Although we're mostly partial to hotel hopping and resort stays,
has quickly carved a special place in our hearts (
) - primarily for being a lifesaver in many instances - but particularly for the following three reasons:
1. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
With a plethora of locations, across most major cities, it's inevitable that you'll find an Airbnb that fulfills your hospitality needs at any budget. We found ours in a matter of a days before the last leg of our New York City trip in the perfectly quaint neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn - only a few train stops away from Manhattan.
The best part is you probably wouldn't even want to leave the area with so many topnotch restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques within walking distance.
Also, as you can see, we managed to score a modern loft with beautiful views of the neighborhood to boot. Out of curiosity, I even checked to see how much of the loft was valued at - a plump 1.2 million dollars - not a bad snag at all.
2. USER-FRIENDLY NAVIGATION AND HIGH-QUALITY, FILTERED LISTINGS
I can't commend Airbnb highly enough on how simple and effective the user-interface is.
Finding your dream Airbnb is incredibly intuitive with an interactive navigation that addresses your most important needs.
And depending on what they are, you can even activate advanced filters for more specific searches. These features that are truly unique to Airbnb are what sets them apart from their competitors.
3. CULTURAL IMMERSION AND SOCIOECONOMIC IMPACT
The 2008 economic crisis and housing bust was both a tragedy and blessing. A blessing in that it birthed Airbnb, which enabled home owners - the world over - to list their vacant rooms and spaces as a way to save/maintain their homes or supplement their exhausted incomes. This core mission remains true today.
On top of that, what better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than to live in it? Some of the best recommendations I've had were from the Airbnb hosts.
Don't want to interact at all? Most, if not all, Airbnb hosts respect your privacy and sense of space.
Now that I've officially professed my love (again!) for Airbnb - I'll most likely be rounding up my favorite and most exotic listings around the world...stay tuned.
FTC: This is not a sponsored post - I really do use Airbnb, on my own dime and time, as an alternative hotel.