Every day, more than 2 million travellers use Airbnb for an authentic travelling experience in 191 countries. This service lets you save on travel expenses, meet ordinary people, or earn good money as a host. Of course Kyiv and its citizens can get in on the game this holiday season, and not only now.
It was in 2015 when I travelled using Airbnb for the first time. I was planning a five-day trip to Bologna and was looking for accommodation I could afford. I’d heard about Airbnb – the online platform providing accommodation in the private homes of locals. It was quite popular among young travellers who were not afraid of taking risks and sharing a space with strangers. In my early 20s, I pretended to be one of them.
When exploring Airbnb options for Bologna, I found a two-room apartment with high ceilings, blue window shutters and a tiny balcony overlooking a bustling Italian street. Three weeks later, I was knocking on the door.
A Different Experience
My host Carlo turned out to be a friendly 24-year old Italian studying Chinese and dabbling in techno music. After a warm welcome, he took me on a tour of his home. I stayed in the bedroom (as I was a paying customer) while he occupied the living room.
The next day, Carlo told me where to find the best coffee in the neighbourhood and which restaurants serve the most delicious pasta. He also explained the system of public transport and put local markets on my map.
By the end of my vacation, I felt like I’d been living in Bologna for months. It was the most authentic travel experience I’ve ever had, and I haven’t stayed in hotels since.
Two Friends and an Airbed
Back in 2007, when a couple of roommates couldn’t afford their rent in San Francisco, they came up with the idea Airbed & Breakfast. The young men put an air mattress in their living room and offered it to anyone who needed a place for a short-term stay on the West Coast. In 2008, those two roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, along with Nathan Blecharczyk launched a website and raised 20 000 USD to invest in their idea.
Today, the Airbnb site is the largest accommodation provider in the world. Valued at 31 billion USD, the service shook up the global hospitality industry and changed the way people travel.
Travelling With Airbnb
Wherever you go, Airbnb always has hundreds of alternatives to hotels on offer. Depending on your budget, you may opt for a room, flat, treehouse, or even a castle. The website features photos and reviews of every lodging, so you know exactly what to expect. Even if you arrive in the middle of the night, the host will help you getting settled.
Another reason why Airbnb has quickly caught on is its price flexibility. The service suggests an incredible choice of apartments to match all tastes and budgets. My cheapest Airbnb cost me only 17 USD per day. For this amount, I got a spacious studio with a bedroom in downtown Istanbul.
In fact, when staying with Airbnb, travellers get much more than just a place to stay: it’s a unique opportunity to live like a local and explore the country from the inside.
Being a Superhost in Kyiv
Airbnb is always looking for local residents to join their community as hosts. And Kyiv citizens can benefit from this the most. Kyiv’s vibrant music scene, sporting events, and even old Soviet history attract tourists from all over the world. Many use Airbnb to experience an inclusive stay in Ukraine. And for the host, Airbnb is a unique way to meet outstanding people and practice languages without leaving home.
Becoming an Airbnb host is simple and free. You sign up, provide details about your dwelling, upload eye-catching photos, name your price and voilà! Your home is listed on the website and available for booking. As a host, you have full control over the house rules and booking dates.
Proactive communication, sincere hospitality, and the cleanliness of your place will help boost your profile to the status of “Superhost”. Make a list of Kyiv’s must-visit spots and put them on a paper map to give to your guests. Personal recommendations from locals often earn great feedback from travellers. The more five-star reviews you get, the more people will choose your home for their stay in Kyiv.
Travel services like Airbnb erase boundaries, especially the ones in our minds. In our ever-changing world, opportunities await around every corner. All you need to do is step out of your comfort zone and take a chance.
Visit airbnb.com to find out how much you can earn while being a host in Kyiv