Airbnb Neighborhoods Make Vacation Spots Feel Like Home

by  Maryrose Mullen | Dec 19, 2012
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA / ibsky/iStock

No matter the destination, travelers want their trip to evoke an exceptional experience. Every major city has a multi-faceted personality, one that draws shopaholics and foodies alike. With limited time in a new city, you want to hit as many of the landmarks and touchstones as possible. One of the most effective ways of molding your ideal vacation is staying in a section of the city that best aligns with your passions. But pouring through reviews and recommendations can eat up precious time, especially if your stay is expected to be brief.

Airbnb has offered travelers a way to find unique respites for some time now.  However, the company has expanded its scope by adding a bevy of new features. Some perks include meet-ups and activities to bring together other deal-minded users. But the most significant addition is Airbnb Neighborhoods. Users looking to stay in areas catering to their specific interests can select among several filters that best match their needs. The site offers 10 such filters, such as  “touristy” and “great transit,” to help travelers get the most out of their itinerary. Want to browse San Francisco’s art scene? Just select the “artsy” filter. Looking for New York’s hottest nightclubs? Click the “nightlife” filter. There’s even an option for those looking for an authentic experience with the “Loved By” filter, which pegs spots adored by locals.

The "Loved By" filter is especially alluring for travelers who don't want to feel like tourists. Airbnb Neighborhoods grants visitors a unique chance to not only explore new cities, but to become ensconced in them. Travelers can choose a distinct vacation experience to coincide with their chosen location – essentially, becoming temporary residents. The feature is also useful in cities with hotels concentrated in one area, cutting out the financial and timely cost of traveling to your desired part of the city.

The website was originally designed for homeowners looking to rent out their homes to deal-seeking travelers for short-term stays. Since its inception, it has blossomed, and CEO Brian Chesky boasts the company will soon fill more room nights than Hilton Hotels. Airbnb’s growing popularity has led to an evolution of its offerings, with the prospect of reshaping the travel environment.

However, before throwing open your apartment door, be sure to thoroughly read Airbnb’s Terms and Conditions. Hosting guests may be in violation of your city’s laws regarding illegal transient hotels. If caught, hosts can be liable for massive fines (one New York resident nearly had to foot the bill for $40,000). It’s best to bone up on your local legislation, as well, before jetting out of town.

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