Airbnb wants to be much more than just a homey alternative to hotels.
The short-term rental platform has launched Airbnb Adventures, a revamp of Airbnb Experiences, which will see hosts take responsibility for much more than just a cosy nest to come home to.
But that’s not all.
As part of the launch of Airbnb Adventures, Airbnb has also organised a 80-day trip around the globe – inspired by Jules Verne’s famous novel Around the World in 80 Days – that starts and ends in London, spanning six continents and 18 countries.
You’ll wander along the Silk Road, make your way across Arabian deserts, island-hop through the Galapagos, jump on a hot air balloon, and boat through the fjords of Chilean Patagonia.
“All you have to do is make sure you have enough empty pages in your passport, buy a round trip ticket to and from London, and get on that first flight,” Airbnb said.
“When you land, the first chapter of your around the world adventure begins.”
The massive world trip kicks off on September 1 and ends November 19, with booking available on Airbnb’s website from June 20, though spaces are only limited to eight lucky guests aged 21 or older.
The 12-week itinerary
The first week of the trip will kick off in London but see you travel through Bucharest, Romania and Uzbekistan.
In the second week you’ll explore Cairo, Egypt, and then enjoy a three-day cruise along the Nile.
Week three promises a number of desert destinations in Jordan and Ethiopia that will see you floating in the Dead Sea’s mineral waters.
In week four, you’ll visit places of worship and valuable archaeological site in Ethiopia and Kenya, and enjoy a four-day safari where yo’ull wake up to big cats, elephants, and rare species – and then cruise the air in a hot air balloon over the plains.
In week five, you’ll head to Kathmandu, Nepal and visit Hindu and Buddhist temples and famed bazaars where you’ll surround yourself with local spices, produce and goods.
Week six sees you traversing the capital of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas, followed by bustling Bangkok and then explore the villages of Guizhou province among misty mountains and bamboo groves before heading to Beijing.
Week seven will see you Down Under, starting from Sydney, to Adelaide, then to Hawker where you’ll drive to Wilpena Pound and wander the outback for three days.
In week eight, you’ll find yourself to New Zealand where you’ll say ‘kia ora’ to the stunning landscapes of the island country, kicking off with a white wine tasting followed by a helicopter ride and a boat ride. Next stop is Osaka, Japan, where it’ll be three days of hiking Kumano Kodo.
Related story: This is Airbnb’s impact on Aussie housing markets
You’ll round out your time in Japan in week nine of the trip with forest bathing and meditative walks in the woods, and then fly to Utah, USA to drive to Moab to tackle whitewater rapids.
Week 10 will see you get up close and personal with the Galapagos, and visit a number of islands along the way – as well as local critters such as blue footed boobies, iguanas, flamingos, tortoises, sea lions and more.
In the second-last week of the trip, you’ll explore the wilds of Chilean Patagonia, and then spend three days floating among the fjords of the Southern Ice Field to spot penguins, go kayaking and hike glaciers.
The very last week of the 80-day trip will find you in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, where you’ll head even further north for snowshoeing and relaxing in steamy nature baths. You’ll also make a stop at Goðafoss waterfall and then soak in the Blue Lagoon, before heading back to London after an adventure of a lifetime.
The whole trip will set you back US$5,000, or AU$7,277, with all the inter-country flights, food, drinks, accommodation and activities included in the cost, bar the flights you’ll have to pay to and from London.
All the money paid for this experience will go to the Malala Fund, named after Pakistani activist and Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.
According to Airbnb’s website, Adventures aims to provide “unique and magical travel experiences ... which include for the first time lodging, meals, and activities”.
“Airbnb Adventures is a new collection of bucket list worthy multi-day experiences hosted by local experts that take intimate groups to epic, off-the-beaten-path locations and immerses them in unique cultures and communities.”
The run-of-the-mill Airbnb experience doesn’t consist of much more than successfully finding the Airbnb’s location, settling in, and then going out to explore on your own.
But with Airbnb Experience, hosts take care of the itinerary and activities for you to introduce guests to hard-to-reach cultural experiences that only locals might know.
“People can escape their day-to-day and put their screens and devices away but now instead of just a few hours, they have the option to be fully immersed off-the-beaten-path, to push themselves out of their comfort zones and have experiences that will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” said Airbnb VP of experiences Joe Zadeh.
At present, there are more than 200 adventures to pick from that are either exclusive to Airbnb or created by “small, local operators” not found on other major booking platforms.
The ‘adventures’ are also available across a range of prices starting from a $115 overnight trip to a $7,270 10-day trek, with the average price of an adventure at $588 for a three-day trip, according to the Airbnb website.
The activities have a strong focus on local communities and range from cliff camping to kayaking to farms and music events, and are hosted by experienced and culturally savvy locals.
Each Airbnb Experience is confined to a maximum of 12 people or less in order to keep groups intimate and facilitate personal connections, the website said.
More experiences will be added to Airbnb Adventures before the end of the year.
And don’t worry, they should all be safe: Airbnb said the adventures meet “certain quality and safety standards” and have been advised by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
Make your money work with Yahoo Finance’s daily newsletter. Sign uphere and stay on top of the latest money, news and tech news.