The rent-a-room model of AirBnb has brought global travel to the masses. A culture-changing concept, AirBnB allows everyday people to cure their wanderlust on a dime through opening up their homes to fellow travelers, and relying on strangers across the globe for affordable lodging abroad. The site is turning travel lifestyle on its head: with landlords who are eager to show out-of-town guests their favorite local spots, travelers are getting a first-hand, insider experience of what life around the world is really like. Of all the listings on AirBnB- high-rise Tokyo apartments, rural farmhouses in the wine regions of France, spare rooms in a suburban Massachusetts family home- two stand out among the rest.
Dome In The Desert, a small oasis in the middle of Joshua Tree, CA, offers guests total seclusion: owners Kathrin and Brian Smirke leave the Dome, their second home, in the hands of their guests, who get to experience the freedom of the couple’s California-hippie existence. Travelers usually prefer to indulge in the peace and quiet of Dome In The Desert by taking advantage of the Dome’s “meditation room” and magical atmosphere, but for those who want to venture into the town of Joshua Tree, Kathrin and Brian always leave their guests an itinerary of can’t-miss local digs.
In the heart of the Dandenong mountain ranges of Australia sits Among The Trees, a luxury “tree house” surrounded by the forest of the Silvan Valley. Landlords Graeme and Sheila have opened up Among The Trees, their family home, to all who wish to visit. With a passion for meeting new people and thirst for knowledge about different cultures, the couple offers a family-style stay to guests interested in connecting with both the hosts and the surrounding nature. A stay at Among The Trees usually involves mountain hikes (where wallaby sightings are not uncommon), a trip to the famous wineries of the region, and classic homemade Australian barbecue.