By now you've probably heard about Airbnb (short for air bed and breakfast) and the way it connects travelers to unique accommodations around the world. Imagine booking that beach bungalow you've always dreamed of, a studio right in the middle of all the action in your favorite city, or even an igloo in the Arctic. While this sounds a little farfetched with traditional lodging, it's completely possible thanks to Airbnb where you can rent an entire home, private home, or a shared room from local hosts in over 190 countries. It has made its mark on the world, forever changing the way we travel. Here are 3 reasons you should skip the hotel and book an Airbnb on your next adventure.
Manufactured vs Authentic Experience
With hotels, you're often in the middle of one big tourist trap with restaurants hawking the same food you'd eat at home, surrounded by the same people you'd see at home. That's where Airbnb comes in as a major game changer - allowing you to live like a local. Book an apartment in a neighborhood inhabited by locals carrying on with their every day life. You get to soak up the sounds, smells, and sights of a different culture right from your bed.
But that's not all! One of the best parts is that your host may also live on the property depending on the type of room you book. More often than not, they'll invite you to eat the dinner they prepared with fresh, local ingredients and tell you about all of the amazing places that aren't in guidebooks. This Lisbon based surf instructor will even take you out to catch your first wave while hosting you! Would you rather have a manufactured experience for the sake of laundered white towels or an authentic experience you'll be able to recall for years to come? I'll take the Airbnb for 100, Alex! Easy decision.
Highly Customizable Booking Process
Airbnb puts the traveler in control by offering customization so that you're booking the place best suited for your needs. Each listing contains all of the information about the space to help you make a decision, and if you have any questions, you're more than welcome to contact the host for a speedy response. You're able to cycle through the photos and reviews to get a feel for the home or apartment and exit off of the ones that don't meet your standards. Amenities - kitchen, wifi, cable TV, pool, washer/dryer, wheelchair accessibility - are clearly itemized to minimize any surprises upon arrival.
Want an apartment with a rooftop terrace? Book it. Going on a weekend getaway and need a place that sleeps you and 5 of your friends? Book that. Do you love to cook your own meals? Find a place with the spacious kitchen that sets your inner chef on fire. Airbnb makes it really easy to find accommodation that captures the most important pieces of your wish list.
There's Something For Every Budget
How many times have you looked at a hotel and cried for your bank account? Or had to decide between a Marriott and a Motel 6 because there was no in between? The major advantage of Airbnb is price and depending on your destination, you'll find rentals complete with a full kitchen and wifi that cost a fraction of nearby hotels. You won't get housekeeping and concierge, but at least you're paying only for the things you want and none of the extra fluff that you probably wouldn't use anyway.
I've rented an apartment in Bangkok with my sister and a friend. The ever-exciting cost? $286 for 7 days, split 3 ways. Another time, I spent 6 whole days in Lisbon, Portugal in a room with a beautiful balcony I rented for only $161. Then, there was that time in Hoofddorp, Netherlands where my room was only $38 per night. See where I'm going with this? When you spend less on accommodations, you have more money to treat yourself to the attractions you want to see or splurge on that meal at the best restaurant in town.
There's a time and a place for everything and although Airbnb has started to disrupt the industry, hotels aren't going anywhere anytime soon. They're still the best option if you want a pampered experience, prefer to book with a brand you recognize, or if you travel for business (read: points). But there's no doubting that Airbnb has made traveling easier and accessible than ever!
Tiffany is travel + lifestyle blogger aiming to inspire globally minded millennial women to escape the mundane (if only for a moment), embrace their inner wanderlust, and to boldly live life on their own terms. You can find more of her tip and experiences on her blog.