Airbnb Launches Host of Sweet New Features

A decade ago, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia started renting out air mattresses in their cramped San Francisco apartment to visitors who needed a place to stay. That simple idea, of course, would become Airbnb and change the way we travel. Just look at the numbers: In 2008, the year the site launched, some 400 people booked lodging through the company. Since then, more than 300 million travelers across 191 countries have used the service.

Now, with a slew of new categories being rolled out, like upscale, preinspected homes and houses geared toward families or business travelers and new experiences including private concerts, workshops, and dinners at the best restaurants in town, the company wants to change the game again by making it easier for you to travel like a local, wherever you go. Here’s a breakdown of all the new things Airbnb can do for you.

Rent Nicer Homes with Hotel-Like Amenities

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Farmhouse on a vineyard in Cape Town, South Africa. (Courtesy Airbnb)Airbnb Plus is basically a curated list of unique homes that have been vetted for quality. Each house approved for the service has to pass a lengthy checklist to ensure it features comforts like fast internet, quality linens, sleek design, clutter-free closets, and a well-stocked kitchen. And while there are currently around 2,000 Airbnb Plus homes in 13 cities—Austin, Barcelona, Cape Town, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Milan, Rome, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, and Toronto—more cities are on the way by the end of the year.

The homes average $250 a night—about $100 more than a standard Airbnb rental—but many promise a spectacular experience. Check out this farmhouse on a vineyard ($312 a night) in Cape Town, South Africa, which has a pool, massive backyard, and an on-site host who will pour you a glass of locally made wine. Or this eclectic bungalow ($130 a night) steps from the beach in Venice, California, that comes with surfboards to borrow.

Or Just Stay at an Actual Hotel

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The Amado in Palm Springs, California. (Courtesy Airbnb)While Airbnb already allowed users to book rooms at select hotels and inns, new features are being added soon to make them even easier to find. To supplement the current categories (entire place, private room, or shared room), the site will be rolling out four new filters this summer that will let you sort specifically for bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels, as well as vacation homes and unique spaces like treehouses, yurts, or backyard Airstream trailers.

Until then, you’ll just have to work a little harder to book one of the five poolside, midcentury modern rooms at the Amado ($175 a night) in Palm Springs, California, or a bunkbed at the Bivvi ($39 a night) in Breckenridge, Colorado, where breakfast comes included.

Find a House Your Kids Will Love

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For large groups, Airbnb has you covered. (Courtesy Airbnb)Airbnb’s new collections, launched with lists of bookings curated for families and work trips, will expand this summer to include catalogs of venues specifically selected for weddings, honeymoons, group trips, and even dinner parties.

Under the families collection, you’ll find homes highly rated by parents with perks like cribs, bunk beds, and spacious backyards. Our favorites included this kid-friendly getaway in North Carolina’s Outer Banks ($89 a night), which comes with games, children’s movies, a high chair, and ample beaches nearby, and this sleek cabin ($450 a night) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which has a bunk room and an extraordinary porch.

Listen to a Live Concert in a Yurt or on a Boat

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Tap into small concerts while on the road. (Courtesy Airbnb)While you’re booking housing, you can now sign up for local experiences and activities, such as surf lessons in Bali, guided hiking with mountaintop yoga in Los Angeles, or monitoring sea turtles in Costa Rica. You can also make restaurant reservations in many major cities.

The coolest new feature, however, is this: Airbnb just added concerts, where you can join small gatherings in 25 select cities to hear musicians perform live music in unique venues like yurts, distilleries, steamships, and churches.

When the Road’s Your Office, This Is the Gear You Need

The office worker tethered to a landline and desktop is giving way to new breed of desk jockey—someone who works on the road at co-working spaces in adventure towns across the country or halfway around the world. For those who’ve been de-cubicled, we’ve rounded up the essentials to make your mobile office not only more functional, but more enjoyable as well.

