Tired of cookie-cutter hotel rooms? You are not alone. Airbnb, an online lodgings service that lets people list private spaces for rent, this week released its year-end figures for 2012. Four million people have now booked rooms (or castles, boats and treehouses) on Airbnb, and three million did so in 2012.
Travelers can search Airbnb by location and dates for their trip. In all, the company has more than 300,000 listings in 35,887 cities flung across 197 countries. You can find a huge range of accommodations.
For instance, most hotels in Austin, Texas, are sold out during early March when the annual SXSW technology, film and music convention takes place. But if you can make do without a bed, Airbnb has a campsite listing for $20 a night, several hundred spare rooms for around $100 and more than 600 apartments and houses starting at around $300 and soaring up to several thousand a night.
Available on the Web, Airbnb also has free apps for iPhone and Android. The company recently added the ability for travelers to submit reviews at the end of their stays from their phones.