Till an year back, we could not imagine knocking the door of strangers and staying in their houses for a vacation. And today we are comforting in their spare bedroom and cooking in their kitchen. We have keys to their house and access to their building, as and when we wish.
What started as an AirBed & Breakfast concept in San Francisco, has today become a global phenomenon. Reported as a cultural breakthrough in America, a leap of faith in the Share Economy and a rising threat for the Hotel Industry, Airbnb has certainly changed the way people lodge and trust while travelling…
Gone are the days when people sat for hours looking for hotel and resort deals to fit their planned budget. Today with a little bit of faith and a guest account on Airbnb, it is simpler and much cheaper to find a lodging space in a local household almost anywhere in the world. Not only the new age travelers, but also businessmen and families are turning to the site for staying options, giving luxury hotels a serious run for their money. While the hospitality industry has worked hard for years to provide us with all possible amenities, Airbnb is successfully filling the void of a local experience abroad. Meeting new travelers and local residents in exchange of meaningful conversations with people of different cultures are turning simple trips into a learning experience, which has touched the hearts and minds of many over this past one year.
On one hand where the guests are finding heartfelt places to stay, the hosts on the other hand are a happy lot too renting their spare bedrooms for extra cash and cross-cultural company. Above all, staying with different hosts in different places, is teaching travelers a lot about how different people stay across the globe. While some are inclined towards luxury renting out posh condos, the others are living in the most minimalistic of ways, with simple bedrooms in simple homes…
Being a first time user of Airbnb myself this past month, I would honestly confess – I am struck with “Airbnb Love”!
Considering that lodging during Christmas and New Years in Washington, DC and New York can be expensive, me and my husband decided to try the site out. Looking for an affordable place to stay, we set our bar to a maximum budget of $100 per night. Next, the site showed us almost 50+ listing of probable condos, apartments, shared and private bedrooms spread all over the city. Here is when I realized that the key while choosing a the place of stay is really the location.Weighing all our options and wanting to be closer to Downtown, we naturally opted for places accordingly.
In Washington, a luxury condo costed us 100 dollars a night which was right in the heart of the city. On our arrival we were welcomed within sparkling clean interiors, tasteful settings and a cozy private bedroom by our first host ‘Tommy’ and his two pet cats. His polite behavior and keenness to make us feel comfortable touched me instantly. Also, with almost all monuments, museums and restaurants being at a walk-able distance, we hardly had to worry about taking a cab and travel time.
While in New York, even though we opted for a place in Brooklyn, which was a little far from Times Square, it was still right above the Subway. We literally could not have been closer to the station! Our host here was a musician ‘Carrie-Anne’ who made us comfortable in a cute little room in her apartment with a night full of interesting local interaction. Her taste in art and a background of being a chef introduced me to some new artists and lovely homemade black coffee!
Airbnb without a doubt made our trip a memorable one. And as we are sure this is how we will travel from now on, we also hope that we will be able to introduce a lot other first timers to this new-age concept!