I first came to hear about Airbnb a few months ago, while some friends and I were planning a trip to New York City. We were searching endlessly online hoping to find somewhere reasonably priced and unique to stay in the city, which we all know can be pretty difficult – hotels in New York are notoriously pricey and lack personality, especially as you near closer to the centre of the glamorous chaos: Manhattan.
We considered staying outside the city’s limits, in New Jersey. But where’s the fun in that? We wanted a genuine New York experience – and that included lots of wandering around, exploring Central Park, and maybe grabbing a slice of pizza of late-night pizza before heading to bed. None of this was possible if we had to head back over the bridge to get to Jersey at a decent hour.
It was a friend who suggested Airbnb to us, all of whom had never heard of it before. This is basically how it works, according to their website: “Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.”
They were founded in 2008, and are pretty much trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from your cell phone.
Simply, go on their website, choose the city you will be travelling to, enter the amount of days you will be staying, as well as your price range (if you have one) and browse through the list of hosts with extra rooms, entire homes, and unique accommodations like castles and igloos for your stay!
It can be significantly unique or luxurious than a hotel stay, and you can find the most convenient locations (I found a room for rent located just down the street from the Eiffel tower). Often you will have accessibility to wifi, a kitchen, laundry, and sometimes even your own balcony or rooftop terrace. If you’re an independent and adventurous traveller, you should definitely try Airbnb.