[sponsored_by action_blurb=”Sponsored By” name=”Airbnb” url=”https://www.airbnb.com/” logo=”http://cdn.brownstoner.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/airbnb-brooklyn-hosts.jpg” byline=”Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace allowing anyone to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world.” attribution_action_blurb=”Created By” attribution_name=”BlankSlate” attribution_url=”http://www.blankslate.com/”][/sponsored_by]
Ever dreamed of staying in a castle in Ireland? How about a houseboat on the Seine? Thanks to Airbnb, it’s never been easier to tick experiences off your bucket list.
With more than a million rooms available, the popular home sharing website offers eclectic accommodations at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
Variety and cost aren’t the only reason in-the-know travelers flock to Airbnb. The short-term rental service allows guests to immerse themselves in their destination’s culture and distinct flavor. (After all, when’s the last time you received a crash course in the neighborhood’s history from a bellhop?)
And it’s not just travelers who benefit from the cultural exchange. Hosts get to meet people from around the world while making extra income.
Take, for instance, Karen and Joshua’s Flatbush abode, which, like thousands of other Brooklyn homes, is listed on Airbnb. Although they don’t have a doorman, they have something better.
“When our [6-year-old] daughter is home, she’s taken to greeting the guests with a hello in their native language,” says Karen, “and then showing them their room and where the bathroom is down the hall, while our [2.5-year-old] son will just stand at the front door as they enter and jump up and down enthusiastically. If they’re particularly lucky, he’ll even run over and give them a big hug.”
Karen and Joshua have been Airbnb hosts for four years now. At first, they wanted to be sure it would be safe.
“After looking on the site and seeing the safety nets in place at the time—more have been put in place since then—and how we as hosts would be able to communicate and screen guests, we decided to go for it,” she says.
As freelance artists, Karen and Joshua have come to rely on Airbnb for extra income. “Airbnb allows us to stay afloat between gigs,” Karen says. “We don’t know if we’d be able to live in New York City right now without Airbnb.”
Hosting also fulfills another void. With two kids, Karen and Joshua don’t travel as much as they used to.
“Our international guests bring new cultures and languages into our home, which is especially broadening for our children,” she says. “We will often show them on a globe where our guests are from, so they have a sense of how big the world is and yet how small.”
The kids have fond memories of one set of guests in particular.
“Balloon artists from Singapore stayed with us a couple of nights and were so thoughtful,” Karen says. “They came home early their last night specifically to create balloon toys for our kids.”
That warrants a big hug, for sure.
Learn more about listing with Airbnb—and start enjoying the perks of hosting!