Why we love Airbnb.com

January 25th, 2013

It's no secret that each and every one of us on the Sprinkman Real Estate team has a love of travel in our souls. I once heard Shelly say that while other girls were stashing love notes, dried flowers and cut out pictures of wedding dresses in a box under their bed, hers was full of world maps and photos of exotic places. In our Pinterest-fueled world there are probably fewer of those boxes around, but thankfully accomplishing the same thing virtually is quite fun – and involves a lot less dust.

Our favorite place to wander the world from our armchairs  – besides Pinterest – is Airbnb.com. This is where we happily plot and plan our next adventures. For those of you unaware of this incredible and inspiring  resource, Airbnb is a website chock full of lodging options around the world. It's not hotels they're offering, but people's homes (or treehouses, airstream trailers, igloos, etc.). You have the option to rent an entire space or a room in someone's home. It's usually much less than booking a hotel and you get the added benefit of a local's perspective of your destination. And the neighborhood guides they've created are gorgeous! (Check out this guide to Montmartre in Paris.)


Over the past few years I have stayed with a couple of expats (one American, one Japanese) in Barcelona, in an artist's loft in Paris and shared another artist's home in Venice. Language has never been an issue and the accommodations were not only comfortable and conveniently located, but also beautiful. And getting the insight of my hosts on where to go, and perhaps more importantly where not to go, help defined my travel experiences in each place.


(The flat I stayed at in Barcelona)

This isn't just an option for foreign travel either. Madison currently has multiple listings. Which brings us to this: ever consider renting out a second home or an extra room to travelers? Or paying for your travel by renting out your place while gone? Airbnb has lots of information about listing your home.

So fellow travelers, I feel the need to warn you: spending time on Airbnb is addictive. But as the beautiful homes all around the world inspire such wanderlust – how can that be a bad thing?

Happy travels!