Thursday, June 24, 2010

Off topic but interesting if you're traveling this summer

This little find comes under the heading: "Why don't more people know about this?" I am booked to present at ISTE in Denver next week, but I've been holding off on making the arrangements to go until I was sure I really had time to be ready. Seems silly, I know, given the amount of lead time you get between acceptance and event, but my thinking about tools use and education changes so much over 6 or 8 months because of all the research, reflection, and writing. The initial ideas can almost seem like someone else's thoughts in retrospect. So last night in typical last minute fashion I was looking for a place to stay in a town where every hotel room is booked.

Not wanting to settle for a 'no-tell motel' or a place far from the downtown center, I decided to change tactics and look for a B&B. After about 15 Google pages I found Airbnb.

There are loads of people all over Denver willing to rent me anything from space on their floor to an entire condo with hot top for prices ranging from $30 per night to $500. You enter the dates when you need accommodation and you get back all the listing of people who have space available for that time. They can post pictures so you're able to see what the space is like. I registered through my Facebook account. I has its own messaging system and maintains confidentiality until payment has been accepted at which time the 2 parties involved in the transaction get to see each others' email addresses and phone numbers. I used the PayPal option rather than give out my credit card information. The fee taken by Airbnb is a little high, but I was happy to pay it and still saved because I was ready to pay $100 or $200 a night for a hotel.

I will be staying with a teacher who has just gotten her SMART board certification. She lives 8 minutes from the convention centre (15 in bad traffic) and will give me a room with it's own door out to the back yard and internet service for $50 per night Canadian.

This is wonderful! It's been around since 2007. Loads of these people accept pets. How come I've never heard of this before? If you're traveling this summer and want to find interesting places to stay, this looks like a great place to start.

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