Over the last few years, a company called Airbnb has gained lots of popularity. Airbnb is really nothing more than a hotel-type booking site for travelers around the world. Except those who book through this site aren't booking a hotel - they're booking somebody's personal or vacation home to stay at.
Home owners who want to register their space on Airbnb can do so for free on the site, and that's where terms and conditions can be listed when it comes to what's expected of temporary tenants. Also found on Airbnb residence profiles are pictures of the space, background information, and what's available to do in the area. Airbnb, according to its How It Works page, was created in 2008 when two designers had a space to share and three travelers needed a space to stay - since then, the business has grown.
What makes Airbnb unique are the types of homes and spaces listed. Every person is different, with unique tastes in where they stay, and Airbnb has a place for everybody's interest. All around the world, Airbnb connects travelers to treehouses, mattresses in a random home (if that's your thing), and even private islands available for booking. Whether it's a trip to Italy or a trip to California, there are tons of places that this service has to offer. Next time you take a trip, consider using Airbnb instead of staying at the Marriot Suites for the tenth time in a row.
15 Container Home, Spain
Near Palma in Spain is the Container Home - a unique home built from shipping containers. The shipping containers are covered in planked wood, making the space look rustic and rugged. The house includes everything a hotel would, like towels, toiletries and the works. Besides being a unique home, the Container Home also provides guests with high-speed internet, a terrace with a swimming pool, and a barbecue available to use for lunch and dinners. The Container Home is also close to major shopping districts and restaurants, so if the home becomes boring, there's lots of stuff to do nearby. The nightly rate is $162, and guests must stay a minimum of four nights.
14 itHouse, California
Somewhere in the deserts of California, is the off-grid itHouse. This place is the prototype for the pre-engineered system, the itHouse, and is powered by solar panels for electricity and hot water. The house and its designers are all about leaving a minimal footprint, sustainability, and using renewable resources. The house has no internet connectivity or television, and is meant as a serene getaway with no disturbances from nature. Guests of the itHouse are recommended to show up before sundown, as the house is in a remote location and has to be found. Nearby are national parks, museums, and small towns to explore. Guests are also offered juice delivery by the local juice guru. The itHouse requires a two night minimum stay at $380 a night.
13 Houseboat, France
Located in Paris, France is a romantic getaway definitely meant for two. Listed in Airbnb's Top 40 All Over The World Homes, this small houseboat is located right within view of the Eiffel Tower. The owners of the houseboat reside in the houseboat even when guests are staying, but they stay on a completely different flat as to provide privacy. The houseboat is located near many historical monuments, tourist attractions, and street vendors. The houseboat has internet connectivity, television, an espresso machine and more, but doesn't come with towels. The houseboat is available for $127 a night, and does not have a minimum amount of nights required to stay.
12 Windmill, United Kingdom
If you've ever wanted to sleep inside of a windmill, the chance is now yours. On the fourth floor of a windmill in Staffordshire, United Kingdom, the owners of a windmill are letting travelers stay in the double bedroom, featuring a private wet room, with no minimum night stay for $112 a night. This unique listing features a great red brick windmill with incredible views from anywhere inside the windmill. The first floor also includes a terrace which guests are able to use. The owners of the windmill also include breakfast for guests. The owners live in the windmill while travelers rent rooms from them, and are open to interaction - it's all up to the guest. Nearby there are plenty of shops and places to eat.
11 Jack Sparrow House, United Kingdom
In Cornwall, United Kingdom, travelers can stay at the Jack Sparrow House. There's nothing very Pirates of the Caribbean about this small cottage at all, outside of the fact that it's near water. The Jack Sparrow House includes a kitchen, a place to wash clothing, and fairytale-esque bedrooms. The cottage is on the smaller side and the architecture makes it clear builders were very keen to the small details. Lots of whimsical touches and wood pieces make up the Jack Sparrow House. This house is a ten minute walk away from beaches, fishing villages, and Falmouth Bay, along with other coastal scenery. Other activities include sailing, surfing, cycling, horseback riding and diving. The Jack Sparrow House has no minimum night requirement and is $149 a night.
10 Historic English Castle, United Kingdom
Living like royalty isn't hard to do with this Airbnb listing. This historic English castle is actually now a family home, but they've opened up 15 rooms to Airbnb. Guests are able to choose from any one of the rooms to stay in. Some of the rooms have four poster beds, roll top baths, or fireplaces - each one sports something exclusive so it's all dependent on the traveler's choice. The castle has old Gothic windows, stained glass, and oak panels, making this Airbnb listing fit for a king. Breakfasts are included in the stay, and later meals are available for an additional cost. The owners even provide special children dinners and make sure they have special rooms. To stay in the castle, there is no minimum stay required and it is only $209 a night.
