Isn’t the mere idea of AirBnB simply revolutionary? Got a property you’re no longer living in because of dark memories? Put it up on AirBnB. Basically live with your boyfriend but haven’t officially moved in yet? Don’t just pay rent pointlessly, switch out the sheets on your bed, do a spic clean of that bathroom, and put your apartment up on Airbnb. Looking for affordable accommodations that aren’t a Motel 6? Check out AirBnB. Looking for a way to stay in a real life castle lost somewhere in the Scottish moors? You guessed it: Check out AirBnB.
This little see-a-need-fill-a-need app has changed our lives over the past decade, but with it’s genius came competitors. Some of them arguably do the “AirBnB-thing” way better than AirBnB itself. This was problematic for everyone’s favorite way to travel to new and exotic locals. But they’ve solved that with AirBnB experiences. The best part is that if you’ve been using AirBnB for a couple of years to handle your lodging issues, you’ve already been getting quite a variety of experiences. That’s probably why the experiences add-on is such a seamless tie-in and why (we’re going out on a limb here), and saying yes, AirBnB experiences are definitely worth it. Don’t worry, we’ll back up that opinion. Check it out:
AirBnB came up with the experience offerings just a bit ago, and the general principle is allowing vetted locals around town host experiences that are native to the area. In practice, this can be everything from a landmark photo shoot in an iconic city or authentic Italian cooking classes in the heart of Rome. That being said, along with all of the positive reviews flooding the internet surrounding AirBnB in general, it’s no shock that there’s a few less than peachy reviews out there too. Granted, some of these are totally hilarious and would only ever happen in an AirBnB setting, others, however, are dangerous and add more stress to a situation that’s just supposed to be fun. So, it’s understandable that quite a few folks are approaching the idea with trepidation. After all, you may not be trusting your bedding and the sanitary nature of your towels to a stranger, you’re trusting your afternoon to them.
All jokes aside, the experiences available in some countries are already pretty amazing. You can take a class on catching butterflies, preserving them, and framing them like you’re working in a museum. You can browse the Tate Modern with a historian. Take a tour with “The Vegan Taxidermist,” (we don’t know what this is), or you can literally go on an Instagram tour through a popular city ll for reasonable prices and from people who are actually experts at what they’re trying to show you. Any wise traveler would be poking around, snooping around, making sure that this is actually worth your time and money before embarking. After all, you’re only sacrificing a whole day of your trip to this excursion, and if it’s a disaster, you’re not gonna feel great about it.
Surprise Experiences Are Totally Awesome
Beyond everyone else’s reviews and weigh-ins on the subject, we believe one very important detail has been left out: This makes it easier for you to access cooler things in any city you go see. Just like any profession being a tour guide and catering to the travel industry is super difficult to break into. This makes it so all of those hurdles that people would have to jump to get into the industry are removed. This may sound like a not-so-good thing. But it’s actually truly the best thing to happen. All of these average day folks who are crazy passionate about a city’s history or about a certain landmark can now guide you around that landmark for a better price and give you information that you wouldn’t be able to access super easily. There’s a reason that you’re supposed to ask the bartender where he goes out to eat, and that’s because locals know it best. The AirBnB experiences allow you to see that first hand.
Better yet, you can make friends with this person guiding you through how to make authentic French crepes at a cut rate. Best of all, once you make friends with them, you have a resource to refer to for your whole trip, and if you ever come back, you have someone you can hit up and ask for recommendations of, or just meet up for a coffee. In other words, you can bring your travel experience to the next level for the cost of an $18 local cuisine class.
Afraid to try it while exploring a new city that you’re unfamiliar with? Use the experiences tab on the AirBnB site in your home town first. Chances are you’ll find plenty of affordable and weird things to explore that you wouldn’t have even thought to try before. The best part is that most AirBnB experiences tend to not try and encroach on the big tour company’s turf (i.e. Vip Ontario). So that means that you can freely explore both the weird and the traditional via many different avenues. Start the day with a VIP bus tour of the Niagara Falls and then go to your next activity: driving race cars around a race track via an AirBnB experience. Or catch a foot tour with us and then finish your tour with an artisan italian gelato making class. The possibilities are endless.
Reach out to Ontario to get your big tours planned and set up and then supplement your days with the weird and fantastic with AirBnB’s crazy experiences. You can’t go wrong.