In this post, we have provided links to several Airbnbs where we have stayed. If you’d like to try Airbnb, here is a link for a $25 credit.
We are always searching for ways to have a more genuine and local experience while traveling, and one of the best ways we’ve found to achieve this is by using Airbnb. In case you aren’t familiar, Airbnb is an awesome service that matches people who are looking for a place to stay with people who have a space they’d like to rent out for a short time (anywhere from a night to a month or more). Much like a typical hotel search, you specify the location where you will be and the number of the nights you’ll be around. Then you can decide if you want a shared room, private room, or entire apartment. You read right..an entire apartment! Airbnb vets hosts and guests so there is a level of trust, and both hosts and guests are peer reviewed. If you are on a budget — as we often are — many are priced comparable to or even less than a hotel for the same stay.
There are some major perks of staying in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. First, you have a host, so, immediately you have a local contact who can often answer questions about local customs or give you advice on what to do, what to see, where to eat, and how to get there. Second, If you opt to book an entire place, you will likely have a kitchen, which can really help cut down on your food costs (Even if you are just booking a room, many hosts are happy to let you use their kitchen). As a traveler staying in an airbnb, you give yourself a chance to have an experience that most ‘tourists’ simply don’t.
The variety of Airbnbs really is endless. Houseboats, retrofitted renovated churches, yurts, villas, castles. . . We’ve stayed in a penthouse on the top floor of a renovated apartment building in the suburbs of Ghent, a cabin in the woods outside Asheville, an apartment in a high-rise block in Toronto, a cozy one-bedroom in the west of Amsterdam, a homey place in Copenhagen, and an apartment with a beautiful view of the Mediterranean in Sicily, just to name a few. Though we usually like to have an entire place to ourselves, we have stayed a couple times when the owner was also there. Every host and experience has been wonderful and unique.
We’ve used Airbnb for a place to crash after a concert, during a work trip, a weekend getaway, over several destinations on a European adventure, a quick stop to sleep before a flight, a spot for a bachelor party, and as a home base to start our life in the Netherlands. Keep it in mind for a conference, family vacation, honeymoon, or just as a convenient place to sleep because your trip was just far enough from your home that you don’t want to drive back.
If you like hotels and predictable rooms with a little lack of personality but convenience to the city center, we completely understand that. But if you want a more authentic experience, give Airbnb a try. As of October 2014, we’ve stayed in 18 Airbnbs in 12 locations in North America and Europe. They haven’t disappointed us yet!
To give Airbnb a try, click here to get a $25 credit!
Do you use Airbnb or have questions about it? Please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear about your experiences as well.
Believe it or not, this is NOT a sponsored post! We truly just love this website/service so much and we want you to know about it. We pretty much tell everyone about it through word-of-mouth, so this is just word-of-blog!