Today I want to talk to you guys about a little something I’ve come to love called Airbnb. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical when I first heard about it. Staying in someone else’s home? Isn’t that super awkward?
Well, let me tell you, it ain’t.
If you’re looking for accommodations for your next trip, skip the hotel. Airbnb can cater to your exact specifications. Traveling with a big group and need a house that’ll hold 15? Done. Traveling by yourself and feeling a little iffy about hostels or the fact that no one will notice if you don’t come home at the end of the day? Taken care of. Airbnb offers anything from a full house to a spare guest room. Igloo, tree house, house boat, swanky downtown pad, they’re all available, and within any person’s price range. If you want to go all out, there are incredible spaces to rent (we’re talking castles, people). On a budget? You’re covered. I’ve seen places for under $20 a night.
Me, I’m not a hostel kind of girl. And while hotels can be nice if you’re willing to shell out the money, I’d rather have a kitchen so I don’t have to eat out every meal. And possibly laundry. Because I learned my lesson in terms of overpacking.
Also, if you’re just looking for another internet time-suck, this one’s great. I can literally spend hours looking at people’s houses. It’s like having the travel channel on my computer.
Exhibit A: Montreal
Aja and I wanted something close to the metro, with easy access to downtown. The search function on the website lets you find exactly what you need based on neighborhood, number of guests, budget, and type of accommodation you’re looking for. We didn’t need an entire place to ourselves, so we opted for a guest room in someone’s home. I won’t lie, the bright colors were what caught my eye, but what made it so great were our hosts. Talk about some really lovely people!
Exhibit B: London
While traveling by yourself can be awesome, it can also be problematic in that no one else knows where you are. Because of London’s incredible Underground, I wasn’t too concerned about location, I was more worried about price and the people I’d end up staying with. Again, I opted for a guest room in someone’s home, and found an incredible flat on the border of zones 1 and 2. As a female traveling alone, I felt a lot safer staying with two middle-aged gay men and their dogs. This one also came with my own bathroom — A+.
Having done two big trips using Airbnb, I’m hooked. I’m planning to go to Greece in 2016, and you know where I’ll be booking my accommodations. I’ve had nothing but positive experiences, and everyone I’ve talked to who’s used Airbnb has said the exact same thing. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in a new city, staying with locals and getting their recommendations. Without a doubt, my vacations have been made better because of my hosts and their advice and suggestions.