09 Oct 2017
It has been known that Airbnb has been working on Experiences for awhile, but this is the first time I’ve seen this advertisement and I really love it. I currently work for a company that focuses more on the production side of things within tech so while I’ve always had an interest in this sort of thing (you’ve seen content like this before on Yow Yow!) I feel like my senses for this are now a bit more heightened. There are a few things that attracted me to this idea. Some of my favorite trips have been the ones where I have had experiences there that I could only have in that location ie) going to a pineapple farm in Okinawa, Japan. Now, my mother and I sort of stumbled upon that by chance, but if you’re a planner like me, then this is something that you want to know about and book ahead of time. I’m sure so much research went into this project to learn about the history of the cities and the neighborhoods in addition to finding the individuals to be a part of this to guide guests. I’m quite impressed by all of that. Readers, do you think you’d try Experiences out? Everyone has a very different way of traveling so I’m assuming this might not be for everyone, but are there some of you that would take advantage of this and what would you like to do? Up next – Airbnb tackles restaurant reservation and decides to eat up OpenTable. Just kidding! But, we all know it’s sort of coming so anything can happen!
18 Nov 2016
Airbnb made a major announcement today at the company’s annual conference, Airbnb Open, in Los Angeles. In addition to already allowing their users to book rooms and homes from other hosts, Airbnb is highlighting a new feature that lets guests plan their trip as an entire experience. It’s interesting because the way in which they described it really resonated with me. I don’t often plan many trips unless they have a purpose – party, event, visiting, etc. and when I begin to think about a trip that I could take for myself that is fun, it sort of stresses me out! Where would I go? What would I do that allows me to have the entire experience and isn’t completely touristy and you know, *basic?* Their new feature was designed exactly for people that have the same travel anxieties as I do. With Airbnb trips, which will launch in 50+ cities next year, you can filter through activities that you want to include on your trip either as a one-time thing or several activities that can last a few days – also called “immersions.” Basically, you’d be allowed to pick and choose from different experiences to create a travel schedule for yourself.
“If you want to have an amazing trip, you end up basically on a research project,” says CEO Brian Chesky, who announced the news onstage today at the company’s annual Airbnb Open conference in Los Angeles. Still, he adds, “you’re in line, you’re lonely, you’re outside, and you’re doing things locals never do.” Airbnb Trips is a way around that, Chesky says. “if you have a passion, an interest, or a hobby, you can share your community with other sin the world.” Airbnb is starting with 12 cities, including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Paris. The goal is to launch Trips in more than 50 cities by next year.
23 Aug 2016
Tech company, Airbnb, has opened up a new office in Tokyo and as you can already imagine, it’s stunning. Personally, I’ve never had a chance to visit their office in San Francisco, but have always heard that it is one of the best offices out of all the startup and tech companies in Silicon Valley and San Francisco so it’s no surprise that Tokyo wouldn’t follow suit. At nearly 2,000 the square feet, this office was designed to blend both “local and global cultures” which you can see throughout these photos.
Per employee feedback, the theme of nature is heavily incorporated throughout the new design, with the end result serving as a breath of fresh air from the city’s chaotic Shinjuku district outside. Staff members can dine in the light-filled café and reception area, follow wooden paths to the various meeting rooms, and remove their shoes and relax on the tatami mats peppered throughout the office.
20 Jun 2016
As much as I love taking the trips and looking forward to writing about them on Yow Yow! When I sit down to actually start writing the post, I find myself dreading it. These are always the meatiest and because of that, I want to make sure that everything is perfect and not leave anything out.
I went to New York for the first time in March with Mandi and I couldn’t have imagined a better travel partner. I’m not just saying that because she writes on Yow Yow! with us. I’m mostly saying this because it just seemed like a no-brainer – we already really enjoy spending time with each other, but we’ve never spent THIS much time together. It could’ve gone either way, however, it was definitely more positive for us. Also, Mandi graduated from Columbia a few years back when she was there for grad school so she really knew her way around the city. We all know that I would have had a tough time surviving that if I were on my own.
Similar to me, Mandi likes to plan things out so there were things she wanted to do/see and things I also wanted to do/see as well. Together, we compiled a list and made up a plan for every single day that we were there. It’s not surprising that we didn’t hit everything, but we did A LOT and I felt like all the walking I did in that trip was enough to last me a year. Another wonderful part about our trip was that we left some pockets open to fill. Not everything was planned to a tee and I really appreciated that because that allowed the both of us to take some time apart and do our own thing or catch up with our own friends without the other person feeling like they were being dragged into it.
