Airbnb Experience Hosting: What is it?
Odds are that you are familiar with Airbnb and may even prefer using it to find places to stay while on holiday.
With Airbnb, you can live like a local in any city that you may be travelling to, feel more at home while travelling for work and receive a more authentic experience while travelling for pleasure.
But what about the activities you experience while you are away? With Airbnb Experiences, travellers can not only stay like a local but also take part in experiences like a local.
Become an Airbnb Experience Host today
What kind of experiences can I host?
If you are looking to help travellers experience the things that make your hometown special, there are many options to consider. Among the most popular types of experiences are:
- Food experiences: For example, a cooking class, a food tour that features local markets or hard-to-find cafes or an intimate dining experience in your home.
- Cultural or historical experiences: Know lots about your hometown's history? Why not show visitors around and give them the highlights of your hometown's historic landmarks?
- Nature or outdoor experiences: For those living somewhere with lots of outdoor activities, taking visitors on a hike is a great way to welcome them to your town.
- Surfing experiences: Showing visitors the local hidden surf spots may be the highlight of their trip!
- Music experiences: Help your guests feel at home with some local music.
- Art experiences: Taking visitors to an art show or exhibit is a great way to help local artists get exposure and help your guests have a great time in your city.
Airbnb experiences are an opportunity for you as a local to provide tourists with a fun, unique or authentic experience of your city. On average, you can make between $25 and $200 per person hosting a single event.
Stuck for ideas? Then check out these ideas to help you get inspired.
You don't have to be a historian to start your own guided tour on Airbnb. In fact, it's often the case that the best tours are done by locals with a fascination for a unique and interesting part of their city. For instance, Edinburgh has lots of Harry Potter tours on Airbnb which take tourists around all the areas of the city J.K Rowling was inspired by.
Take visitors around all the most Insta-worthy areas of the city to help them capture the best selfies. If you're a street photographer or a keen Instagrammer yourself, this could be a great opportunity to make money helping others capture awesome pics of your city.
If you're a foodie with good knowledge of all the best local restaurants, cafes and hidden gems, you could host a food experience. Whether it's a food tour by bike, a specific area with fantastic street food, or food truck stalls, you can make sure visitors avoid the tourist traps and get a taste of what the locals actually eat.
Check out this food tour idea for inspiration.
Are you passionate about micro-breweries? Do you enjoy trying out all the local beers, ales and spirits in your city? Then you could host a pub tour and take tourists around all your favourite bars and breweries in the area.
Check out this pub crawl idea for inspiration.
Similar to the pub crawl idea but with an added touch of sophistication, you could treat guests to a wine tasting experience. Whether it's a personalised vineyard tour or a visit to boutique wineries for wine tasting lessons, there are lots of ways you can make use of your years drinking wine!
Check out this Hunter Valley Wine & Cheese Tasting for inspiration.
Folk dance is a fantastic way to learn more about a culture's traditions but it's also a really fun activity. Each country has its own styles of folk dancing - make yours an experience others can enjoy.
Check out this folk dancing idea for inspiration.
Create a unique yoga experience in an iconic part of your city. Practice yoga on the beach with a great sea view or in a park overlooking the city skyline. For instance, in Sydney you can do a yoga class on Bondi beach.
If you're a wedding or lifestyle photographer, you could offer visitors the chance to get engagement, pre-wedding or honeymoon pictures whilst they visit your city on vacation. This could be a particularly lucrative business opportunity if you happen to live in a city where honeymoons are common.
Check out this engagement and pre-wedding photoshoot experience for inspiration.
If you live in an outdoorsy city, or there are some great hiking trails nearby, you could create a hiking tour. Take your visitors to the best spots for pictures and try and show them something they couldn't have found themselves. Remember, it's a good idea to let people know how difficult your hike will be, so let them know on your Airbnb listing
Check out this Sydneysider's blue mountain experience for inspiration.
Give visitors the chance to dive deep into your culture's food scene with a hands-on cooking class experience. Cook family recipes that have been passed down through the generations, or delve into the best that your city's cuisine has to offer. Whether you're teaching guests how to make Chinese dumplings or an authentic Italian pizza, there's lots of opportunities to make money sharing the food you love creating with others.
Check out this cooking class experience for inspiration.
Is your city known for its tales of ghosts and spirits? If you like telling old stories and folk tales, you could invite people on a tour to areas of your city famous for their paranormal activity. While this isn't something that is unique to Airbnb, there's no reason you can't use your local knowledge to your advantage. You might be able to host your tour in a relatively unknown part of the city or tell a story that hasn't been heard before.
Is your city famous for its street art? While you might pass fantastic work everyday on your commute to work, it's likely that most visitors will miss them. Street art tours are a fantastic way to showcase the hidden laneways and alleyways that are adorned with street art.
Check out this Melbourne street art tour for inspiration.
