Airbnb is a pretty sweet concept. Hosts can rent unused living space to travelers and travelers can find very unique places to stay while exploring the world. Now, lot’s of startups are borrowing from this model to further stimulate the sharing economy.
First, let’s get up to speed on the Airbnb model by watching this awesome model train video.
Airbnb has grown exponentially in recent years and for good reason. The idea works. As a company, you know you’ve made it when you get used in the sentence, “the (company name) for blank.” In the following list are some of the best new services in the adventure travel industry that are, “the Airbnb for _____.”
The Airbnb for Airbnb
We had to start here because this is just too clever. Can I Stay with You While I Rent My Place on Airbnb is certainly filling a gap in the market. It’s the Airbnb for Airbnb hosts. Genius really. If you’re a host and out of a house, whether for travel or because you need the rental income, this is a way to find some reciprocity in a free place to crash. Free meaning pay in beer, tips, or night swaps with other hosts.
The Airbnb for Mountain Guides
My friend Adam told me about Guidebase and I’m very excited about them. Not only is their site absolutely beautiful, easy to navigate, and easy to understand, but the concept is just brilliant. For guides looking to build your clientele, and for explorers looking for guides, Guidebase is going to be the spot to be… as soon as it launches. Go and get on the list now.
The Airbnb for Outdoor Equipment
Now you’ve got your guide lined up, but what about your gear?
Denver area startup Outdoors.io allows you to rent and demo outdoor gear on adventures before you consider buying. Some sellers give you the option to buy what you love after you’ve tried it, but some are just friendly outdoor enthusiasts willing to make a buck off the gear they already own by letting you take it for a spin.
The beauty of the concept is you can rent intuitive gear kits, instead of searching on a product by product basis. There are some similar sites like Stokeshare and Spinlister also aiming to provide access to the world of adventure sports without the hefty cost of buying gear to play, but Outdoors.io is my favorite so far.
The Airbnb for Camping
Mountain guide, check. Equipment, check. Now where will you stay when you’re off the beaten path?
There’s a few great options for finding awesome camping experiences around the country. Hipcamp is one you should know about it. They started with the aim to be become the most comprehensive camping guide in America, and are very quickly bringing that mission to fruition.
But when it comes to Airbnb-esque camp sites, Gamping is my favorite. Short for “garden camping,” it’s unique in that it allows you to find private land to camp on, or offer up your land to campers. I can’t even count the times I’ve slept in my car or thrown my sleeping bag in the dirt beside a backcountry road because I didn’t know where else to set up camp. Gamping negates that dilemma by opening up neighborly backyards to travelers and their tents.
Go Campr, currently in beta, is cool too. They allow you to search for your camping experience based on camping preference such as urban camping, glamping (different from Gamping, it’s glamour camping), adventure camping, and more. I may have to swing by the founder’s garden for a night at the fair rate of €5 while in Belgium later this month!
The Airbnb for Boating
Why not right? We covered the mountains, let’s talk about the sea. With Sailo or Boatbound you can find a boat where you need it, when you need it, for the perfect day out on the water. I haven’t tried this yet myself, but summer is coming, and I’m excited to give it a shot!
What new sharing economy startups have you been using to travel better and experience more? Let me know in the comments and share to keep the conversation going!