WD My Passport Wireless Hard Drive ($140)

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(Courtesy Western Digital)Life on the road is hard on your electronic gear, and few things are worse than losing months of work when your computer mysteriously goes haywire. This wireless, one-terabyte hard drive lets you connect up to eight devices at once to easily backup all the important files from your computer, phone, or tablet in minutes. Plus, it features an SD drive that allows you to dump photos and then view them on the go via your phone or tablet.

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Timbuk2 Stealth Folio Laptop Sleeve ($49)

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(Courtesy Timbuk2)From the outside, the Stealth Folio looks like minimalist laptop sleeve. But open this sleek, water-resistant case and you’ll find a fully padded pocket for your 13-inch laptop, plus ample storage for cords, chargers, a mouse, a notebook, and other accessories, thanks to an abundance of neoprene pockets and organization loops.

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Looptworks Upcycle Coffee Travel Kit ($150)

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(Courtesy Looptworks)A great cup of coffee is essential for a productive workday, and this portable caffeine kit includes everything you need for the perfect cup. There’s a Hario mini hand grinder for fresh grounds, an Aeropress coffee and espresso maker, Nossa Familia Full Cycle beans, and a Klean Kanteen insulated tumbler mug for sipping. Everything comes conveniently packed in an upcycled leather travel bag with removable bike handlebar straps.

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Skullcandy Grind Wireless Headphones ($90)

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(Courtesy Skullcandy)These Bluetooth headphones check all the boxes: comfortable enough for all-day wear, excellent sound, 12-hour battery life, built-in mic, and leather accents to give them a touch of class.

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Anker PowerCore 20100 Portable Battery ($42)

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Keeping all your devices charged is half the battle when you’re working on the road. In test after test, this portable battery tops the charts. Though it’s just 6.5 inches long and 12.5 ounces, the PowerCore is powerful enough to fully charge your iPhone seven times.

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InCase Path Backpack ($80)

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Faux-fur lining and padded pockets and pouches make the inside of this backpack like a day spa for all your gear. But we loved it for its crisp, modern design that didn’t make us feel like a middle-schooler.

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Moleskin Professional Notebook ($23)

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(Courtesy Moleskine)The Professional version ups the functionality of the classic Moleskin with designated page layouts for organizing key tasks, planning projects, and setting personal and group goals. All pages are numbered with an index in front for reference, and there are perforated pages for tear-out to-do lists and a pocket in the back for storing receipts and other paperwork.

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Best Spots to Live (for a While) as a Digital Nomad

So you’ve finally figured out a way to work remote. Good for you. Now for the hard part: Where should you live? Or, rather, where should you spend the next week or month before moving on to the next spot? We’ve rounded up a list of co-working and co-living spaces everywhere from major cities to beach towns that love digital nomads like you and make it easier to do your job.

Hossegor, France

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(Courtesy Jo and Joe)Located on the southwestern coast of France, Hossegor is a world-famous surf destination on one of Europe’s longest white-sand beaches. The town has six surf breaks—the site of surf competitions like the Quiksilver Pro France—and old-world charm, with cobblestone streets and bakeries on every corner. Stay at Jo and Joe (from $23 a night), a modern hostel five minutes from the beach that opened in 2017. Private and communal rooms, a bar and café, communal living area, yoga, and massages make it easy to plug in for a productive day at the “office.”

Ubud, Bali

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(Courtesy Roam)Bali is a digital nomad mecca for good reason: It has affordable short-term rentals, a growing number of quality co-working spaces, and a vibrant culture of expats. Roam (from $500 per week) converted a boutique hotel in Ubud to a co-living site with 24 rooms around a pool and an open-air rooftop work space. There are also yoga classes, movie nights, and dinners cooked in a communal kitchen. If you need help figuring out how to land a job you can do from anywhere, check out WiFly Nomads’ two-week retreat in Bali, a crash course in everything you need to know about snagging a remote job.

