The question of what does Airbnb mean is actually a frequently asked question on the internet. The Travel Virgin could simply answer this question by giving the generic answer of “Airbnb is a home sharing website that people use to rent or offer residential and other types of accommodations for short term occupancy”. This is a simple answer that would satisfy most people. The Travel Virgin however believes that to explain fully what Airbnb stands for we have to relate the history and the origin of the word. We will also dissect the word and explain how it was formed.
The Origin of Airbnb
In 2008, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, conceptualized what was called Air Bed and Breakfast. Created from using part of the well known term B&B, which means an accommodation that offers an overnight stay with bed and breakfast. Before going into the origination of the word, lets start with a bit of story telling. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, were flat mates who were struggling to pay their rent and decided to rent out air mattresses in their apartment, this endeavour was was Air Bed and Breakfast, then eventually shortened to Airbnb. Along with the air mattresses, they offered breakfast and city tours.
The Meaning of Air in Airbnb?
The Air in Airbnb is in reference to air mattresses. Most persons think the Air represents travel by airplane. Now the company has grown to not only include economical rental of spaces that have air mattresses but to luxury apartment and beach-side estates. Airbnb has a record of over 300 million check-ins in their over 12 years of operation.
What is the difference between Airbnb and a B&B?
Airbnb is a brand and the name of a home sharing website whilst B&B is a small inn or a home that offers accommodation with breakfast and a bed of course. There tends to be a slight confusion with defining both. Based on our definition, you would see that a B&B can be listed on the Airbnb website. Accommodation listings that are offered on Airbnb are actually called Airbnb’s, although many don’t offer breakfast. So here we see that the meaning of the shortened term of ‘Airbnb’ has evolved from the original offering by Chesky. Airbnb that do offer breakfast are “B&B’s listed on Airbnb’. So the definition of an Airbnb has expanded to accommodations without breakfast and now include experiences which are also offered on the website.
As the platform expands, The Travel Virgin can only imagine how the meaning will further evolve.
Alternative Travel Agencies to Airbnb
There are a number of similar travel agencies online; The Travel Virgin recommends these:
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