By Aabiya Baqai, Sahrish Ali and Sohila El Saadany
These global platforms will take your travel beyond the ordinary.
Airbnb: A Home Away From Home
A safe place to list, discover and book accommodations. It provides the most unique traveling experience with listings varying from tree houses to luxurious penthouses.
When desperate times called for dire measures, Joe and Brian in San Francisco decided to rent out three air mattresses and serve breakfast. A simple blog with maps was created, called airbedandbreakfast.com. In 2008 they invited a former roommate to become a co-founder and launched for the very first time at SXSW. In 2009, they got their first funding and now Airbnb connects people in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries.
How it Works
Sign up and learn more about the hosts.
Listings are described in detail including amenities, arrival and departure times.
Airbnb displays Verified ID and public reviews. Verified ID makes sure you have completed a set of verifications.
Guests and hosts’ payments will be processed when a reservation is honored.
Couchsurfing: The World Is Your Couch
Couchsurfing is similar to Airbnb, however it is completely free. It allows you to stay with locals in every country and participate in local activities such as language exchanges, classes, hikes, etc.
As with all startups, Couchsurfing started with a need, an email and a call to action. Casey Fenton, after his first “couch-surfing” experience, decided to build a platform for the world to foster more affordable travel and offer immersive cultural experiences.
How it Works
Sign up and explore the Couchsurfers’ community.
Couchsurfing addresses privacy and safety using a referencing and security system.
Check out nomadicmatt.com for information on traveling that fosters connection and experience.