Seasoned travelers know the most memorable parts of their trips are often found away from the tourist traps. Airbnb Experiences, a program of activities offered by local guides, is based on this long-standing wisdom. Officially launched in November 2016, the series offers 500-plus experiences in more than 12 cities across the globe. Billed as an extension of the local-culture immersion the Airbnb brand is founded upon, the experiences are custom-designed by local chefs and brewmasters, adventure guides, community activists and educators with a passion to share.
Here’s a look at just a few of the experiences Airbnb currently offers and how they might be the perfect enhancement to your next trip.
You can ask the locals where they prefer to dine, or you can use Airbnb Experiences to deepen your culinary adventures. One program offered by Fauve, a nonprofit in Paris, immerses visitors in the local cooking culture while generating revenue for a local organization dedicated to making sustainable, healthy living a reality for all.
Participants meet up in the city and shop for locally produced, seasonal and sustainable ingredients together. They then head to a local community center to learn French cooking techniques and prepare their meal as a group. For less than $100, you’re assured your money is going to a good cause while getting a taste (pun intended) of the local food culture.
Do you dream of living like a beach bum, if only for a little while? Self-described “born adventurer” Quinn offers three-day Airbnb experiences in Southern California that allow travelers to spend a few days California dreaming and living life to the fullest. For about $350, you’ll camp oceanside under the stars, dine beside a fire, hike and learn to surf hot spots only the locals know. Plus, you’ll take in all the natural resources the famed Venice Beach area has to offer while minimizing the environmental impact you’d make by setting up shop at a pricey resort.
You could spend a day at the beach — or, for less than $250, you could learn more about the world under the sea. If you’re traveling to Cape Town, South Africa, Airbnb experiences offers a three-day immersion into ocean culture that connects you with leading ocean conservationists. Get a behind-the-scenes look at Two Oceans Aquarium, including its jellyfish and turtle research programs. On the last day, you’ll participate in a coastal-birds conservation experience.
Planning a trip to Nairobi, Kenya? A two-day social impact experience led by a Kenyan native who also happens to be the founder of Zawadisha, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Kenyan women, gives a look into life beyond the tour maps.
Travel about two hours to a village where there’s no running water or electricity. There, you’ll learn the art of bead work from local women and make a traditional Kenyan meal on a clean cookstove. All proceeds from the experience (the cost is $150 per person) support the nonprofit’s efforts to provide rural women with access to renewable energy products, as well as financial literacy and microbusiness programs.
What better way to support local farmers and improve your knowledge about the benefits of a plant-based diet than by taking a day trip that pairs you and a small group with the founder of the Los Angeles-based Juicebox Truck? Start at the world-famous Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, where you’ll learn about which farm-fresh fruits and greens are best to juice based on their seasonality and respective health benefits. Then, get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Juicebox Truck’s most in-demand juices are made, and sample flights of them. The price of this $89 juice tour also includes a digital copy of the Juicebox Truck’s recipes, so you can replicate their juices at home.