New York, New York

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(Courtesy Yotel)Spend your days working—and running through Central Park, kayaking around Manhattan, or bouldering at Chelsea Piers—and your nights going to concerts and eating Korean barbecue or bowls of steaming ramen. At Yotel (from $197 a night), a futuristic hotel in Midtown with robot luggage service, self-check-in kiosks, and a concierge app, you can work from a massive outdoor terrace or in the hotel’s designated co-working lounge. Its rooms feel more like compact train cabins, but each has a small workstation. Or check out Public Hotel, which opened on the Lower East Side in 2017 and offers luxury rooms for less than $200 a night and has communal work tables in the upper lobby.

Vienna, Austria

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(Courtesy Hotel Schani Wien)Take a break from the grind to work on your German, tour Vienna’s museums, visit a thermal spa for saltwater baths, or simply run through the city’s many parks. The family-owned Hotel Schani Wien (from $84 a night), located across the street from the city’s central train station, has co-working stations in the lobby, which you can rent for up to 30 days and include lockers, a printer, and even an espresso machine. Plus: Rooms come with a hearty Austrian breakfast spread each morning.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

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(Courtesy Angkor Hub)At Angkor Hub in Siem Reap, Cambodia, you can snag a private or shared room just a short jaunt from the Angkor Wat Temple. The co-living space offers weekly or monthly accommodation packages (from $109 per week) that include bike rental, airport transfers, breakfast and lunch, laundry service, and, most important, reliable Wi-Fi for getting things done. Post up at a desk or a hammock and spend your free time visiting the temples, riding tuk tuks around the city, and buying silk scarves and bulk spices at night markets.

San Francisco, California

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(Courtesy Startup Basecamp)If you’re working for a tech company or starting your own, you’ll probably need to spend some time in Silicon Valley. Startup Basecamp (from $49 a night) makes it easy to temporarily call San Francisco home. Part hotel, part co-working space, Startup offers a basic room and a communal work space that you can reserve for $20 a day. Plus, you’ll network with other startups and get feedback on everything from web design to IT help. While in the Bay Area, you can surf Ocean Beach or Bolinas before work, or spend your days off mountain biking Mount Tam and sailing around San Francisco Bay.

Bejuco, Costa Rica

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(Courtesy Outsite)This quaint seaside fishing and farming town is known for its beaches: long, pristine stretches of golden sand with few tourists and ample surf breaks. Stay at the co-living property run by Outsite (from $420 a week), where you’ll sleep in a poolside bungalow just minutes from the ocean. There’s plenty of quiet space to plug in alongside fellow roaming workers, but don’t miss the outdoor sunset yoga at Encantada, just down the beach.

Vail, Colorado

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(Jack Affleck)From May until October, Antlers at Vail is offering a 30-day sabbatical package (from $1,850), which lets you spend a month living in the hotel like a local—SUPing Gore Creek, picking veggies at the farmers’ market, and riding lift-accessed mountain bike trails straight from your door. Your stay includes access to the gym, a loaner cruiser bike, tickets to local music festivals, GoPro cameras to borrow, and even kitchen appliances like espresso machines and waffle makers. If you’re not on sabbatical, the Vail Centre for Entrepreneurship has desks for rent in nearby Avon and Edwards.

The 3 Best Headlamps for #Vanlife

A few years ago, I gave Jen’s mother a headlamp for Christmas. Not an outdoorsperson, she was both flabbergasted—her idea of a headlamp leaned toward hard-hat mining lights—and appreciative of how much easier the trim little light made grilling on dark winter nights. Seeing how much the light changed her experience (no more flashlights to juggle along with the potatoes and plate of burgers) made me realize just how much I take bright, lightweight, skull-mounted luminescence for granted. From digging around in the back of the truck after dark to piloting singletrack through the night, modern headlamps are probably one of the most indispensable and underrated tools for being in the woods. And with the constant improvements in LED bulbs and battery efficiency, headlamps are as effective and affordable as they have ever been.

Thanks to my job as bike editor for Outside, I have used and tested dozens, if not hundreds, of lighting systems over the years. Here are three of my favorites.

