Apartment surfing, family friendly luxury in 2013 travel trends

Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:34pm EST
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By Peter Myers

LONDON (Reuters) - When Robert Reid last visited London from the United States for a short trip he stayed in an apartment he found on a "couch-surfing" site in the off-the-beaten north London suburb of Muswell Hill.

"I wanted to be at the place where The Kinks were from," says Reid. "The people were super and it gave me a great outlook on London and I appreciate the city more than I did before."

Couch-surfing is a hospitality revolution, thinks Reid, who is the U.S. Travel Editor for the Lonely Planet, one of the leading guides for consumers in a multi-billion dollar travel industry courted by almost every country on the globe.

People visiting cities in particular are choosing to stay in residential apartments and live like locals, spending time in secondary neighborhoods, browsing in farmers' markets and the like, he said.

Reid can't see why anyone would choose to stay in a hotel these days. Couch surfing sites he uses, like Airbnb, are flourishing as vacationers look at budget-friendly ways to satisfy their desire to travel.

"In New York, hotels cost 300 dollars," says Reid. "You can get very nice apartments in Brooklyn and some parts of Manhattan for just over 100 dollars a night. You'll have more space, a kitchen and you'll feel connected to a real neighborhood; perhaps cook a couple of meals to save money."


For those holidaymakers still happy to give hotels their money, a new trend is emerging which appears to marry the "luxury" and "family friendly" labels.   Continued...