Airbnb has forever changed how millennials travel. Why stay in a stale room at the Hilton when you can book an artist’s loft for the same price? Whether you decide to make your temporary abode a houseboat along the canals of Amsterdam or an igloo in Norway, the 21st-century take on hospitality has built a business based on the idea of selling an experience as opposed to a plain old room. And now, with the recent launch of their new City Host program, Airbnb is taking that concept to an even more immersive level.
The idea of the new program is very much in line with Airbnb’s core mission: to connect you with a local so you live like one, no matter what city you’re in. With City Host, you’ll be connected with an expert who has a curated experience (or experiences) prepared for you. Basically, a tour guide for cool kids.
In San Francisco, you can connect with home-brewer Justin. His itinerary includes three experiences: tasting flights at his favorite breweries, a hands-on brewing workshop and a five-course secret beer dinner. Hop over to London and you can join Alys, an antiques maven. She’ll meet you (with breakfast in hand) and take you to an antique market where you’ll learn how to navigate a flea market like a pro. Also included in her experience is a day trip to the quaint seaside town of Brighton and a guided tour of a home decor museum.
Some are bookable for just you or you and your travel partner, while others are more of a social event. With Alys’ trip, you have the opportunity to meet up to five other travelers. If you’re traveling solo, this is a stellar way to meet people who you already know you share interests with.
Currently, Airbnb-approved City Hosts are available in 11 cities, one of which is actually Havana. In the much-buzzed-about city, there are eight different experiences you can purchase to get a more in-depth feel for the previously banned destination.
Prices vary depending on host and activity, but most hang around the $200 mark. It’s going to cost more than the free walking tour your hostel hooks you up with, but you know that quote you’re always hearing that reads, “Buy experiences not things?” This is that. Sometimes a life experience is worth the splurge.
The City Host program is currently in private beta testing. So if you have a trip planned for next week, you might not be able to book an experience just yet. But if you to want gain access ASAP, add your name to the waitlist on the City Host landing page. Happy travels, folks.
What city host experience are you dying to try? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)