hot air balloons in the sky

You know Airbnb as the place to rent a room, flat, house or even stylish Airstream in the Hollywood Hills, but you probably wouldn’t think of it as the place to plan the perfect boutique safari in Africa, or exclusive wine adventure through California. As of yesterday, you should probably think of it as both.

After a successful foray into basic destination “experiences” like day tours, Airbnb is focusing on being a larger part of travellers journeys, with full on multi day “adventures”. They’re everything from multi day camel treks through the desert to multi day food festivals.

Here’s everything you definitely want to know…

a large rock cliff on a beachThis past March I took my first “Airbnb Experience”, a modest one day trip from central Melbourne to the 12 Apostles and Great Ocean Road. Just like any overnight Airbnb accommodation, the trip wasn’t provided by Airbnb, but rather a local guide company called Hike & Seek who made the listing. Much like staying at an accommodation listing, I checked the experience reviews, looked at the photos and seemed pretty sure that this was the perfect day trip for me. It was, it was awesome and I had a blast.

Airbnb is now expanding upon this concept with multi day itineraries all over the world, with hand picked guide groups. They’re calling them Airbnb Adventures, and you can search by interest, like “yoga”, or by the destination you’ll be visiting. It could be said that this is a cool way for travellers to work backwards, finding a trip based on an amazing adventure they’ve found.

We’re talking Jackson Hole luxury camping with horse rides, fishing and hiking in the same sentence as 9 day trips to explore deep into the Amazon Jungle from Manaus, Brazil. And yes, there’s totally boutique safaris, casual cooking extravaganzas and plenty of other things to do virtually anywhere you might be going. Here’s an example of a cool one through Oman.

Basically: adventure doesn’t automatically mean thrill seeker. It can just be a mega wine tour.

hot air balloons in the skyThe concept that centres the entire project is fairly simple: all Airbnb Adventures are for 12 people or less, and are designed to be the answer to mass market tourism doing cookie cutter crap. This is the stuff that brings you closer to a culture, city or region, with actual local guides, rather than guiding conglomerates.

Wherever you go in the world, this platform *in theory* should offer something really interesting to do, whether it’s for a day or 15 of them. In addition to the “activity”, each of these adventures brings full on coordination and assistance with what you need to bring, and they arrange your overnight stays as well as all meals during the experience.

Like most things in life, it all comes down to money – right? Airbnb launched this new foray touting prices from $79 to $5000 and up, with a clear aim to provide unique destination experiences for all travel demographics. Or rather, to help provide a central platform for local guides to get the exposure they deserve from the travelling public.

If this helps more local guides flourish and showcase the unique elements which make travel so addictive, what’s not to love?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Join the Conversation


  1. seems that you are over paying by a large amount on most of the “adventures” I have seen so far. I have done some by my self or book while at the destination and are a fraction of the cost. I can see the convenience if you are not that frugal in traveling and just want to book prior to arrival. but you are still over paying by a chunk and let’s not mention the HIdden Airbnb fees they will probably add. LOL

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *