I am currently in Lagos on business. This is my second visit since 2013.
I opted to use Airbnb Lagos mainly because hotel room rates are unaffordable in this city. But there is another reason – I wanted to live among the ordinary Lagosians and get to learn more about this vibrant city of 20 million people with contrasting economic standards. I am glad I made this choice, as I met a young man called Ikedi who works at my place of stay on Victoria Island. He took me around and shared valuable insights on living and working in Lagos :)
While there is a wide range of available rooms across Lagos on Airbnb, a few tips will assist in using this service.
Here are my 12 tips on using Airbnb Lagos:
Planning your Lagos trip:
When you travel to Lagos, keep an open mind. Every experience adds to the journey’s memory bank, making the memories linger longer.
For me the experience starts with the complex Nigerian visa application process. I am told the experience is more interesting because I am a South African. I shall not dwell too much on this otherwise sore point.
Whether you are going to Lagos on leisure or business, be sure to locate the places you will be visiting on Google map, and book your accommodation as close to these as possible.
Why? Traffic jams are a major factor in this African city.
Establish the level of adventurous traveller that are you.
If you are level 1 (least adventurous), then book the most expensive room you can afford, or rather use established accommodation places such as hotel groups.
For you this is where it ends. Feel free to exit this blog.
If you are more of an adventurous traveller, then read on.
RELATED POST: My 11 memories about #Lagos, thanks to #SMW2013
Booking a room on Airbnb Lagos
On Airbnb, you get what you pay for. If you are on a tight budget, then be prepared for surprises – some of which may be pleasant by the way.
If you are not on a tight budget, then go to town up the price scale. But then again, you may not have enough Nairas left for the Balogun Market!
What you see in pictures and you read about rooms on the Airbnb site is not always what you will get.
Bear in mind what any normal business person will do, the providers of the rooms publish pictures of the best rooms. But not every available room will look like that.
Use online reviews. The more reviews about a place, the better. Reviews from out-of-towners are worth more.
If you are in town for more than one night, book the chosen room only for the first night. This will enable you to assess the value of what you paid for and decide if you want to extend your stay.
Why this option? More often than not it’s a schlep trying to cancel your multiple night booking and get a refund on time. Yes, you may be taking a chance because the room you now like may not be available for the rest of your stay.
However, it is still worth the chance.
Going to a booked Airbnb place
Take your own toiletries, including toilet paper.
Not all Airbnb bathrooms have the stuff you normally get in hotels.
Want to bring your own bath towel? Probably safer.
In addition, it may not be a bad idea if you carry your own iron.
However, keep in mind that travelling light is cost-effective. Do not go overboard.
Make the owner/manager aware that you will be submitting an online review about their place.
This is worth gold to them. Believe me.
Ask to see more than one room before you check in where possible. This will allow you more choice.
Open the curtains of the various rooms that you are shown. The outside view can make the difference in your choice.
Check all the basic things as soon as you check in – the air conditioner (absolute necessity in this hot and humid city), running water (and quality that can be assessed visually), wifi (without which my trip is meaningless as I work 100% online), clean linen, clean bathroom, and overall cleanliness of the room.
If you do not like anything with your room, raise it immediately with the owner/manager.
A good number of accommodation people try hard to keep their customers happy.
So don’t rant on online media as the first thing – hard, isn’t it? – or keep quiet if you are not happy.
Whichever traveller you are, the tips above will help you in booking a room on Airbnb Lagos that will not spoil your trip.
Enjoy your stay in LAGOS.