If you aren’t an Airbnb-er yet, chances are there’s a reason. It’s OK to admit it: you’re skeptical. You certainly aren’t alone. Cultural, generational, or just personal – there are a lot of reasons you might raise an eyebrow at the concept. But before you turn to a Holiday Inn on your next travel adventure, we can share (from personal experiences) 10 reasons why Airbnb is a really awesome idea.
Number Ten: Learn How the Other Side Lives. Perhaps the most exciting part of traveling is that everything is new. It isn’t just about the fantastic sites in your Lonely Planet book. It’s those subtle details that catch us – how people greet each other, how they approach meals, whether or not you wear shoes in the house. If you are looking for the full cultural experience, Airbnb adds a whole new layer of novelty to your stay. And unlike hostels, you won’t have to sleep with your backpack under your pillow.
Number Nine: Airbnb Has Locations Literally All Over the World. It’d be a challenge to find a place to visit that doesn’t have Airbnb hosts. There is a style and price bracket for every taste under the sun – and full transparency about what each accommodation offers, including reviews from previous visitors.
Number Eight: You Can Rent a Whole House. More of the introverted type, or maybe just traveling with a group? Many people opt to rent out their homes for extended periods, so you can soak up the experience on your own terms and in total privacy.
Number Seven: It’s Normally Cheaper. Price ranges vary from extremely cheap (camping in someone’s backyard for $30) to downright luxurious (a whole house in Dubai for over $1500 per night). But for the average Joe, you can almost always save over a hotel option – especially if you have more than one person. In most countries, you can find nice accommodations for $40-80 per night. The only place you’d find similar pricing might be at a motel you probably wouldn’t want to go near.
Number Six: It’s Just…Homier. No matter how cozy they try to make hotel rooms look, they still carry a distinctly synthetic vibe. (All that swirly carpet must have something to do with it.) The best Airbnb experiences feel more like staying at a friend’s house than at a place where you paid to stay the night.
Number Five: Making Last Minute Plans Is Totally Fine. Many Airbnb hosts have bookings open for last minute overnights at affordable prices, so you can easily book if your plans change last minute – or you’re just out for a bit of an adventure.
Number Four: You Get a Local Viewpoint. Want to know the best-kept secret in town? Need someone to point out the best beach for long-boarding? Your host can tell you firsthand. If you’re lucky, they just might even take you with them. But regardless, their knowledge of the area will show you things that those printed hotel hand-outs couldn’t dream of capturing.
Number Three: You Can Stay in Creepy Places (If You Want To). From yurts and dessert comes to novelties like Kurt Cobain & Courtney Love’s old place, the possibilities are pretty much endless. One thing is for sure: it won’t be your average hotel experience.
Number Two: You Will Have New Experiences. Learn Acro Yoga from a Brazilian. Discover a new instrument from someone who hand makes them himself. Learn to cook a regional dish you’ve never heard of and definitely can’t pronounce. The possibilities are pretty much endless – and completely unique in the Airbnb experience.
Number One: Leave With New Friends. Airbnb hosts tend to be social creatures by nature, so it’s not unheard of to become friends (or at least friendly) during your stay. Somehow, it’s always a benefit to have friends in far-flung places – especially if you might want to return to them in the future. Plus, who would turn down a chance to add a new Facebook friends? No one, that’s who.
Note: Of course, before you go, check your host’s reviews and make sure the home you’re staying in has a good Airbnb reputation. Happy traveling!