In all my years as a traveler, I’ve had the best experiences when I have had the opportunity to stay in the home of native of my destination. I’ve stayed in a grand estancia in Argentina, a cozy and humble Madrid apartment, a rented room of a family home just outside Barcelona and a gorgeous home with incredible views of an admittedly wacky lady in San Francisco. Unlike a hotel, this arrangement grants you a more intimate, authentic view of a city and its people while offering other great bonuses (like a kitchen so you can save money on eating out or a friendly pooch to snuggle with in front of the fire).
AirBnb allows you to rent a spare room, apartment or home (or boat! or! CASTLE!) in the city of your choice, often for very competitive prices. I’ve just been bumming around the site tonight and it appears that the service is very safe, accountable and reliable. Photos are verified, hosts are reviewed, financial transactions are secured by AirBnb (not individual hosts). Justin and I are still trying to plan our next big adventure but you can be sure that we’ll look into AirBnb once we nail down a destination! ~LP