When I let people know that I was going on this trip, a lot of people were surprised that this was my first time. To be honest, I didn’t think I would be 26 when I went, but it’s not terrible. When I was younger and in college, I didn’t have any friends that lived there. It was also difficult to make the time to take a trip like this since I was in school and didn’t have as much $$$ back then. Better late than never? I felt like when I left on our last day that I had a greater sense of appreciation for the city and the things that I saw, did, and ate. I’m not sure if I would have had that same feeling had I been younger.
Read more “Let’s Talk About New York!”
25 Oct 2015
Last week, we traveled down to the south for the very first time! I had been looking forward to this trip for awhile and after 4 days of hard work with my team in Houston at the Grace Hopper Conference, a few of us had planned ahead of time to wind down in Austin the weekend after. Houston was whatever, but Austin was extremely cute and charming. If I had to describe it, it was probably a more fast paced Portland, but with that same darlingness and Southern charm that you might expect. When planning this trip, we all kind of prioritized what mattered to us the most 1) Food 2) A great Airbnb in an awesome neighborhood and 3) the ability to get around – so we got a rental car and I played Soccer Mom the entire weekend!
It’s still summer in Texas so with the hot hot heat, we headed over to Barton Springs for the afternoon where we laid out and sort of got into the water.
Read more “Yow Yow! Down South”
06 Jun 2015
One of my favorite things to write about on Yow Yow! are my first experiences! Over Memorial Day Weekend, I stayed in my very first Airbnb with Jennie and we learned a lot from our stay. Normally, we are just hotel girls. We like the easiness of it all and the convenience, but while planning for our trip, we knew that booking a hotel during a holiday weekend was going to be pricey. We’ve toyed with the idea of Airbnb before, but this time we actually went through with it. The first lesson that we learned is that if you find a booking you really like, don’t procrastinate! Two weeks before we decide to book, we found a great spot in San Diego with a pool! When we realized that neither of us had booked it, we went back two weeks later and it was already taken.
Though the spot we ended up saying (pictured above) was our second choice, it was actually pretty great! We stayed in a very cute studio in the North Park neighborhood which was connected to the owner’s house, but had its own entrance so it made it feel like we were completely on our own and were able to move about as we pleased. Two of our girlfriends ended up staying with Jennie and I for one night and our host was very accommodating in letting us have them join in on our sleepover. Luckily the couch doubles as a fold out bed! Since Jennie and I knew we’d be out and about most of the time, we didn’t need very much and didn’t require a kitchen. However, there were a couple little things that we wished we had – ie) a television, a couple more power outlets, and mirrors for us to use to get ready in. As nice as the bathroom was, four girls in it is not ideal.
My other complaint was that Jennie and I were woken up at 6:30 AM one morning by the child and dog running around upstairs. It was a small hiccup and it only happened once during our stay, but other than that it was pretty much a perfect stay. I love how our host had a very detailed manual for us when we arrived to show us restaurants in the area, how to use things in the home, and how to clean up on our last day which was important to me because I wanted to leave the house as clean as it was when I came into it.
I love hotels, but they aren’t always the most cost-efficient for my wallet so I’m really looking forward to my next stay at Airbnb whenever that will be! I just read an article recently though that Airbnb has used some new machine learning tactics to help hosts learn when to raise their prices on certain dates and weekends when there is high volume ie) when there are major events happening in their city and during holiday weekends, which makes me as a guest a little bit nervous.
09 Apr 2015
If being in my mid-20’s has taught me anything, it’s that I procrastinate way more as an adult than I ever did in college. Jennie and I are headed to San Diego next month for our bff Ashley’s 2nd graduation (grad student y’all!) and for an all-around girls’ spring break trip and as of today we have finally solidified our plans. Since the graduation takes place over Memorial Day Weekend, hotels were snatched up almost immediately. Jennie and I are normally “hotel” girls, but I thought this might be a pretty good opportunity to try out AirBnB since I never have before.
Surprising, right? I actually dug back deep into the archives and noticed that I first wrote about AirBnB back in 2013 – so not like it took me two years or anything to try it out myself. As a first time user, I felt really self conscious. Was it supposed to take me THIS long to settle on a place to stay at? Are the photos an accurate representation of what the place actually looks like? I will also note that I nearly messed up three times on the booking because the dates had somehow gotten switched in the process. Close. Call. In the end, we settled on a nice studio for the two of us – really we’re only looking for a place to sleep because we’ll be out and about eating and beaching the entire time.
Nadia told me that for some bookings you have to request to book – as in the host approves YOU. Is there anything more nervewracking? I was anxious for a few hours after that just hoping that Jennie and I would be selected and eventually we were and I received a message from the host via AirBnB right after the approval which put all my worries at ease.
Spring Break is on y’all.