For the majority of our travels in the US we used Air bnb to find our accommodation as it was efficient, cheap and very flexible e.g. we could wake up one Morning and decide we wanted a visit a new town, hop of the app, find a room & book it within 10 minutes.
We had many amazing experiences using the app and would absolutely recommend using Air bnb in less traveler-esque places. You meet lots of great people, stay in unusual homes and the review system is fantastic, therefore managing to sift out 99% of the complete wierdos. Obviously one will always slip through the net (as explained later on below under ‘The Ex Athlete’ section!!).
The main question people ask when wanting to know more about our Air bnb experiences is, ‘what kinds of people did you stay with?’ Therefore we have drawn up an illustrated lowdown of the wide variety of hosts we stayed with during our travels in the US, there really is no typical air bnb host we have come to realise! This should take you through some of the stereotypes we met…
Note: Due to having our phones stolen we have decided to become creative with our use of imagery!!
Type 1: The Aspiring Artiste
A ridiculously high concentration of this type can be found in Brooklyn, NYC. From our experiences they live together in large groups and love to talk about themselves (often talking all at once so nobody hears anything each other are saying).
A positive is that when amongst these guys is that your slightly unfashioned, miss match traveler attire will never be judged. A definite negative though is that their supposedly chilled out lives actually turn out to be extremely hectic as their thinking patterns are so hap-hazardous and when amongst them, you feel like you are a part of their every day madness! This steotype have numerous issues with the world and tend to think it is a terrible place, but with few realistic ideas for how it could be improved. They try to do EVERYTHING against the status quo, e.g. on ‘world weed smoking day’ they rebelled and decided it was too mainstream so chose this as their one day of the year to not get on the pot.
Type 2: The Wizard (Older Aspiring Artiste)
It seems like the ‘Aspiring Artiste’ stereotype matures with age in a somewhat exaggerated way, as putting it bluntly, they become even more crazy! Example as follows… On arrival to our Air bnb accomodation in Brooklyn we met Andy, a mid 40 year old writer. Andy was clearly ‘on something’ but nonetheless was pretty welcoming. Andy head out later on that night andover the next couple of days we started to wonder where the friendly bald fellow had disappeared to. When Andy reappeared over 48 hours later he had just returned from his 2 day bender without a wink of sleep, explaining to us about his mesmerising experiences and how he had fallen asleep in the corner of the dance floor and then somersaulted out and was now ‘reborn again’.
Andy later went on to ask me ‘have you ever met a real life mermaid?’ I wasn’t quite sure what he was on about… Turns out he met a pretty girl at Burning Man festival who he fell in love with and now believes she is a mermaid…oh yeah and he is apparently a wizard he told me. SURE Andy!
Type 3: The Workaholic
Jim was one of our favorite people we met in North America. He paid a real interest in our travels, understood sarcasm and was extremely welcoming into his home. Sadly Jim worked ridiculously long weeks for a car company and as a result came home every night with his king size take away and vegged out (without the veggies) in front of the TV. Favourite quote from Jim when we asked him about Florida’s beaches, ‘sorry guys I just don’t have a clue, I’ve never been, I’m just a Netflix kind of guy’
No Jim, you are way more than that you big cuddly sausage!!
Type 4: The Ex Athlete
Focussed, determined and an end goal that they NEED to achieve. Great, as long as that end goal isn’t you! In Houston we stayed with a guy who was once a big time triple jumper. He was highly methodical in his ways e.g. Not even a single trace of dirt in his house or car and no kitchen utensils left out anywhere. However, it turned into a pretty creepy experience as he clearly had his eye on me: he was messaging via email to me when I was in the next door room, he constantly looked me up & down and would change his plans at the drop of a hat to ensure he could spend more time with me. I’d like to say this attention was flattering but it was just creepy!
Things started getting stranger when he knew NOTHING about the local area he lived in despite having lived there for 6 years, I questioned him on the job he had listed on Air bnb as working as a property developer yet he claimed he had never as his whole career had been in finance, the bed sheets on our bed were torn (with what looked like struggling nail rips) and everywhere I went he insisted on joining us to (dinner, to pick up our car etc). He was also having non stop conversations wearing headphones in the other side of the house and we found an ID in the room we were staying in which looked nothing like the guy.
We half slept through the night and left as early as possible in the morning, what we now refer to as our lucky escape!
Type 5: The Cuties; A traditional Mexican 80 year old couple
On our 2nd stop off to Houston (this time to catch a flight into Mexico) we decided not to repeat the above, dreadful experience and instead chose to stay with an ancient Mexican couple who had immigrated over to Texas 60 odd years ago together. They were adorable. The wife washed and pressed all of our washing whilst we were out for the day and the husband cooked us a lovely Mexican breakfast and as I paid an interest in his Mexican home town of Monterrey. He had me sitting there for an hour showing me video after video on You tube of his proud homeland!
Type 6: The Perfect Couple
In short, we want to be them, but one day, not now!! In Little Rock, Arkansas we stayed with a super fit and fun couple who just seemed so happy and ‘sorted’. They lived in a lovely house, had loads of friends, a cute dog and jobs they both loved. They were also just really funny, chilled out and friendly people!
Type 7: The Hippy
In San Antonio we stayed with a very friendly & chilled guy called Bryden. He was at work when we arrived so left his keys out for us. I knew not to expect too much comfort wise from his house as we had sacrificed luxury for location, however, one pillow and one sheet between two, no door between our bedroom and the main area, along with a back door which didn’t lock were maybe a bit much for us! Oh and as we walked into his house we were greeted by the spliff he had rolled for after work and his new bong!
He seemed to live a very chilled life, working part time in a coffee shop and supplementing his income with Air bnb guests. He only drank water delivered from the Ozark Mountains and fell in love very easily (he told us a story about a girl he had met on a bus for 20 mins that he had fallen in love with and she was ‘the one’! However, Bryden was a really interesting guy with his head screwed on despite the quantity of strong weed he smoked each day! We went for drinks with him and his friend Jamie and they were one of the few groups in the US who we met that had really thought out opinions on politics.
Type 8: The Loner
This one was pretty sad to see. Ryan, a mid 30’s, tech guy we stayed with in North Austin, didn’t seem to have any kind of social life or decent social skills. One night we caught him drinking our box of wine in front of his computer until 2 am, he must have drunk at least 2 litres of wine (please bear in mind he was a BIG guy though) on a work night.
Type 9; The Hillbilly
Although a lovely place to visit, we were expecting Memphis to be somewhat more hip than it was. Being the home of rock and roll and lots of cool things to do around the area such as Beale street and paying a visit to sun studios, the overall feel of Memphis was pretty backwards. We visited a Thai restaurant which was top on trip advisor but I’m not quite sure you could even describe our food as Asian let alone Thai! We stayed with a guy who told me his wife has ‘kidnapped’ his 3 kids a few years ago. He also had another, very different, guy living with him who let his dog wee in his room and as a result we didn’t take him up on his offer of cooking for us (see pic below!), which he got quite upset about.
Type 10: The one who became our friend
When finding accomodation in Austin we initially chose a room a bit out of the city with apparently ‘fantastic & regular links to the city centre’. As soon as we arrived we figured the flat was miles out and public transport stopped early and driving through the traffic was hassle. So we chose to move to a Uni student accomodation for our final night and this was with Anga, a lovely Mexican girl that we ended up staying with and spending time with during our trip to Mexico!
Type 11: The player
The was one of the few nights we spent in the U.S. in a hotel rather than air bnb accommodation. This was because on this particular day it was Beaux Bridge’s annual crawfish festival so accommodation was high in demand but we knew it would be well worth it to pay to stay in Beaux Bridge for the night to experience a festival like no other and absolutely, this was the right decision! We met mid 60 year old, slightly over weight Barry early on in our night at the festival. He was hounded by girls, begging for his attention but from afar Helena had caught his eye and, being the extremely confident guy that he is, he had no issue with approaching her, grabbing her hand and having a conversation, right in front of me!
Throughout the rest of our evening at the festival, Barry continued to have flocks of girls attention, including a supposed girlfriend who didn’t seem to be too happy with his repeat antics of chatting to any pretty girls which caught his eye. We got on really well with the chap, he told us that at this festival, during his 20 or so years of participation e had slept with over 50 women and his ‘girlfriend’ was just a temporary fix. He even invited us to stay at his beach side Pensacola house later during our trip.
In short, we met a wide variety of people via Air bnb. Some great and others not so but it is definitely a great way to travel and we will continue to use Air bnb. If you fancy signing up to Air bnb please give my link a go here
xxxxxxx Priltz xxxxxx