Airbnb has taken centre stage of the travel industry with its recent launch of shiny, Netflix-like, local experiences. While great, these trips typically only give guests a short period of time (one day, two evenings, three partial days, etc.) with the local host. This leaves guests with a wonderful, but limited, taste of the local culture. While a short dose of local culture might be enough for some, those wanting a deeper immersion should look to a learning holiday provider for their cultural experience. If you're the latter, below are four reasons a full-on learning holiday experience is your ticket.
Hosts have ditched their day jobs
Airbnb hosts tend to run both their rentals and their experiences as side gigs alongside full-time work and priorities. But unlike a spare bedroom, spare time is not a dispensable asset. Learning holiday experience hosts on sites like GoLearnTo.com have given up their day jobs to dedicate their lives to their passions and share them with others.
These learning holiday hosts spend all day, everyday perfecting their guests' experiences and looking for ways to improve their holidays. Plus, they have availability when you want, not when it fits their schedule.
Legal limitations do not hinder host flexibility
Experience hosts with Airbnb are responsible for meeting the legal food and alcohol service and tour guide requirements of the local area. For an individual Airbnb host, these T&C's limit both their flexibility and their ability to give guests a truly behind-the-scenes experience. So while they can easily take you for dinner in a restaurant (as any local - or simply yourself - could), preparing and eating a home-cooked meal together may require too much paperwork to pull off.
Alternatively, local learning holiday hosts from companies such as GoLearnTo have set up entire businesses around their experiences. These hinge on immersing travellers in an 'off-the-tourist trail' look at local culture. So you can ride on horseback into the Sierra Nevada mountains, hunt for truffles in the Italian countryside, or cook with a French chef in his home to your heart's content.
You prefer authentic to sexy
While Airbnb's experiences look glamourous, they may also contribute to the 'Netflixation' of travel with their staged appeal. Large marketing budgets, beautiful models and professional photographers give the trips a glimmering allure, but they do little to reflect the average traveller, and this flawlessness can obscure the true reason for travel: authenticity.
Travel should be real, valid, and life-changing. With a learning trip, what you see is what you experience. Real travellers feature across GoLearnTo's website and share their authentic experiences and photographs from incredible holiday memories that last longer than their tan. You won't see forced laughter, bronzed models or fake activity, just entirely unstaged fun.
You're looking for an immersive experience
You may be able to meet up at the market for your Airbnb experience, but you aren't able to stay with your experience host. Organising your experience separately (a requirement of the Airbnb platform) means you can't stay in the photographer's finca in Andalucia or the chef's gite in France. On a learning holiday experience, you can.
Pick vegetables in a Michelin-star chef's garden to cook for dinner in his home in France. Join your yoga teacher for sun salutations at dawn on her balcony in Andalucia, or settle down for a chat in your Japanese tutor's kitchen after performing a tea ceremony. Indulge your inner adventurer and dive headfirst into a new activity with locals who want to share their passions and culture without limits.