Image – Bla Bla Car
In the past we have featured our most desired destinations on the Travel Lust List, they can occasionally be pretty far flung though – tree housing in New Zealand? Poppy fields in China? Great additions to a travel bucket list, but not always the most realistic and economic spots for a week long break. Over the past few months we’ve noticed different ways of travelling, there are some amazing travel websites that make the world that little bit smaller and connect you with more people around the world for an often more authentic – and better priced! – travelling adventure. We’ve put together our top three best and sustainable travel sites…
Found some great flights to Amsterdam but don’t have a clue as to where to stay? You must check out Airbnb then. This site is huge in America – founded by a couple of guys in San Francisco it provides a platform for individuals referred to as “hosts”, generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests.There are over 250,000 listings in 30,000 cities and 192 countries. The listings range from private rooms, entire apartments, castles, boats, mansions, castles, tree houses and private islands. We love nothing more than having a nose around someone’s flat – and this is the best way to do it! There are plenty of designer flats, and you can create your own wish lists of where you want to stay.
We’ve featured this great site before, the website matches up people with gardens with those looking to camp. The website allows homeowners to advertise their garden as a temporary campsite, and campers can search for a spot where they can camp comfortably and safely. The website soon became a surprise hit after 1,100 members signed up in its first month and now a staggering 2,500 people a day are currently visiting campinmygarden.com to promote their lawn for hire or to find a cheap place to stay. Campers can pay homeowners as little as £2 per person per night to stay in their garden, often getting access to their bathroom, barbecue and wireless internet.
Hitchhiking seems a little too Stephen King for us, so instead why not try car sharing for an economic way to explore Europe? Sign up to BlaBlaCar and offer or find a ride to the destination of your choice. Passengers pay reasonable petrol costs and both drivers and riders are rigorously vetted by the site (and rated by fellow users) to ensure that everyone is who they say they are, insurance is up to date, the cars are in good nick and the drivers reliable. BlaBlaCar was born one Christmas, when founder Frédéric Mazzella, a student at Stanford, wanted to get home to his family in the French countryside. He had no car. The trains were full. The roads, too, were full of people driving home, alone in their car. It occurred to him that he should try and find one of the drivers going his way and offer to share petrol costs in exchange for use of an empty seat. He thought he could do it online, but no such site existed… The adventure had begun and Fred created an entire new transport network built on people.