Saturday, 30 September 2023 04:47

I've stayed in dozens of accommodations around the world, and I always check Airbnb before booking a hotel

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* I'm a frequent traveler who has stayed in dozens of hotels and Airbnbs around the world.  * I prefer to book Airbnbs over hotels because they feel lived-in and offer more unique experiences.  * Through Airbnb, I've booked tiny homes, cozy cabins, and even a livable art sculpture.  Would you rather spend the night in a luxury hotel or a wine barrel that's been converted into a tiny home?  Last year when I was in Switzerland, I chose the latter — thanks to Airbnb. I remember when I first discovered the booking website. I was in college. Like many of my peers, I had the travel itch, but I had hardly any money to get anywhere. During the winter break of my freshman year, three friends and I wanted to go to Colorado. So we booked an apartment in Boulder that we found on Airbnb. For four nights, it cost us $350, which we split between the four of us.  We booked the Airbnb to save money, but once we got there, I thought to myself, "This is so much cooler than a hotel." Unlike a hotel, the apartment made me feel more immersed in Boulder. We cooked meals in the kitchen, spent nights on the porch, and enjoyed the comforts of a place that felt lived in. I didn't mind that the steps creaked or that I had to make my own bed. Staying in a home helped me feel more at home myself.  Nearly a decade later, I still prefer the unique attributes of Airbnbs over the comforts of hotels. I work as a travel reporter, and I've stayed in luxury hotels around the world — from the Versace Mansion in Miami to the Bulgari in Milan. I've enjoyed the pleasures of room service, plush robes, and pillow menus. But none of these high-end experiences have been as memorable as the Airbnbs I've stayed in. My favorite part of Airbnb is the wide variety of unique places to book around the world. I've stayed in tiny homes, tents, and cozy cabins. Once I stayed in a geodesic dome in the woods of Ontario, Canada. Another time in Miami, I slept in a lifeguard tower overlooking the Florida Everglades. But my most memorable stay was in Rome, when I booked two nights in a livable art sculpture made out of scrap wood, broken tiles, and recycled car windows. Nowadays, I still stay in hotels sometimes, but only when I've scoured the location on Airbnb without finding a unique stay that excites me. Hotels offer me a comfortable place to doze during my travels, while Airbnbs give me another new adventure. And I prefer the latter.  Insider

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