Comic-Con International > SDCC Housing, Parking, and Transportation

Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)

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mark:
We used airbnb for the first time ever at SDCC. I was pretty nervous about it going in so I wanted to share our experience and thoughts. I realize of course that an airbnb experience won't generalize like a hotel stay would, but I'm going to write about it anyway. Hopefully others will share their experience as well.

Would I do airbnb again? Maybe. I would prefer to have a downtown hotel close to the convention center, but if I had to stay farther away I would definitely look at the airbnb listings. I would certainly stay at the same place again but I would also be more careful and ask more questions. For example, the place was listed as not having a parking spot but it actually did have one. This would have completely changed our travel plans and since I was hoping to bring my car I should have asked if parking was a possibility. Likewise, it would have been smart to ask about access to the apartment. With hotels you can get as many keys as you need but here, while we had 2 keys to the door, we only had one fob to get into the building. Made it tricky when we wanted to split up and do different things.

Mention up front that you are coming for SDCC, I had several people reject me since they hadn't yet decided if they would rent those days or hadn't yet "adjusted" their pricing. I would also check the comments history to see if they have rented during SDCC in the past and if they have a history of cancelling reservations. You will probably not be able to cancel the rental without a large penalty, which can be a minus if the hotel lottery gods (Zeus, Tyche, both?) favor you late in the process. We booked the airbnb right after we landed at the Town & Country in the lottery. Later on we had the opportunity to nab a gaslamp hotel but we had already committed. And of course book a backup hotel that you can cancel, just in case.

The main benefits are easy to list: Full kitchen, lots of space, washer/dryer, 2 bathrooms, quieter than most hotels. The location was great. Was just a block away from the hotel we stayed at last year so we were already familiar with the area. Easy walk to trolley and shuttle, close enough to go back and forth during the day, but far enough for it to be quiet at night and for the increased prices not to be too wacky. Price was comparable to hotels in the official sale.

We were able to use the kitchen and save money that way, but it did require more discipline from me than I expected. We arrived in San Diego on Monday, so I had time to shop, bbq and prep food for the week. I still found that I had to force myself to get things ready each evening for the next day. Also took more time to pack up when it was time to go. When everyone is in a hotel room you kind of have to be organized, with so much space I found I was pretty lax.

Compared to a hotel, things were mixed. There were nice features, better wifi, plenty of outlets, a lot more closet space. But it also lacked some of the basic things that you would take for granted, like trash cans. There was just one trash can in the whole place. No extra sheets or blankets but we must have had 20+ towels.

The only real issue we had was that we think the people who stayed there last left some messes that the cleaning staff didn't catch. Some dishes had been put in the cupboards dirty, a bath mat had a weird stain on it, things like that. (And I had to fix one of the toilets.) I didn't want to get blamed for these things so we took care of as much as possible, though we never did get the stain out, and made a detailed list for the owner. The owner was cool about it all and gave us a small but appreciated discount at the end of the stay.

Zero:
Forum Housekeeping:
Renamed from "Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC?" to "Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Post your advice here!)."

Hopefully that will help clarify the topic and get more people to provide some good advice for renting a condo for Comic-Con.

Friends of Comic Cons:
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YouThinkMeMad:
If you're thinking of renting a condo, start asking around now. Especially if you're using VRBO or HomeAway. Many will start lists or if they aren't available then you'll know and you can move on. Most of the time in their listings (VRBO anyway), they'll have an area with their rates and in most cases they're aware of SDCC and you'll see the increased rates.

justboogie:
I remember when I tried going the Airbnb route for a downtown condo...prices were insane! Hosts required that renters stay the entire week for as much as $6000. I thought that inquiring early would help, but I would get messages back like "Comic con is way too far in advance, please message me 6 months before the event."

YouThinkMeMad:
You are not allowed to view links. Register or LoginI remember when I tried going the Airbnb route for a downtown condo...prices were insane! Hosts required that renters stay the entire week for as much as $6000. I thought that inquiring early would help, but I would get messages back like "Comic con is way too far in advance, please message me 6 months before the event."

--- End quote ---

Yeah. It's a bit insane. And since every condo has a different owner, you never know how soon someone plans on renting out. I was talking to a guy who got $1,000 a night this year for a Gaslamp 1 BR condo, and was planning on asking for $1,500 a night for 2017.

I did find someone who was ready to rent out now, but then I just booked a hotel that was open instead.

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