If you are anything like me, you prefer living like a local while traveling. It can be cheap, is a cultural experience and allows you to explore a place from a local’s perspective.
Hotels can be quite anonymous or lonely, whereas hostels and backpackers are often a bit of a party place for the younger crowds.
AirBNB offers unique places and experiences all over the globe, from tree houses, to small guest houses and real authentic homestays.
Different Ways to Rent an AirBNB
01 Rent a room and live with locals
This one is actually my favourite, since you get to know and live with your host. You rent a bedroom, but share a kitchen and bathroom with the owners. I’ve only had incredible welcoming hosts that went above and beyond and even made friendships this way.
02 Rent the whole place
I’ve done this in Manila, The Philippines. The rent for the whole apartment was super cheap and I wanted to stay in a safe area close to the casino. I couldn’t afford a hotel though, so this was a great solution. Especially if you are a digital nomad and want to live like a local in one location for several weeks or months. This is a great way to find an uncomplicated rental agreement.
03 Rent unique places (tree houses, light houses, glamping tents, etc.)
There are awesome and unique experiences available on AirBNB as well: tree houses, boats and luxury villas.
My last employer rented a 10 bedroom villa with a pool and ocean access for our Christmas Party via AirBNB. It was a lot of fun!
Why Use AirBNB?
I decided to look into AirBNB for the first time when my solo travels became quite expensive in Singapore and Macau. A single room was unaffordable. Even a hostel dorm with 12 people was 30$ (and I REALLY didn’t want to sleep in a hostel dorm).
AirBNB was still less known a few years ago and I was a bit worried about safety. I was wondering, “what kind of person invites strangers into their house?”
I tried it out anyways and settled on a single woman named Karin for my first host. When I arrived I found the key to the apartment under the door mat (which I was shocked by! What if I am a mean person and steal something?!?).
Her Condo was breathtaking! It had the highest luxury standards and I was absolutely happy with this accommodation.
It was the same price of a hostel dorm (Yes!!! Not kidding!)
Karin was a fantastic person as well.
I have now used AirBNB 15 times as a guest and once as a host myself. I’m astonished how great all my experiences have been, and I never had a single bad experience.
I’ve booked accommodation with AirBNB in Australia, Cambodia, Vietnam, New Zealand, The Philippines, Macau, and Singapore.
My Best Experiences with AirBNB
01 Homestay in Ubud, Bali
I stayed here as there was no guesthouse in walking distance to Villa Kitty,
where I volunteered for a week.
The kitchen was open, no windows or walls, with a beautiful view of the rice paddies.
The room was comfortable and the ground was guarded by a lovely dog (that sometimes seemed to forget that I live there).
02 Book store HCMC, Vietnam
This place was absolutely awesome and a bit crazy, but incredibly comfortable and unique.
If you like books, this is paradise!
Your room and bathroom is located within a bookstore.
When you open your bedroom door, you stand in the middle of a Vietnamese book store. They even offer coffee and snacks.
You can book this Air BNB stay HERE.
03 Chinatown in Singapore
Did you ever live in a house with 1000 apartments? I did!
My room in Chinatown felt a bit like a shoe box, and I wasn’t sure if I should trust the rusty elevator or walk the 18 staircases.
However, I really felt like I was living like a local and the location was excellent to explore the city. Mind you, this room was still relatively expensive;
Singapore is not a cheap place to live.
You can book this Air BNB HERE.
04 Karin’s place in Singapore
Karin was a fabulous host – as she really introduced me to be part of her life for a few days. She took me for dinner with friends, local restaurants and to a classic Asian foot massages Spa.
Her apartment was the most luxurious one I’ve slept in for a long time. Beautiful shower and bath tub, a seperate yoga room, outdoor pool and an awesome new kitchen, I loved this place so much that I wanted to live in Singapore.
(Be careful what you wish for – Karin made sure I had a job interview on my third day in the city as well!)
You can book your Air BNB with Karin HERE.
05 Homestay with Filipino family in Macau
Macau was a place where I really appreciated the chance to live locally. It’s the Las Vegas of Asia, with luxury hotels and casinos, tourist spots and attractions and a Portuguese history.
I I was struggling to navigate through supermarkets and at the bus stop, because everything was in Chinese or Portuguese and barely anyone spoke English.
My Filipino Host Family was incredible welcoming and shared their dinner as well a travel and safety tip about the Philippines with me.
You can book this Air BNB HERE.
It is funny how nervous I was about the whole concept at first, and now it is my favourite way to travel.
Have you tried out AirBNB yet? What was your most amazing experience with AirBNB and where did you stay? Did you feel like you were living locally? Please leave your stories below in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!