The travelling landscape has changed drastically over the past decade, largely due to the spread of information technology on a global scale. Travellers now have endless resources and information about future destinations at their fingertips. They also have a wide range of new tools to make an itinerant lifestyle more convenient and practical. One of these, which has made my travelling experiences infinitely more enjoyable, is Airbnb.
Airbnb is a website that connects people who have extra space with those looking for accommodations. Individuals can rent out a room, a bed, or their whole property for a given period. The website interface makes it easy to find a place to stay and get in contact with renters. Though there has been some concern about safety, the company has gone through great lengths to put its customers at ease. The ratings and review system is especially useful in terms of making sure that your host is trustworthy and in order to ensure a positive experience.
Safety concerns aside, Airbnb is a wonderful resource for travellers. It’s user-friendly, affordable, and a great way to discover a new culture. Far from the sterility of hotels, renting a room in someone’s home offers an entirely different perspective on your destination of choice. It’s also a great way to meet new people–Airbnb hosts are often extremely welcoming and willing to offer travel tips and advice to their guests.
It’s also a great resource for renters. Financial perks aside, welcoming people from all around the world into your home offers an invaluable cultural experience. Despite the occasional awkward moments–sharing your space with a stranger isn’t always an ideal situation–overall the benefits far outweigh the cons.
As it gains in popularity, Airbnb has launched a series of partnerships designed to improve the user experience. A new loyalty program allows American Express users to apply their reward points directly to Airbnb stays. On the more unusual side, Airbnb has begun a partnership with Tesla in order to bring charging stations to select homes in California, and soon across the globe. These mere two examples truly illustrate the potential impact that the company could have on everyday life.
In my experience, renting a room through Airbnb is the best way to travel. It’s cheaper, it’s friendlier, and it’s far more conducive to discovering a new place and culture. I would recommend it to any aspiring globetrotter–while, of course, using caution and common sense.