Why Pay for Experiences When You Can Just Befriend the Locals?
Word on the street is that Airbnb is now looking to expand beyond offering accommodations–and will be providing experiences as well. This means that in addition staying in a cool apartment in a great location, you can pay a local to take you on a hike or a beer tasting, or to facilitate another activity that gives you a real taste of your destination’s flavor.
For us travelers who love getting immersed in a new culture and seeing the non-touristy side of locations, this could be a great opportunity. It’s fun to see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, but imagine how much more fulfilling a trip to Paris would be if you could also book a French cooking class in someone’s home.
Travelers love meeting the locals and they love finding the local hangouts. It just makes the experience that much more authentic.
And this is exactly what leads me to wonder–is this something we have to pay for?
In my past travels, I’ve had the incredible experience of being invited to strangers’ homes for meals. Mollie, a Pink Pangea Foreign Correspondent, befriended a waiter in Florence and then got to see the local bar scene. A friend recently told me that while in Bosnia for Passover, she contacted the Jewish community center and they hooked her up with a Seder–no questions asked.
The locals are definitely around. So, is it possible we’re just not reaching out enough?