A few years ago, due to a last minute South By Southwest trip, our own Molly McHugh booked a seemingly legit rental on Airbnb, only to discover that she had to share towel with residents of the home, sleep in very used sheets, and get woken up by a tenant looking for his pipe. So, we were pretty excited to learn that the site will introduce a Verified ID badge on user accounts that have provided offline identification to match their online information. It’s an added step of security and trust; renters can now choose to only accept clients who have triple verified their identities (phone number, Facebook, real life ID) and vice versa so neither party gets catfished.
Weird accommodation options are part of Airbnb’s charm, so we’d like to propose seven current listings that should be verified immediately. If these folks are offering what they say they’re offering, we just might book a night or two.
“Aircraft’s” airplane in the Netherlands ($496 a night)
The strangest part about this listing isn’t the idea of paying half a grand to rent an airplane; it’s that the place was listed by someone named “Aircraft.” Airbnb needs to get on this thing’s Verified ID, pronto.
Beyond potentially dealing with an airplane-shaped person, this renovated 1960s airplane looks pretty awesome. It boasts a luxury suite that comes with serious amenities: Infrared sauna, jacuzzi tub, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, minibar, three flat screen televisions, a kitchenette – this flight has everything … except for, you know, flight. Note that the floor plan is open and the tub is right in the middle of it, so book this trip with someone you’re comfortable with. The cockpit has been left untouched, so if you don’t like the Netherlands, you can sit in the pilot seat and pretend to fly home.
Edvard’s igloo in Greenland ($327 a night)
Get it straight: Iceland is green, and Greenland is icy. Visit the latter country in all its winter glory by staying in an igloo overlooking the Ilulissat Ice Fjord. Edvard offers 5 of his modern igloo cabins equipped with the tiniest kitchenette imaginable, television, and a bathroom with shower.
“The harsh nature comes right up to the door,” Edvard advertises. “When you walk out of the igloo, the Hotel Arctic reception and restaurants are just a few paces away. The distance is short when measured in metres, but you will probably feel that when you go back to your igloo for the night you are entering a completely different world.”
Lycheng and Van Bo’s 1-SQM “house” in Germany ($14 a night)
Looks like Lycheng and Van Bo found a new way to recycle their kid’s/niece’s/nephew’s playhouse and turn it into an artsy money-making tool. For just $14 a night, guests can stay in the smallest house in Berlin, measuring just one square meter in living space. The house is also modular; flip it vertically to sit out and enjoy the view from what was the door or turn it on its side to lay down for a nap. Since there are permanent holes in the wall and no lock on the door, it’s probably wise to not bring valuables along for the night – unless, of course, Lycheng and Van Bo want to verify their IDs and help guests lock up their properties. It should go without saying that hanky panky in this Airbnb isn’t a great idea, unless you’re into that kind of thing.
Craig’s lighthouse in New York ($350 a night)
Those looking for bizarre options closer to home should check out Craig’s Execution Rocks Lighthouse in Port Washington, New York – just a few miles east of the Big Apple. Craig claims the lighthouse may already be permanently booked by a ghost, but while folks claim to have experienced the haunting, Craig hasn’t “seen” the ghost himself. For $350 per night, guests will have to service their own porta-potties, bring their own food, and figure their own way to and from the island. Craig also notes that there are no fire stations on the island, so don’t smoke up.
If you’re in love with this place, you can move in for the reasonable price of $10,000 a month. Just look at that magnificent entryway. Sold.
Søren’s tipi in Denmark ($46 a night)
If you’re in the market for some couples counseling, host Søren offers his modest accommodation set in the middle of a “therapy garden,” which is heated with a bonfire – “if you keep life in it.” We’re not quite sure what that means, but it sounds sexy. The secluded, tiny tipi allows for an experience that might be what camping was like decades ago, because the tent floor doesn’t have carpet, fabric, or wood – just pure pebbles and grass. But if you need a dose of current civilization, a modern bathroom and fully-equipped kitchen are 200 feet away.
Giraffe’s manor in Kenya ($500 a night)
It seems like Aircraft’s not the only oddball on Airbnb. Apparently, a Giraffe is also trying to rent out his manor fit for a family vacation. In any other situation, this would be your ordinary luxury listing for a safari suite in a giant estate. But wake up for breakfast and Giraffe might poke his head in to say hi and steal a bite or two of your salad. Open the door to go outside and Giraffe will be there to greet you with his friends and family. Watching TV? Giraffe might sneak a peak through the manor’s oversized windows. There’s no escaping Giraffe on his own manor! At least alcohol and soft drinks are included in the rental price, but be careful – Giraffe has a looooooong tongue.
Steve’s backyard in Napa ($80 a night)
It doesn’t look like much – and it’s not – but Steve might be on to something here. Napa is world famous wine country, which makes for a seriously expensive vacation. But renting a barebones backyard without grass, bedding, or a shower for $80 nightly? Why not? The sandbox comes with a charred-up grill, free parking, and breakfast for an additional $15 a meal. Despite the outdoors, pets and smoking are not permitted, but you do get to sleep next to rusty barbells, picnic booths, and plastic chairs.
The backyard accommodates up to six, but provide your own tent(s) or Steve will charge you more money to loan you his. Cancel within any time range of the booking date to check-in date and Steve will take a 10 percent cut. Really Steve? You, sir, need to get a Verified ID badge, stat.