There’s war in Ukraine, and one that no one asked for. Russia is mercilessly pillaging cities without cause and innocent men, women and children are dying in the process.
For those lucky enough to still be alive, the situation is grim. It’s not easy to access key conveniences and jobs are on pause, as many hunker down to stay safe. Who knows what will remain, whenever the firing stops.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve undoubtedly felt somewhat helpless lately as you watch on too. There’s so much wrong and so much need for support and seemingly, so few ways to instantly make an impact.
A friend was kind enough to point out a movement to me on Instagram, and it sunk in immediately as one of the most wonderful ways to help right now. Surprisingly, it’s Airbnb, and the idea of booking places you have no intention of staying in.
It’s one of the few ways to get money directly into the pockets of innocent Ukrainian people right now.
Book Airbnb In Ukraine
Instagram, for all its faults, can be a wonderful place to share positive social news.
A prominent account came up with the notion of booking Airbnb’s in Kyiv and other cities, even including those being shelled right now, because it’s not actually about the travel, but the economic benefit for people when you book.
I’ll admit, I was very skeptical at first, but after seeing the responses shared by hosts who started seeing overwhelming bookings coming in — my heart melted. It’s powerful and emotional stuff. Just swipe right on the post to read the tiles.
Airbnb is still online in Ukraine, and seeing the success of this campaign, the advice is to look at the worst impacted cities and book Airbnb’s there on any available dates.
Of course, look for established listings which existed before the pandemic where possible, to ensure foul play isn’t involved, but have at it. And vitally, make sure to let the host know you won’t be needing the place, so they can offer shelter or refuge to someone who might need it during your dates.
Many hosts are reaching out to say that even though they know people are booking not to stay, but just to help and show humanity, that they’ll be welcomed guests in the future. That’s not why you should book, but it shows how appreciated this is right now.
If you are an Airbnb host in a city near the border or in a European city where refugees are fleeing — and don’t want to book an Airbnb — it would be really wonderful if you’d consider housing Ukrainian refugees in your Airbnb.
If you can, treat this money or service as a donation to good people who have had their lives upended brutally and unfairly by an evil dictator. The funds may help them rebuild their Airbnb, or gain access to food or transportation out of a war zone.
Don’t expect anything in return, and be sure to wish your “host” all the best. You may never meet them, but if you do, there’s no question it’ll be one of the most powerful connections you ever make.
The people of Ukraine need every ounce of help they can get right now, and if there was ever a way to use up travel credits from the pandemic, or just be a kind person, this is a pretty great way of doing so.