Airbnb is quickly becoming common lingo, not only among investors looking to lease out some free space, but also amongst travellers looking for accommodation steals. According to various recent polls, more than 78 per cent of the world’s millennial population is willing to invest in experiences rather than land and houses. As much as some of us, meaning those of us who have less of the thrill-seeking gene, cannot identify with that, we can identify with the need to travel and the lack of enough money to do it. However, there are a couple of hacks to help you make 2018 the year to stamp your footprint all over the world, literally.
World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is the service for you if you want to travel and are a farmer at heart. It connects organic farmers, in need of farm help, with travellers who are willing to do handy jobs in order to save money they could have otherwise used on accommodation and meals. You simply go to the WWOOF website, choose the country you would like to travel to and look at the requirements for an application as a volunteer there. You will normally be required to pay a one-off membership fee in each WWOOF country that you register in as a volunteer. Some countries will also ask for a certificate of good conduct which you can get from the CID headquarters in Kiambu. After successful registration, you are free to choose a host, who you can then engage in conversation with about the sort of help they need, how many hours you need to work each day, what sort of tasks you are expected to do and other pertinent details.
The idea is that the farmer will provide you with meals and accommodation while in exchange, you have to work in their farm for between four to six hours every day. It is not as backbreaking as it may sound. You can choose a specific location that is rife with vineyards, where you may be allowed to eat as many grapes as you harvest. You may want to go for this option if you want a family-based experience, while helping out in organic farms and learning new skills and cultures. This is for you if you view travel as an immersive experience rather than the fleeting ungrounded experience that Instagram has turned it to be.
With more than 6,000 listings registered under Airbnb in Kenya, options of getting budget accommodation at almost any part of the country are more. There are listings in major tourist towns such as Mombasa, Lamu, Naivasha and Nakuru among others. Most of Airbnb accommodation comes at a cheaper price compared to hotels. Simply browse through the Airbnb site, settle on the rental of your liking and book. Just don’t expect the same level of ‘ring-a-bell and room service is there’ detailed attention that you get from a hotel.
Brian Mbunde, a digital strategist in Nairobi, swears by Airbnb. He recently had his maiden Airbnb experience, when he travelled to Naivasha and stayed at a house he and a few friends had booked via the service. “The house we stayed in was in good condition and was reasonably priced. I found it quite a good deal. I even travelled to the Coast recently where I stayed in an Airbnb rental right by the beach,” Mbunde enthuses.
You can also use the service for overseas budget travels, and while at it, you might want to consider leasing out your house, or part of it, for some extra income which you are free to use for even more travelling.