Airbnb experiences a cool option for solo travelers electricity 1 unit how many watts


I saved money by booking three nights in an air-conditioned room of an apartment in trendy El Born ($295, after a discount). As I fretted about the looming craters of free time, Airbnb followed up with an emailed pitch to "do something you can’t find on your own."

In Barcelona, the most popular market for Airbnb Experiences, options included a whimsical-looking tour of wine bars on vintage bicycles and a tapas crawl with smiling locals working on their postwork side hustle. My friend dared me to do a sidecar tour of the Gothic Quarter. My boss urged me to not.

Would I have done those activities without Airbnb’s prompting? Probably not. But as with my room, I saved a nice chunk of change by trying something new with a well-reviewed local over a polished professional instructor at a more-established tourism company.

Sailing in the Mediterranean Sea isn’t a typical must-do in Barcelona, unlike a tour of Gaudí’s astonishing Sagrada Família or the Pablo Picasso museum. But it has become the most popular option on Airbnb, and it was a fantastic decision after a hot day of wandering around the hills of Park Guell.

My host for sailing, Sergio, was a telecommunications engineer by day and a tour guide by night, paying his marina fees at Port Olimpic with two-hour tours through Airbnb. He welcomed our group of sailors from France, Dubai, Switzerland and Santa Monica, Calif., onto his 14-meter boat of two months. Sprawled across the Maggie May, we sailed for 30 minutes without hearing much from him about boat safety (those life vests were somewhere) or the significance of obvious buildings on the shore.

The spirit of informality did have its perks. How else would I have ended up at the helm for a few minutes, without an ounce of nautical know-how? Once we reached his swimming spot, he stopped the boat, threw out a blue inner tube and brought out a spread of beer, manchego cheese, chips and dried ham treats.

I dived into the water, feeling more comfortable in my new bathing suit among strangers than I usually do around friends. I floated in the deep blue water (and thought about how cool that was going to sound back home) as Sergio played the inescapable summer anthem, Despacito.

Before he was a paellamaking host on Airbnb, Eladi Martos worked in a restaurant, studied gastronomy and pursued film and tech projects. His friends let him use their bakery at night to start his Airbnb class, Paella Maestro, which he now teaches from a tiny house at the back of a garden.

We waited and waited for the simple paella of chicken and green beans to fully cook. A French woman fretted about the rice surely charring on the bottom of the pan, saying it was bad for our hearts. Eladi was holding out for a crisp top on the rice, and when he pronounced it finally ready, she muttered, "Oh, thank God."

There were no plates, forks or chairs. We plunged wooden spoons into the same huge pan, standing around the table where we made it. Eladi divided each portion of rice into the shape of a pizza slice, with just one rule: Do not cross your border unless invited. I was lucky and ended up with a drumstick in my triangle.