I read an article about alternative places to stay around the world in the travel section of the San Francisco Chronicle several years ago. At the time, most of the content wasn't particularly relevant, but some things stick in your mind for good reason.
I am so glad I never forgot Airbnb. I can't ever imagine staying in a hotel again. (unless it's this one.)
How do you describe Airbnb? It's a bit like couchsurfer, and a bit like subletting. But better.
On Airbnb, homeowners can post their houses, apartments, castles, boats, igloos, tree houses, or yurts for people to stay in during vacation. Rates vary from place to place, and on the size of your chateau, but in general, are far lower than a hotel, and much more convenient. Every rental on Airbnb comes equip with the amenities and the comforts of home, while offering a place to stay in far off locations and a peek into the lives of others.
Hannah, Tsoleene, Ethan and I found an apartment on Airbnb for our weekend in Paris. With hostel prices an outstanding thirty-five dollars per person per night to share a dorm room, our $110 four person studio in the Republique district was a far better deal and made us feel right at home.
This is the apartment we stayed in this weekend. With castles and cliff houses for rent, this place is not particularly stunning, but it was cozy for the weekend, and perfect for the four of us.
Although we didn't spend much time at the house, as we had to pack as much as we could into our short stay, it was perfect to fall into a big soft bed at the end of the day, and to watch the rain on the skylight early in the mornings.
If you're heading anywhere in the near future, use this link to sign up for Airbnb and rest easy :)