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Home Away From Home

Our trip to Key West was our first our first time using Airbnb to stay somewhere, as it can get expensive vacationing down there.  We were concerned about staying at a strangers house at first but realized everyone who uses the app has to pass a background check and relies on reviews to be approved.  The new experience paid off not only with spending 50% less than what a hotel would have cost us but we became friends with Rob, our host!  That's us, with drinks in our hand pool-side!

He left his last job because he wasn't fulfilled and replaced his corporate salary hosting travelers full-time.  He made a good living entertaining guests being that Key West is an expensive destination.  You could tell he loved meeting people and making it a memorable trip for them.  We met other people that were staying there on vacation, as he rented out three bedrooms and his cottage out back.  It really wasn't strange staying in the same house with people we've never met before because what we learned is that Airbnb isn't just a service, it's a community of people made up of budget-minded travelers looking for a decent place to stay, as well as hosts that were bringing in another stream of revenue.

As a result of that trip, we started using Airbnb most of the time we traveled anywhere, with nothing but great experiences!  We have even hosted people in our home for to create an extra line of income and it's helped paying a majority of each month's mortgage payment!  I encourage you to try Airbnb if you love traveling (they aren't paying me to say this).  If you have extra space in your home I encourage you to consider making it a space to host travelers, where you make as much or as little of the experience customizing it to your liking.  I'm happy to talk to you about either use of the platform, as I think we should all be making a little extra cash on the side but mostly to travel and experience the world with that home away from home feeling on a budget, perhaps making a few new friends along the way!

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Starting in November I'll be featuring some of my favorite Airbnb properties and hosts I've stayed with around the country, while they share stories from travelers that have stayed with them.  If you haven't already check out my 7 minute documentary Staying With Strangers, featuring two hosts I stayed with, stories of people who have stayed with them and WHY they host people in their home.

If you want to try Airbnb to travel here's my referral code to get up to $40 off your first stay:  www.airbnb.com/r/mmaczko

If you want to host travelers here's my referral code that can get you an extra $25 on your first booking:  www.airbnb.com/r/mmaczko

I encourage you to do some homework and explore credit cards with rewards programs that build miles.  Some have a better rewards system than others.  I use the Delta American Express card (I get no kickback for this plug), as it builds up sky miles fast with no blackout dates.  I've earned my fair share of free flights because I use it as my main form of payment.