“Experience a place like you live there” says Airbnb. With more than 2,000,000 listing worldwide (more than 1,400 of those being castles, obviously) there are quite a few places to call home out there.
From time to time I do find myself browsing the options in my city, checking if there are any new listing in my street and day dreaming about the white sheets and flowers on the fireplace…and how lovely I’d set it up for guests if my housemate were to vacate his room.
I have used Airbnb a couple of times. The first time was for a group of us during the European Youth Event held in Strasbourg. While others were panicking about the 30 km bus ride they’d have to make from the campsite to the venue, I checked on Airbnb and found a flat that could host 3-4 people right next to the train station. It was perfect, the owner was fine with us arriving at the crack of dawn and just asked us to post the key in the letter box when we left.
More recently we stayed in a Victorian home in Saint Leonards in the south of England, fantastic place with a VERY reasonable price and two weeks ago we were in a beautiful stone cottage near Tournai, Belgium, which made a good base for cycling in the area.
Did we experience the place like we lived there? I’d say…we did actually. Being in someones home that is really well taken care of with all the comforts you need, having access to a kitchen with all the bits and bobs that come in handy if you want to save a bit of money or are too exhausted from all your touring around is great. Our hosts have alwaus been friendly and welcoming and more than happy to share the names of their favourite cafes and bakeries and suggest ideas on what to see and do.
I used to be a couchsurfer but as I get older I find myself becoming more of an Airbnber. The fact that I earn a steady income now might just have something to do with it…