What is the Difference Between Airbnb and Airbnb Experiences?

If you’ve heard of Airbnb, you know it can be a great deal when you travel. I know that we have used it quite a few times when scheduling our travel just to make our trips more budget friendly. Plus, staying at an Airbnb is a much different experience than staying at a hotel, so what’s not to love?

Did you know that Airbnb also has a thing called “Airbnb Experiences?” I know that we didn’t until a friend turned me onto it. Ever since then, I am in love! There are a few differences between Airbnb and Airbnb experiences.

What is Airbnb?

Airbnb has been around for a little while now, so it has become fairly widespread. In fact, we have found them all over the world. Which is awesome!

Airbnb makes traveling cheaper because you have a ton of choices as to where you stay and which type of accommodations.

Hosts can offer up anything from:

  • single room in their house
  • whole floor in their home
  • cottage house outside of their main home
  • home they use as a vacation home – Although beware of this one because it is technically illegal in almost every state and county to rent these out as short term rentals. If Airbnb catches wind of it, these listings will be kicked off of Airbnb. I have seen it happen quite a few times now!

They all usually offer amenities of some sort so that you don’t have to pack everything with you. These can vary, depending upon the accommodation type, but can include:

  • sheets
  • pillows
  • blankets
  • towels
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • personal hygiene products
  • tissues
  • television
  • cable
  • Wi-Fi
  • coffee
  • refrigerator
  • microwave
  • stove
  • hairdryer

If you are really lucky, and savvy, you might even run across one of the few that offer breakfast every day also. This can save you a ton of money during your travels, so keep an eye out for these.

What is Airbnb Experiences?

While Airbnb Experiences is a part of Airbnb, it is a slightly different animal. The experiences option is not for lodging, but for experiences. Depending on your area, or where you are traveling, they can differ wildly.

Some smaller areas don’t have any Airbnb Experiences yet, because it is still fairly new, but they will soon. Most larger cities do, including ours. Lucky for us!

Experiences can be anything from:

  • Photo tours
  • Cooking Classes
  • Vineyard tours
  • Brewery tours
  • Art classes
  • Walking tours
  • Adventure tours
  • The list is almost endless!

The big deal here is that while they are similar to Groupon and Living Social, Airbnb requires that you prove experience in the thing you are planning to teach. Whether it is with a degree, professional certificate or work history. In order to host an experience, you must first prove that you are an expert in what you are teaching.

I really like this about Airbnb Experiences because I feel like it can be a different caliber of experiences.

As experience driven people, this twist on the traditional Airbnb has really peaked our interest.

Side Hustle with Both

As an entrepreneur, I am always looking for new things to dip my toes into from a business perspective. Also, since we are a blended family and don’t have our kids half of the month, Airbnb seemed like another good thing for us to try as a side hustle.


Unfortunately, we don’t have a separate space for guests to stay. But we do have 3 unused bedrooms and 2 baths for half the month.

It took a while to set up our original profile because you need good pictures of every space guests will have available for use. Once you input the pictures and what you want your profile to say, then you have to decide which amenities you will offer. We decided to offer breakfast for each guest since we have a culinary background and love to cook.

But, this turned out to not be advantageous for us. While every guest we had loved our space and amenities, we just didn’t make enough to make it worth it as a side hustle. The way Airbnb’s algorithm seems to work is based on similar offerings near you. It tells you what you should price your space at per night, but you can change this, of course.

However, if you are priced too high, then you won’t get any bookings. And they don’t seem to account for the few properties that do offer breakfast.

Since that was the case for us, as well as the fact that we weren’t huge fans of having people in our house above our heads while we were home, we only did this for a couple of months.

But, this may be a good option for you to earn extra money, as long as you price your space right for the area and don’t offer too many amenities.

Airbnb Experiences

Towards the end of our Airbnb side hustle, we found out about the Experiences version. Since my spouse is a Chef, I used to own a gluten-free bakery and was a bartender, we qualified to teach cooking classes. We have done this outside of our home before and love it. So it made sense to add another option to our offerings and give it a shot.

If you want to do this, the process is similar to setting up an Airbnb profile. You have to add some quality pictures of you teaching the experience, create a unique profile, set your days and times for the experience and then set the price. The pricing for this is a bit trickier. This is especially true if you are the only one in your area offering a specific type of experience.

We really enjoyed hosting culinary craft cocktail pairing classes in our home for couples. But, it became too taxing on us with everything else we have going on and the rate of return was minimal since we had to purchase all of the ingredients. And since we are very particular about quality ingredients, it was costing us almost as much as we were making after Airbnb’s 20% cut. So we aren’t doing this one anymore either.

However, Airbnb & Airbnb Experiences can be great side hustles for the right person, in the right market.

Airbnb & Airbnb Experiences can be great side hustles for the right person, in the right market. Click To Tweet

Airbnb for the Win!

Using Airbnb for traveling and enjoying new experiences is one of our favorite things to do. Despite the differences between Airbnb and Airbnb Experiences becoming a host in either platform can potentially make you some decent side hustle money.

I call that an all-around win!

Have you been a guest or a host for either Airbnb platform before? What is your take on it?