said should only be R$50 per month (approximately $20 US).
The apartment is a few blocks inward from the beach, but the location is excellent, due to the number of markets and restaurants nearby. I reserved the apartment for 83 days, but I may not be there for the entirety of my stay in Brazil. As mentioned before, I will travel to both São Paulo and Manaus for approximately a week each. So, instead of booking the residence in increments, I decided to rent the apartment for the full 83 days, which also saves me money because there is a discounted rate for longer bookings.
The picture above is of the room I will be sleeping in most nights while in Brazil, but I hope to not see too much of the apartment because I want to spend a majority of my time exploring the city’s wonders and its beautiful beaches.
My host was prompt and courteous, and his responses made my decision of where to stay easier. I looked at 11 different apartments on Copacabana, but after narrowing it down to three, I chose this one based on proximity to the beach, its cost, the overall safety of the community and the hosts general attitude and responsiveness. He also speaks English well, so I should have no problem communicating with him while there.
I will be planning my trips to São Paulo and Manaus next, but I must wait until the top Brazilian soccer league, Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, announces its schedule for 2015.
If you have not created an Airbnb account and want to save $25 on your first booking, click here. Feel free to check out a few more pictures of the apartment below.
This is an ongoing series of journal entries, in which I will explain and document my preparation for travel and travel through Brazil in May through August of 2015. You can read each journal entry on The Orange Traveler or on ojogobonito.weebly.com where they will initially be published.
Have any tips for traveling through Brazil? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.Follow @akcranford