Author Topic: Renting a condo or AirBNB for SDCC? (Post advice or questions here!)  (Read 15337 times)

Offline mark

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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.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 01:43:02 PM by Zero »

Offline Zero

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 11:28:29 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 06:39:52 PM by Zero »
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Offline YouThinkMeMad

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 05:41:33 AM »
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.

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Offline justboogie

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 09:38:59 AM »
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."
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Offline YouThinkMeMad

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 12:15:26 PM »
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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."

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.

Offline alyssa

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 01:30:35 PM »
i was in a 3 bed studio in the gaslamp for abt $3600 for the week- it broke down to under a grand per person for 8 nights

studio is the wrong term- more like an open floor plan one bedroom
i was happy
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 01:34:11 PM by alyssa »
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Offline Madmax

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 01:54:40 PM »
YouThinkMeMad,

that's insane!!! $1,500 a NIGHT when most SDCC attendee barely even uses the room.  eck!!!  You mind as well just book the MMM or hilton Byfront outside of Onpeak and just pay the 800-900+/night and get the closest hotels to the convention center.  Man, talk about people gouging.

Offline indiglow

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 02:01:31 PM »
That's seriously ridiculous. Agreed that you might as well get a downtown hotel at that rate. I feel I'm in the minority as both years have been great Airbnb experiences. We paid $835 for 4 nights for a 2bed 2.5bath condo in mission valley so each person was about $90 total.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 02:05:53 PM by indiglow »

Offline YouThinkMeMad

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 05:10:07 PM »
I pretty much told the guy for that price I could book the Hilton direct and for "just" $799. The thing is, he'll find someone to rent it. He said this past year ($1K a night) was booked within 24 hours of putting the listing up.

You can find some with weekly flat rates that aren't horrible but when it's just two of you, even that can be too much.

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Thinking of renting a condo for SDCC? (Tips and Tricks)
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 05:32:15 PM »
From looking around, the Airbnb listings right in downtown were at least as much as downtown hotel prices. However, when you get further out (i.e. Mission Valley), Airbnb prices drop dramatically and can be significantly cheaper than Mission Valley hotel rooms. I saw plenty of listings 5+ miles out of downtown for under $100/night.
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Offline battlestar81

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Trying AirBNB this year instead of a hotel
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 08:16:13 AM »
Hey Everyone, so I decided to try Airbnb this year instead of a hotel. Our group that flies from CT to comic con has grown to around 7 people now and the hotel juggle game is getting rough since we need 2 rooms and still we are on top of each other when we stay. Just found a place about a mile away and booked after have a good few days convo with the owner of the place and he seems pretty nice. I am actually getting married 2 weeks after comic con this year so our trip I am hoping for a nice relaxing time to allow my fiancee to unplug from wedding craziness in a condo with actually room to breath! I will let everyone know how the experience goes if anyone is curious about dipping their toes in the airbnb world. Thanks!

Offline TardisMom

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Re: Trying AirBNB this year instead of a hotel
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 08:22:35 AM »
Sounds great!  I've used VRBO in SD a few times, but for beach rentals (not downtown).  I've always been pleased.  Fingers crossed you have a wonderful stay!

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Trying AirBNB this year instead of a hotel
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 09:53:25 AM »
I would make sure the owner knows you are coming for Comic Con. There have been a few horror stories about owner canceling last minute, when it's too late for people to fid other arrangements.

Offline battlestar81

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Re: Trying AirBNB this year instead of a hotel
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 09:59:03 AM »
Thanks for heads up. I talked to a few owners and made sure to let them know it was for comic con which is why they jacked up their prices as they did not realize it was that week. The one I got I was able to negotiate him down to a more reasonable rates for the event week. So he is well aware!  Hopefully he doesn't cancel last minute that would be a nightmare.

Offline mark

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Re: Trying AirBNB this year instead of a hotel
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 10:18:47 AM »
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Hey Everyone, so I decided to try Airbnb this year instead of a hotel. Our group that flies from CT to comic con has grown to around 7 people now and the hotel juggle game is getting rough since we need 2 rooms and still we are on top of each other when we stay. Just found a place about a mile away and booked after have a good few days convo with the owner of the place and he seems pretty nice. I am actually getting married 2 weeks after comic con this year so our trip I am hoping for a nice relaxing time to allow my fiancee to unplug from wedding craziness in a condo with actually room to breath! I will let everyone know how the experience goes if anyone is curious about dipping their toes in the airbnb world. Thanks!

Congratulations on the upcoming wedding! We did airbnb for the first time for SDCC last year and it worked great. There's a pinned thread here, maybe you can add your experiences too?

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One of the nicest assets is one you mentioned, space for people to relax. Having a washer/dryer too. To build on what others already mentioned, make certain your host knows it is for SDCC beforehand. Our host was fine with that, but hadn't thought of it initially and wanted some additional reassurance that we wouldn't be having parties and get her into trouble.