How are you surviving the pandemic? If you’re feeling the daily blues, you are not alone. Everyone around the world is stuck at home for the sake of their own health, the health of their loved ones, and for their fellow mankind. Due to the coronavirus, daily activities such as going to work, exercising freely outdoors, or even picking up a new skill from a professional in a physical face-to-face session are put on hold. As such, Airbnb has come to recognize this need and introduced Online Experiences to the public. Itching to travel virtually? You’ve arrived at the right guide. We will share with you about Airbnb’s Online Experiences, the types you can register for, the prices, and more information on how you can even host your own Online Experience!
What are Airbnb Online Experiences?
If you’ve been using Airbnb on a regular basis for your trips abroad, you should be fairly familiar with Airbnb Experiences launched in 2016. These ‘in-person’ experiences are special activities designed and hosted by locals, a fun alternative for travellers, instead of participating in typical tours or workshops. It provides a unique way to experience a destination and for one to create meaningful memories.
However, with the COVID-19 crisis escalating worldwide, these experiences were suspended by Airbnb to protect the safety of every user. But instead of staying status quo, Airbnb has opted to take their Experiences business online so that people can continue to connect, travel virtually, and earn income during the pandemic.
What Online Experiences can I register for?
You can book and join an online meditation experience via Zoom with a Japanese Buddhist monk from your computer, phone, or tablet. Hosted in English, simplified Chinese, and Japanese language, you will have the opportunity to join a group of up to 25 people for an hour of mindfulness.
The session will start with the host sharing his story behind how and why he became a Buddhist monk for almost 20 years and details about his practice. Thereafter, you will personally experience two types of meditation - a chanting mantra for 20 minutes and a breathing-out meditation for 10 minutes. The experience will end with questions and reflections on the practice. Kuniatsu, the Buddhist monk hosting the experience has been doing guided meditations for Airbnb guests for five years, so rest assured that you will be in good hands.
Meditation with a Japanese Buddhist Monk
Price: 10 USD
If you’re an animal lover that is keen on spreading some love and goodwill, you will be glad to know that the full payment for this experience goes to the Clean Futures Fund. The money raised will be used by the non-profit organization to fund their work in Ukraine, which includes the “Dogs of Chernobyl” program.
For this one hour virtual interactive experience, you will join the host, Lucas, founder of the Clean Futures Fund, to meet and feed some of the abandoned dogs who live at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. You will also get to learn more about their mission and history in treating these animals. The experience will end with a visit to the scene of the disaster at the Unit 4 reactor. To check out more information before your virtual visit, be sure to follow Lucas on Instagram at @thatchernobylguy.
Meet the Dogs of Chernobyl
Price: 52 USD
Believe it or not, in light of the stay-home notices and quarantines being issued around the world, many people around the world are starting to whip up their own home-cooked meals. Whether you’re an avid chef or just started picking up the know-how of cooking, you can join this 1.5-hour online cooking class to make some delicious Moroccan cuisine.
The online experience has a small group size of up to four persons and can be hosted in English, Arabic, and French. Feel free to contact the host, Brahim, in advance if you’re keen to make a specific type of Moroccan dish. Otherwise, you can refer to the list of items and ingredients to prepare before your online class starts.
Cooking with a Moroccan Family
Price: 14 USD
How often do you get the chance to participate in a high-intensity interval training workout with an Olympian? With this one-hour online experience for a group size of up to 10 participants, you will join Kate, a two-time Olympic rower who has competed at the London and Rio games. Kate is also a personal trainer and you will have plenty of opportunities to ask her questions relating to the Olympics. You can expect some creative conditioning exercises as a warm-up to the session, working your upper body strength, a core circuit, and some stretching to end the exercise. Afraid you wouldn’t be able to keep up with the routine? You don’t have to worry as Kate promises variations on each exercise to suit your current body conditions.
Gold Medal HIIT with an Olympian
Price: 21 USD
Apart from the three Online Experiences listed above, there are more offered by Airbnb. In fact, there are more than 50 virtual Airbnb Experiences right now on Airbnb with thousands more expected to come online in the coming months. Music lovers can join a 1.5-hour tango concert with Latin Grammy nominee María Volonté and harmonica player Kevin Carrel Footer.
For those who would like to learn more about the drag culture can now join real-life drag queens as they teach you how to make delicious Portuguese sangria and answer all your queries pertaining to the drag world. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram via @dragtaste to catch a glimpse of what they do.
Art enthusiasts will rejoice to know that you can create a beautiful postcard with the host, Gabriel, who have had experiences teaching at the Casa de Francia Institute for Higher Fashion Studies, the Universidad Panamericana and MacTrainee in Mexico City. Non-artistic persons are encouraged to join!
Are Online Experiences free?
The average price of an Online Experience is about 22 USD and the list ranges from 2 to 73 USD per activity at the time of writing. We think it’s a fairly good deal considering the range of activities available online and how you can connect with people from all around the world without stepping out of the comforts of home.
You can also easily sort the Online Experiences list based on price to work within your comfortable range of budget with their minimum and maximum price option. Elders who are keen to jump on the bandwagon can start off with a couple of free live activities organized by Airbnb and their partnering organizations. These include SAGE in the United States, Associazione Nazionale Alpini - Sezione di Milan in Italy, and Amigos de los Mayores in Spain.
You will need an Airbnb account to sign up for Online Experiences and a stable internet connection to sustain you throughout the activity. Once you have completed your booking, you will most likely receive an email with a link and details on how to join. For the best experience, do ensure that you will be able to use the audio and video function on your device, be it a computer, phone, or tablet.
Also, certain hands-on Online Experiences like cooking classes, make-up tutorials, or art-learning will require you to prepare the items in advance. For a glimpse of what is needed, you can head to the specific Online Experience page to see a list of things you can put together before your experience begins. Ready to sign up for your first Airbnb Online Experience? Head to this link to sign up now.
We think Airbnb would definitely welcome you with open arms for you to join their community of hosts to bring the world a step closer during this pandemic. If you have the expertise to share, would like to meet global guests, and earn some money doing something you love, it’s time to act! A potential host may submit an application to be approved by Airbnb. However, do take note that it will take approximately 2 to 4 weeks for processing and approval.
The skill you’re planning to impart or experience you’re keen to share with your guests must be 60 minutes or longer. To aid you in the conducting of your experience, Airbnb will be offering hosts free Zoom accounts and customized support. Do note that you will need to pay a portion of your earnings as commission to the company. You can sign up via this link.
Change the way you travel
In the blink of an eye, countries worldwide are now battling the virus. With lockdowns and border closures implemented, frequent flyers are fervently praying that travel might resume soon. If you’re one of those travellers watching the crisis closely, hoping to see a turn for the good, you will be glad to know that with Airbnb’s unique take on travel experiences, now everyone with an ability to connect online can embark on a journey less taken.
My friends, 2020 does not have to be a travel-less year if you’re willing to change the way you view travel. Now, connecting with strangers around the globe has never been easier with Airbnb’s Online Experiences. We can’t wait to forge new friendships, what about you?
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