Back when we were singles travelling alone or with friends, we would rent a bed in a hostel dormitory for $6-$35 per night. You know the scene: There would be a couple having sex a few bunks down, someone defiling the bathroom after a night of too much drinking, people wandering in and out at all hours.
Thank God Airbnb was invented.
For a little bit more money, you can now get an inexpensive, private room, pretty much anywhere in the world. We still go for the absolute most basic accommodations and that keeps it relatively inexpensive, but now we have a place to safely leave our backpacks if we’re going out for a few hours, a locking door that allows us to sleep more peacefully, and a quiet sanctuary to rest away our jet lag and process our travels 24 hours a day.
But the biggest advantage of Airbnb is your host. Your host is your key to knowing where to find the best food in the neighborhood on your first night in town, what precautions you need to take to stay safe, where to find that odd item you accidentally lost or forgot, which sights are overly touristy, and which sites are often overlooked. Our hosts have been gems. Without Ana in Havana, I never would have gotten to buy bread from our balcony like a local. David, in Mexico City, took the time to plan our entire last day for us, suggesting that we get off the metro a few stops early and walk back through a beautiful park and historic streets, stringing together a few sights in a gorgeous part of town. David’s friend also suggested the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life and this churro shop.
Local knowledge about a neighborhood can be your key to packing in a big adventure in a single weekend and we can’t recommend it highly enough.
If you would like to sign up for and try Airbnb, here’s a link that will give you $40 in travel credit to get started. (We also get $20 back when you sign up using this link. You get $40, we get $20, that seems pretty win-win to me!)