Ashton Kutcher’s Travel Advice: Stay with Strangers

Airbnb is a “community marketplace for unique spaces” that aids budget-conscious travelers in finding lodging anywhere from an apartment to a houseboat to a castle.  It’s a cross between backpacker staple couchsurfing.org and more traditional hotel-finding websites.  The site allows participants to become hosts and make money by renting out their place, be it a city apartment, a country lodge, or anything in between.

Travelers then book online, pay through PayPal, and contact the host directly to confirm check-in details.  Meanwhile, Airbnb provides 24-hour support across the globe.  After departing, travelers are encouraged to share their experiences by leaving a review and thus further validating the owner of the accommodation.

Airbnb has become the sleeper hit of the startup world. It’s one of those companies that many well-heeled investors passed on in the early days because they thought that no one would want to open his or her home to strangers.

The San Francisco-based company claims listings in over 8,000 cities and 166 countries that range from private apartments to private islands.

May 31st, 2011 | Posted in Travel
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