When it comes to travel, there’s many things to consider.

First, it’s likely the most important: Where are you going? Are you looking to relax? Or go on an adventure? Do you want somewhere far away or just around the corner?

The second is cost. And this is where what we want to do, doesn’t always mean we can do it. Our wants and needs of travel, often come down to money…especially if we don’t have a lot of it.

For the past year or two, I’ve been using AirBnB to cut down on costs. Not always, sometimes I do love me a hotel. But it’s pretty fair to say that sometimes hotels just don’t fit in your budget, no matter how much you love having your bed made for you every morning.

If you’re not familiar with AirBnb, it’s a service that basically you rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 190+ countries. You can choose from just renting a room, or the whole house, depending on how you like to travel. Me? I tend to want to rent the whole thing. I’m sure the people who rent rooms are nice, but I’m not the most pleasant person in the morning, so I feel like really I’m doing them a favour by booking a solo rental.  I’m not lying when I’ve said I’ve spent hours pouring over AirBnB listening, from castles to trailers, treehouses to glass cubes, even if you’re not planning a trip, it’s so fun to day dream.

AirBnB sort of like online dating, but not as creepy.  You find a place you like, you reach out to the owner of the listing, you exchange messages back and forth and decide if you’re a good match.  In some instances you’re able to do a bit more research on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  In all the times I’ve stayed in AirBnBs, I’ve never not felt safe.

Another one of the great things about the service is you really get to see how other people live, and aren’t we all curious about that just a little bit.

Some of my favourite rentals have included this amazing gem in Brooklyn:

And this pristine time-capsule in San Francisco:

My most recent stay was at a great condo in Toronto! Situated around the corner from one of the city’s major intersections, I rented this playce during the world renowned TIFF, when, with good reason, many hotels just aren’t affordable for the regular person. That’s what happens when Clooney books up three floors. (I imagine.) Which is why I think AirBnB has become so helpful. All of a sudden, attending major events like TIFF has become affordable, when they might have been too cost-prohibitive before. And in a place like Toronto, when you’d barely spend any time in your room anyway, knowing that you’re coming home to a cozy, clean and quiet home, is really worth a million bucks.

 

Going to TIFF was a dream come true, and I was much happier to spend money on movie tickets and copious amounts of popcorn than an empty hotel room that I would barely be using. Actually, I was so comfortable at this rental, that I extended it by two nights, just so I could enjoy living in the heart of Canada’s biggest city for just a few days more. That’s something I never would be able to experience otherwise.

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The highlight for me was seeing the premiere of The Danish Girl, starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander.  Getting to see the stars up close, not to mention a movie sure to be big during the awards season, was a once in a lifetime event, that I’ll never forget!

If you’re in the midst of planning your next trip, it’s definitely worth checking out AirBnB. It’ll be amazing what you can do with a little extra money in your pocket!


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Mike Morrison

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