One of the reasons I started this blog was to write about my budget travel experiences. Check out my blog post titled “Airbnb to the Rescue!” about my introduction to using the site. Moving on, for this trip I decided I would check Airbnb and see if I could rent a house in the area where I would be spending most of my time which was Hellshire.
I went on and found the cutest little two-bedroom house in this area called “Sandhill Vista” for around $80/night. From the host’s pics online, the house décor seemed very modern and the house itself seemed updated with Wi-Fi, cable, and air conditioning – all three things of which were big selling points for me. Another thing included in the listing was the availability of the car he leaves at the home. It was being rented for an extra $32/day per the listing. THAT PART WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE AIRBNB PAYMENT. The host mentions it, but it’s an on the side arrangement. BE AWARE if you are going to do something like that. I was in a different country yes, but I was in familiar territory amongst family and friends that live there in case anything went wrong.
So far, the communication with the host was great. He stated he would have the rental at the airport for me and even sent me a video of the route to get to the house and everything was set. Fast forward to us landing at the airport in Kingston. THANK GOD my Uncle was there waiting to pick up some other family members that flew in around the same time. I was able to use his phone to find out where this host was with the rental because I didn’t see anyone that even resembled him. Anyway, I got in touch and he stated he was on the way. I was a little annoyed because as far as I was concerned, he was already fucking up. But I decided nothing was going to ruin my joy of being there at that moment.
He came and stated he had to get back to work. My Uncle didn’t want me driving by myself yet so he told him to circle around the airport and by the time he comes back the other family will be out. THANK GOD AGAIN that I saw some family inside the airport and one of them came out right behind me and decided he would roll with me. The host then says “Can you just pay me for the car now? It says $40/day right?” Now he knew damn well that he put on the site $32/day. I told him straight up “NO, it says $32/day and that’s what I’m paying you.” He laughs and was there talking about how he has to change that. Not my damn problem! I pay him and he then drives us into downtown Kingston and leaves us in this parking lot on the side of the road, points to the Digicel building and states “I work there and I have to go back to work. Your Uncle will see you when he drives pass.” I looked at the gas gauge and notice the shit is almost on “E”. When I asked him about it, he says “oh it will get you to the house”. Really tho’? Mind you, neither my phone nor my new road partner’s phone was picking up signal yet so we couldn’t access Google Maps. He came in from England and I from New York. We weren’t that familiar with the route, so it was about to be the blind leading the blind!
We waited for what seemed like a long while before we decided to just say “fuck it” and make a move and try to get to our destination. Just as we were about to drive off, my Uncle (who was fuming mad at this point) pulled up. The first thing he notices is that the friggin’ car had only one working headlight! So I had to be driving for the first time in that country, and at night – with high beams! Every time a car drove pass on the other side, they turned theirs on to blind me because I was blinding them! My Uncle called that Airbnb host himself and straight ripped him an ENTIRE new asshole! Not to mention my mother throwing her words in the background (LOLL!). Gotta love ‘em!
So we get to the house after that damn adventure, and I was expecting some other fucked up surprises with this entire situation.
The house was EXACTLY as it was listed as far as the décor and amenities. The host DID try some funny shit though. So the second bedroom was locked. He sends me a video of where to find the key, and then says in the video “yeah I usually charge extra for use of that room.” I know this muthafucka is NOT trying me right now! I didn’t even respond to him because I knew that my receipt said I am booked for a TWO bedroom house, and Airbnb makes it a point to let you know that all payments are to be done through the site for security. He got the WRONG one. Anyway, from my disposition and saucy ass attitude along with my mother’s loudness and my Uncle telling him about himself, he didn’t even attempt to come ask me for any more money.
In the end though, he DID call me to apologize for everything. I truly didn’t believe he was a bad person, just lackadaisical and needed to get his shit together if he’s going to be about that Airbnb vacation rental business. I kindly advised him that it helps to check the car you’re renting to someone before doing so. And I also kindly returned that damn car to him on “E”!
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