Got a Travel Bug?
Well, I’ve got a little something that might help scratch that itch. Have you heard of Airbnb? If you haven’t by now – you need to :). I stumbled on this little hidden gem last year. Nathan had a business trip in Chicago, so I was checking out hotel prices downtown and they were horrendous. For the timing, it was hard to find a place that was less than $200/ night. And considering he needed to be in the area for a few days that would easily put us in the $1000 range for a short trip just a few hours away – RIDICULOUS!
Anyways, we already found a steal of a deal in transportation. We booked a ride on the MegaBus – a leisurely ride, comfy coach seats with free wifi. It was like having an office on wheels and at $25 return from Detroit to Chicago, how could we resist? The crazy thing about the Mega Bus is, it can get even cheaper than that. You can find one way trips under 30 bucks to all kinds of places and if you’re lucky, book well in advance and you can even find trips for $1. For real?! YEAH ferreal! Now pick your chin up off the floor ;).
So you know after getting such a great deal on the transportation, I wasn’t down with paying nearly double my mortgage for a few days in the Windy city. I can’t remember how we got there, maybe a google search for deals or cheap or something resulted in an ad for Airbnb. Now before I get to the deal, I should probably explain the concept. Basically, Airbnb features great places you can stay, in other people’s homes. Some of them are shared accommodations, so you’d be renting out a single bedroom but there are condos and single family houses too. And get this – there are even castles! The site has really grown from its humble beginnings in 2008 to include all kinds of unique spots to tickle your fancy. There are pretty places, rustic retreats, green getaways, boats, planes, earthships, but before I get too distracted with all that, let me get back to my favorite thing about Airbnb: The deals! Nathan and I were able to find shared accomodations in a nice condo, right in the heart of downtown for less than a third of the price of other hotels. It was perfect, not only did we benefit from the added affordability, he got to hang out with a local and learn some really cool things about the city – yet another thing to love about Airbnb.
Ok I know what you might be thinking, ‘shared accommodations?’ Weren’t you worried you might be sending Nathan to stay with an axe-murderer? Not really, although crazier thoughts have crossed my mind LOL. Airbnb has a great system – there are guest reviews, links to social tools like Facebook and a lot of the places have pictures that have been verified by Airbnb representatives so it’s remarkably safe. So safe, Nathan convinced me to add our place online and we love the experience! We get to host some really interesting people from all kinds of places, learn fascinating things and share stories. They’ve come to Windsor for weddings, family reunions, to watch shows, to perform in shows – we’ve even helped people with their plans to relocate here. I would probably pay for some of those experiences but the neat thing is, I get the money which in turn gets added to my travel fund savings for my Airbnb vacation in Thailand! Sweet deal eh?