It might not feel like work but you can make money teaching others how to surf. From paddling and standing up to riding the waves, you can tailor your lessons to beginners surfing for the first time.
Check out this Byron Bay surfing experience for inspiration.
Local artists and DJ's in cities like London, Berlin and Los Angeles regularly make themselves available on Airbnb experiences. If you've got some skills on the decks, you could create a totally unique music experience for visitors. You could teach groups how to sample, loop, scratch and remix. Whether it's house, trance, soul or hip hop, music experiences can be a fun way to provide visitors with a little insight into the sounds your city is known for.
Check out this DJ experience for inspiration.
Sports should be for everyone. In recent years, Airbnb experiences have given people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to have some fun playing a variety of sports. Whether you're boxing with grannies or playing walking football with veterans, Airbnb could be a great way to promote a niche fitness class.
If you live in a city or town famous for its water, give visitors the chance to properly experience it. Take tourists kayaking around Sydney Harbour, teach a group to fish on Adelaide River or sail around Byron Bay. Depending on your skills and interests, the choice is yours.
Can you make a mean sourdough? Want to teach locals how to bake perfect shortbread? Whether you're teaching beginners how to bake or helping good pastry-makers take their skills to the next level, there are lots of opportunities for baking classes in Aussie cities.
Check out this British treats class for inspiration.
Lots of tourists like to go shopping when they're on holiday but it's often tricky to know exactly where to look - that's where you come in. If you know all the best vintage clothes stores, can scout out a bargain, or are an avid vinyl collector with knowledge of the best record stores in the city, you could create a personalised shopping experience that doesn't exist in tourist guide books.
Check out this Ginza personal shopping trip for inspiration.
Many major cities have fantastic local food markets but with so much choice, navigating them can sometimes be a little intimidating and overwhelming for locals. If you're a regular at your city's local markets, you could create an exciting experience for visitors. From helping locals buy the best fruit and veg, to treating them to artisanal gems, there's plenty of opportunities to make money as a market guide.
Check out this Tsukiji fish market for inspiration.
How much can you earn as a host?
Figuring out just how much you can make as an Airbnb Experiences host is easy:
- Take the amount you will charge for your experience (per person).
- Multiply it by the number of people you can have participate in your group.
- Remove a 20% Airbnb service fee.
To get an idea of how much you could charge per service, take a look at a few of the examples listed below.
This boat adventure is 3 hours long and priced at $129 per person with a maximum group size of six.
For an example of an experience with a larger headcount, this concert experience can take up to 50 people but has a lower cost of $15 per head and is only 2.5 hours long.
|Type of service||Charge per head||Group size||100% attendance?||Time||Amount made||Amount made per hour|
|3-hour speed boat adventure||$129||6||Yes||3 hours||$774||$258|
|Coffee house concert tour||$15||50||Yes||2.5 hours||$750||$300|
Why does Airbnb take a 20% fee?
You may be wondering why Airbnb takes 20% of the price you charge. One obvious reason is so they can make money too. However, this is what it says on the Airbnb website:
Unless otherwise agreed to by the host and Airbnb, we charge a 20% service fee for experiences to help cover the costs of the products, services and support we provide, including maintaining liability insurance for most experiences.
What's involved in the application process?
If you are interested in becoming an Airbnb Experiences host but are worried about the application process, there's no need.
- To apply, you simply need to create an account,
- Share a little bit about the experience you plan to host
- Submit your plan for review by the Airbnb team.
Tips for success
To give guests the best idea of what they are signing up for, you will need to have a clear and informative description of the experience, photos to help bring the description to life and any other relevant details they may need to know prior to signing up.
By having a detailed write-up of your experience and great photos, you can give yourself the best chance possible of having your experience approved with the least hassle.
What would not be considered an Airbnb Experience?
With Airbnb Experiences, your goal should be to provide an interesting and intimate experience for travellers.
Activities such as large tours that are not very personal, events without any clear host or something that guests could easily stumble upon themselves, such as major tourist attractions, would be examples of things that would not qualify as an Airbnb Experience.
If it would not be considered a unique experience for newcomers in your town, it's likely that it would not be a good candidate for Airbnb Experiences.
Do hosts get insurance?
Part of the fee you pay to Airbnb as described above goes towards covering the cost of insurance. Airbnb's insurance for most experiences will keep hosts covered up to $1 million for protection against personal injury or property damage claims.
Things that are not covered
Things that would not be covered under Airbnb's insurance would be property damage not related to the experience, events that were not accidents and experiences that involve aircraft.
Conclusion: If you are a local and are looking for extra income
Being an Airbnb Experiences host can be a great way to help travellers experience the hidden gems of your city, even by hosting a special dinner in your own home.
While this can be a great experience for the guests, it can also be a great experience for the host because you will have the ability to make friends from all over the world while earning some extra income.
Become an Airbnb experience host