A man spends the night in a house he thought was Airbnb

Paul Drecksler has had his fair share of travel over the past 10 years, although he had one recent experience that was out of the ordinary.

The travel connoisseur divides his time between Waynesville, North Carolina, about 30 miles southwest of Asheville, and Ecuador. He said Newsweek that he recently traveled to Miami, Florida, to celebrate a friend’s wedding, but had an accident along the way: he accidentally stayed at the residence of a complete stranger whom he originally thought to be part of his Airbnb.

He said his solo trip started on the morning of March 8 in Cuenca, Ecuador, where he took a bus to Guayaquil airport. From there, he took off and finally landed in Miami, Florida at around 12:30 p.m. He didn’t reach his Airbnb until around 2 a.m. on March 9.

“Somehow, between passing GPS coordinates offered by the Airbnb app and forwarding them to Google Cards and UberI kind of ended up with the wrong address,” Drecksler said.

A world traveler recently discovered that even following the most specific instructions can still lead to mistakes, as well as good stories. “I remember my first thought was, ‘This place looks a bit lived in,’ but I rationalized it. It wasn’t the most expensive Airbnb,” Paul Drecksler said of His experience.
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He said the host of the residence he was supposed to be staying at was not present, so he referred to the instructions provided on the Airbnb app. This included going to a door at the end of the driveway – “there’s the door at the end of the driveway, unlocked”, he recalled – as well as a dog that was supposed to be on the property.

Then he saw an independent guesthouse with the light on. As he said, the door and everything inside “was unlocked and ready to go.”

“I just let myself in,” he said. “I remember my first thought was, ‘This place looks a bit crowded’, but I rationalized it. It wasn’t the most expensive Airbnb.”

Drecksler momentarily thought he might have taken the wrong residence given that there were items strewn about the house. He compared the guesthouse scene to the Airbnb listing, noting that the setup seemed “right on” and even included the same small living room with a two-seater table.

Maybe the photos were older, he thought.

“What pushed me over the edge was that the bed was ready to go and there were two freshly folded towels,” he said. “I was exhausted and immediately fell asleep.”

Then he got a hell of a wake-up call when a man – who he soon discovered was the owner of the residence – knocked on the door, which Drecksler says was “pretty polite in hindsight”. .

Drecksler asked who the man was, telling him he was staying at the Airbnb. The man replied that the house was his and not an Airbnb at all. This caused Drecksler to immediately get up and pack his things.

“He was super cool about it, super nice and made an ‘honesty mistake’ and said ‘let yourself out,'” Drecksler said.

After packing, Drecksler said he apologized profusely and expressed his embarrassment. Once the traveler walked past the house, they were left confused as to where it was and where their real Airbnb was.

The owner, sensing Drecksler’s confusion, looked at Airbnb’s instructions and directed Drecksler to the correct residence, which was located literally next to where Drecksler had spent the previous night.

He said the house next door had the same gate and a dog. Drecksler stayed at the good Airbnb from Wednesday through Sunday that week and never saw the previous owner again.

“I’ve stayed at hundreds of Airbnbs and hotels and nothing like this has happened before,” he admitted. “I am not an amateur traveler; it can happen to the best of us. »

An Airbnb spokesperson said Newsweek they were unaware of similar incidents with any of their rental properties.

“We’ve never heard of anything like this. We’re just glad everyone is safe and the confusion has cleared up,” the spokesperson said.

He discovered it first hand. He once told his story on his own Facebook and instagram accounts, he said he received a plethora of comments from other travelers who made similar mistakes on their own trips – which he described as “dangerous and terrifying at the same time”.

“It just seemed insane and so rare to me,” he said. “But there are a lot of stories like that. It’s interesting to think of what you would have done in the same scenario. I’m really lucky in that sense.”

In 2015, Drecksler launched the travel website Travel is lifebased on telling unusual stories from different parts of the world, like the profile of a man in Argentina who built his house with plastic bottles to encourage recycling, to an Ecuadorian restaurant set in a black cave.

The stories of rental properties are many. Some are rather scary, like in Texas where the holidays purportedly rental host took 2,100 explicit photographs of guests using a hidden bathroom camera. Complaints against other rental hosts have alleged similar irregularities.

And some stories are simply unusual, like that of a pair of Airbnb owners who alleged earlier this year, a guest changed a residence lock to a key box without permission.

Updated 03/17/2022 2:14 PM ET: This story has been updated with comments from an Airbnb spokesperson.

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