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How do you see Airbnb? The Times keeps track.

Everyone knows Airbnb, though what people think of it, or think it is, varies widely. And, over its world-conquering and controversial history, a lot of minds have changed. As a barometer, a staff writer at Skift, a travel-industry news site, has tracked descriptions and references in the New York Times since its first mention six years ago as Airbed and Breakfast. You can see the fascinating story HERE

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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In the beginning, it wasn't so much not positive, as puzzled by what
this strange new thing was. All the early articles try to explain by
comparing with hotels, couch-surfing, etc. These days, things are often
described as being "Airbnb-like."

One of those Times articles, in late '09 or early '10, was the first I
had noticed and it was a revelation, because we simply don't like hotel
rooms. We love being able to be in two or more rooms, and do some
cooking and feel like we're living somewhere. Within months, we had
Airbnb reservations in three Scandinavian cities, with apartments that
were cheaper than hotels. Never looked back since; this summer will be
our 15th through 18th rentals, including 3 U.S. locations.

The most negative feelings I've seen expressed online directed at Airbnb have been on forums, almost all from those not adventuresome enough to try it but who consider themselves "in the know".  I think it must be terribly frustrating for those who'd like us to think they know everything, but who know nothing but hearsay about what's really become a movement.  I've been verbally turned on when I've posted anything positive, accused of shilling for the site, among other imaginary sins.  I always feel there must be something interesting about ideas that provoke so much strong feeling and I guess the furor will die down eventually, as it does with most new ideas.  In the meantime, I plan to fire up my horseless carriage and go off on another adventure shortly.


(My 5 year Airbnb anniversary is upcoming this year, too.)

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