While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Airbnb to close its typical face-to-face experiences and holiday rentals, the homesharing platform isn’t letting isolation measures stop consumers from enjoying unique cooking classes, exercise classes and even beauty tutorials.
Airbnb has launched a new platform called Online Experiences, which allows hosts who once relied on physical contact with people to make an income to now using virtual classes through Zoom to host special events, demonstrations and experiences.
The new online feature offers more than 50 events in more than 30 countries, including meditation with Buddhist monks in Japan, exercise classes with Olympians, cooking with a Moroccan family, salsa-making classes in Mexico and even brewing the perfect latte with a professional coffee taster.
“Human connection is at the core of what we do,” says Catherine Powell, head of Airbnb Experiences.
“With so many people needing to stay indoors to protect their health, we want to provide an opportunity for our hosts to connect with our global community of guests in the only way possible right now, online.”
As part of our Life (goes on) in Lockdown section, News.com.au has narrowed down the best online experiences to help you pass the time in isolation – and have a bit of fun doing it.
1. Make Colourful Healthy Pasta – Italy
Always dreamt of being taught to make pasta by an Italian? Well, now’s your chance and all from the comfort of your own kitchen. Airbnb host Chiara is on a mission to share decades of family cooking traditions and pasta techniques passed down from her Nonna. In this 90-minute class, you’ll learn how to prepare your very own colourful handmade pasta from scratch, all while hearing stories and learning more about Chiara and her Nonna’s favourite pasta recipes.
2. Meditation with a Japanese Buddhist Monk – Japan
Kuniatsu has been a Buddhist monk for nearly 20 years and for most of this time, worked in Shitennoji Temple practising Zen meditation. In this online experience, Kuniatsu will start by sharing the story behind how and why he became a Buddhist monk and what meditation means to him. This will be followed by two types of meditation: chanting mantra and breathing-out meditation. Guests will then have the opportunity to ask any questions and share reflections on the practice.
3. Irish Dance Masterclass – Ireland
Airbnb Experience host Aneta is opening up her home in Salthill, Ireland, to train the masses in authentic Irish dancing. She’s toured all around the world, dancing and teaching workshops, including at the world’s largest Celtic music festival. You’ll get the full experience with Aneta, as she takes you through the history of traditional dance in Ireland, including a demonstration and letting you get involved. As part of this, you’ll learn a Sean-nós dance step and an Irish step dance step. You’ll be a pro in no time.
4. Make Swedish Pastries with a Pro Baker – Sweden
Join your host Lhea, who will virtually welcome you to her kitchen in Stockholm, Sweden, to participate in an online baking class. The session will kick off with some insights into Swedish family life, giving guests an opportunity to ask any questions about the Swedish lifestyle and traditions. You’ll then get into baking, with Lhea taking you through step-by-step to bake Cinnamon and Cardamom buns. You’ll want to loosen your belt for this class.
Looking for things to pass the time? The best shows to watch, the funniest videos, the best hacks and home workouts? Find it all at our Life (goes on) in Lockdown section.
5. Gold Medal HIIT with an Olympian – UK
Join Kate, a two-time Olympic rower, as she takes you through an extensive and creative HIIT workout, fit for a gold medallist. Suitable for all levels, you’ll develop both strength and cardio capacity – double the bang for your buck. When the hard work’s done, you’ll finish with a chilled stretching session, and you’ll have the chance to ask any questions that you might have about training, health and wellbeing, performance psychology or the Olympic experience.
6. Family Baking Experience – USA
This fun, family baking experience will teach you how to make the perfect cookies in just one hour. Hosted by Natalie, a huge baking enthusiast, this experience is perfect for children aged two to seven, but it also includes some top tips for parents.
7. K-Beauty Get Camera Ready with a TV Host – South Korea
Join your host, Cyoung, a professional broadcaster and make-up artist based in Seoul, who’s passionate about the worldwide trend of K-beauty. In this experience you’ll get an introduction to K-Beauty, followed by a rundown of the basic steps of Korean skincare. Then Cyoung will take you through a step-by-step guide to achieve a simple and natural makeup look.
8. Personalised Interior Design Workshop – USA
While we’re spending all of our time at home, this is the perfect chance to make it a comfortable, inviting, and inspiring space. On this experience, interior designer Julianne will teach you the basics of interior design and help tackle design dilemmas around your house, as well as taking you on a tour of her beautifully designed home.
9. Cooking with a Moroccan Family – Morocco
This Moroccan family wants to help you travel virtually, to discover their traditional authentic food and to welcome you to their home. On this online experience, you’ll be virtually transported to Morocco by cooking delicious local food and learning different techniques used in Moroccan cuisine. You’ll also have the chance to ask any questions on their way of life and culture. This class starts from just $24.
10. Drawn from Within – USA
On this new online sketching experience, you’ll explore how drawing strengthens and enhances the relationship between inside and outside, particularly when you are feeling isolated, alone or confined within a small space. A spin-off from his popular Sketch & The City Experience, host Ben will lead you through some simple exercises to help you revive your imagination and appreciate the space you inhabit. No drawing skills or experience necessary.
Click here for a full list of interactive Airbnb Online Experiences