9 The Seashell House, Mexico
In Mexico, travelers have the opportunity to stay in a literal seashell house. The house is shaped like seashells and is even decorated with seashells on the inside. Inside the smaller shell part of the house is where the king bedroom is located along with a private bathroom. In the taller, bigger shell portion of the house is the kitchenette, another private bathroom, and upstairs is the king master bedroom with a balcony that overlooks the private pool and the Caribbean Sea. Inside of the Queen Conch portion of the home is where the free wifi is located. The owner and architect of the home lives next door, but will not disturb guests. The Airbnb profile for The Seashell House warns that many tiny geckos live near and on this property, so people who don't like lizards wouldn't like this property. The nightly rate is $249, and guests must stay for at least two nights.
8 Unique Summer House, Iceland
In Iceland there is a small cottage-igloo hybrid type home that is perfect for people who love nature and who love sustainability. The home and its owners are very conscious of carbon footprints and impacts on the Earth, so it is a green home. The house features three bedrooms, a kitchen, a washer and dryer, and a full backyard for people with children. There is a service center two minutes away from the property with a grocery store, pool, mini golf, horseback riding and more. The home itself is very uniquely designed with lots of A-Frame cabin nods, and is surrounded by the mountains and blue skies. The Unique Summer House requires a three night stay at least and is listed at $220 a night.
7 Treehouse: Blue Mountains, Australia
In Bilpin, Australia, guests can stay in the Treehouse Blue Mountains. This marvel is extremely modern and well-designed, and is completely nestled in nature; it's located in between a national park and a rain forest. It has glass walls making it so guests can see out in every direction. Views of the Blue Mountains and Bowen's Creek Gorge are unobstructed. Some rooms even feature a telescope to do some star searching at night as there is no light pollution in the mountains. The treehouse also has a child's room, a full kitchen, and a full bathroom. There is no minimum required nightly stay, but the nightly rate is $699.
6 St. Pancras Clock Tower, United Kingdom
In London, United Kingdom, guests can literally stay in a clock tower. The St. Pancras Clock Tower has a tiny studio apartment inside, overlooking Kings Cross Station. The tower has two bedrooms, and often the owner stays in one bedroom, or another set of guests have a bedroom as well. The amenities of the clock tower include wifi, a kitchen, television, and essential toiletries along with a few other highlights. The tower residence is very tall in size, and is an airy space with natural light and wooden and brick touches that date back to 1868. The nightly stay requirement varies and requires confirmation with the owner. The nightly rate to stay at the St. Pancras Clock Tower is $225.
5 Private Palm Springs Retreat, California
Once owned by Bing Crosby, this stunning hacienda is a landmark from 1934. While there's tons to do in the area, most guests won't want to leave this villa once they've arrived. There is a giant pool that can throw a party for thirty guests, and the pool area even has a full wet bar and an ice maker. Also in the backyard are lemon, orange and grapefruit trees for guests to pick. If that doesn't sound like fun, there's also a ping-pong table. Inside of the home guests will find vaulted ceiling, wood burning fireplaces, four bedrooms and bathrooms, and many other amenities. The property also provides views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Guests are required to stay for at least three nights, and it's $675 a night.
4 Torre di Palanzo, Italy
In Lombardia, Italy, another castle-type listing can be found. The entire home is available for guests to use, including bedrooms, a large kitchen and dining room, a billiard room, a home theater room and more. The property also has a garden and an outdoor patio that is used for breakfast and tea times during the warmer months. What really makes the property, according to the owner, is the Tower and the Belvedere, which give guests undisturbed views of the lake and surrounding mountains. This property also features a pool and a Medieval Tower, which is actually a protected monument in Italy. To stay in the Torre di Palanzo, it's a required two night minimum stay at $173 a night.
3 Herce Property, Majorca
The Herce Property is located in Majorca on the coast of Llucmajor, and its biggest selling point is the minimalist, luxury experience guests are given. This home is built on a cliff, giving guests amazing views of the coast and surrounding area. The backyard itself features an amazing infinity pool overlooking the water along with relaxation areas. The home has lots of modern and bright architectural touches. On top of all of that, the home has a Jacuzzi inside and outside, underfloor heating, a library, a gym, a sauna and more. The minimum stay for this breathtaking property is a seven night minimum, and the nightly rate goes for $634.
2 Le Casa del Mar, Costa Rica
In Costa Rica travelers can find the Le Casa del Mar, which is in the gated community of Hermosa Palms. The entire home has recently been redecorated to include new furniture and tropical pieces to give guests a getaway experience. There are two windows that basically serve as walls on two floors of the home to showcase the view: a beach in the backyard. This property includes four bedrooms, a guesthouse, inside and outside showers, and even an infinity pool. Furthermore, the property even includes twenty-four hour security, full-service maids, and concierge service. The stay required for this property is one night only, but the nightly rate goes for a steep $1,582.
1 Bird Island, Belize
For anybody that really, really wants to get away - the answer is Bird Island. There are actually tons of people who list their entire islands on Airbnb, but this one offers access to the whole island whether it be for a vacation or a wedding. Bird Island is inside of a small coral reef, and is a very small island, but the entire thing is yours. It's surrounded by crystal blue waters where guests can go snorkeling, swimming, and even kayaking (supplied by the island's owners). The island features a large main house at one end of the island and a cabana at the other end, making Bird Island perfect for a small getaway. Staying at Bird Island means staying a minimum of three nights, and paying $350 a night.