|by Sean O'Neill||Helpful Websites, Hotels, Vacation Rentals||9|
Brian Chesky of San Francisco has found a way to one-up the George Clooney character in "Up in the Air"—the movie about a businessman who spends every day in a plane and every night in a hotel.
Chesky doesn't own a home or an apartment. Instead, he moves from one vacation rental to another every three to five days.
Chesky does this for two reasons: He's in his twenties, so he can. More importantly, he's the co-founder of Airbnb, a room-renting site that he thinks represents a new stage in the evolution of travel.
He may be half-right.
Airbnb has come a long way since it's major launch in 2008, when Budget Travel first blogged about it. Travelers have booked nearly a million nights in 89 countries through the site, which makes it simple to find private homes, apartments, and even boats, to rent.
Vacation rentals aren't a new idea. But being able to book a room by the night instead of by the week—and being able to do so at the last-minute, with plenty of precautions that you're not being scammed—is all new. Since November, there's even an iPhone app. Booking a room at a person's house has become as fast as reserving a stay at a Marriott.
My main beef with AirBnB is how its rates are set. I wish AirBnB adopted a Priceline model. Why can't I bid on how much I would be willing to stay at a room, instead of merely accept the price a property owner has posted?
Maybe that would be too complicated for Chesky. It's tough enough moving to another apartment every few nights without having to add auction-style bidding to the mix.
If you're not familiar with how Airbnb could be useful to you for your next vacation, check out the following video.
MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL
New York Controversy: A Crackdown on "No-tels" (80+ comments)