Sometimes staying in a hotel can prove a little too restrictive for the adventurer in us.
Not all of us like being told when we can have breakfast (then having to queue for it), having to exchange daily pleasantries with all and sundry, and not being able to have a judgement-free greasy doner brought to our room from the local kebab shop.
First-world problems, perhaps, but still enough of an issue to make you wish for an alternative way to spend your holiday. That’s where Airbnb comes in.
Despite being just eight years old, the online market has changed the way we book our getaways. More than 60 million users have been holiday guests via the site, staying in a vast array of properties in 190 countries.
Although some house rules usually apply, most shackles have been removed, meaning you can have the run of the house (or castle, or boat).
Forget “living like a local”. Head for the Umbrian hills and live like landed gentry by pitching up at, say, an 18th Century Italian manor house. Or your own island. www.airbnb.com.
Earthship, New Mexico
It takes a lot of skill, and guts, to build your own house, but Dan Richfield has done just that. Not only does it catch its own rainwater and power itself, this quirky masterpiece of an eco home comes with a Netflix subscription. Dog lovers will enjoy long walks in peaceful surroundings. From Dhs460 per night (sleeps four).
Bird Island, Belize
Unless you’re a buddy of Richard Branson, it’s unlikely you would’ve ever stayed on a private island. Set within a coral reef, this little slice of paradise for four is great for fishing and snorkelling. From QR1,480 per night.
Villa Pianciani, Italy
This place gets two ticks straight away for location and luxury. Be the lord or lady of the manor with this 18th century hilltop villa in the beautiful Umbrian countryside. It’s ideal for weddings, too. QR4,200 per night (sleeps 16).
Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse
This working lighthouse in New South Wales, Australia, is a secluded retreat with some stunning scenery. The trio of cottages lies within a national park so get out and explore the great outdoors. From QR940 per night (sleeps six).
Farmhouse, Mount Fuji
If you want to wake up looking at one of the world’s most iconic landmarks, this home on a five-acre farm is for you. And with sheep as your only neighbours, you can make as much noise as you like. From QR525 per night (sleeps 12).