Ledlenser MH10 ($80)

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Ledlenser MH10 (JJAG Media)If I could own just one headlamp for camping, cycling, hunting, hiking, skiing, and all my backcountry pursuits, it would be the Ledlenser MH10. Unlike most headlamp companies’ designs, which have either a lens beam for distance or a diffuser for up-close light spread, Ledlenser’s focus system combines a lens and reflector that allows you to focus the beam for seeing far off or spread it gradually for a softer glow up close. Spinning the ring around the light head magnifies and disperses the light with a flick of your fingers.

For almost a decade, I have owned one of Ledlenser’s early headlamp designs, which offered 100 yards of throw from just 180 lumens but was still light and compact enough to throw in my pack for any adventure. Fast-forward to the MH10, and it’s nearly as light and packable as my early model but produces 600 lumens, almost the same as the low beam on a single car headlight. That’s a ton of light that can reach out more than 160 yards, which I always appreciate if ever I hear something go bump in the night and have to go out to scan the surrounding terrain. I also use that high beam when cycling after dark, especially on trails; it sheds enough light to speed along even when things get technical. In addition to the diffuser that lets you spread the beam, the MH10 has three power levels that allow it to run as low as 40 lumens—perfect if you’re still into books on paper, as I am, or for studying maps after dark in the tent. It’s waterproof to 13 feet, visible from the rear courtesy of a small LED, and has a travel lock so you don’t inadvertently drain the battery.

For the combination of packability, light quality, features, and cost, I haven’t found a better lamp. My one misgiving about the MH10 is its rechargeable-only battery, which rules this one out for multiday backcountry endeavors and makes it best for RV and trailer camping, where you can charge regularly. The rear battery pack is also bulky for lying in bed.

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Petzl e+Lite ($30)

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Petzl e+Lite (JJAG Media)While the MH10 hangs permanently near Artemis the Airstream’s door for outdoor duty, I keep a Petzl e+Lite by the bed. With a head about the size of a half-dollar, this minuscule light (26 grams) puts out just 50 lumens. It’s intended for emergency use, and I’ve tossed it into my pack many times on alpine ascents as a backup. But I’ve also found it perfect for the trailer when I wake up in the middle of the night and want to read myself back to sleep but fear waking Jen with a bright light. The e+Lite produces just enough of a faint glow, especially in red light mode, that I can power it up and get through a chapter or two without Jen ever budging.

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Black Diamond ReVolt ($60)

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Black Diamond ReVolt (JJAG Media)Last year, when I forgot to bring a headlamp on a backcountry trip to Idaho, I was forced to buy a spare from a gear shop. After long consideration, I chose the Black Diamond ReVolt and realized just how far light tech has come. This model sits somewhere between my two favorites in terms of light (300 lumens) and weight (97 grams). Plus, its adjustability—multiple modes include a dimming function that drops power to just 40 lumens and both a red and white beam—mean that it could almost sub for both. The ReVolt also has the advantage of accommodating both a USB-rechargeable battery pack and three AAA batteries, which means you’ll never be out of light, even if you have no way to charge. It’s not quite bright enough for high-speed trail riding after dark, so it won’t ever work as my primary. (And last spring I left it in Siberia with my reindeer-herder hosts, whose cheap knockoff lights were as dim and unreliable as candlelight relative to the ReVolt.) But that’s probably the light’s only limitation. If you don’t run or bike after dark, for which something brighter like the MH10 is better, the ReVolt might be the ideal compromise.

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Vital Information About Lectin Shield

Ever heard of lectins? If not, don’t worry. You are not the only one wondering about what they are and what they do. All in all, it’s very important that you understand these proteins and know that they can damage your body (particularly your intestinal tract) without your knowledge. The following is a brief overview of lectins and why you should take Lectin Shield as a supplement to guard yourself from the potential damage that lectins are wreaking in many of our digestive systems. 

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To begin with, plants usually appear totally defenseless, and it seems like there is no way they can protect themselves from predators. It turns out plants have a powerful defense mechanism known as lectins. They can even be fatal when consumed, for example being the castor bean plant which provides ricin. Large amounts of lectins are also present in nightshade plants like tomatoes and eggplant. The lectin content present in these plants protects them from predatory attacks. One might find themselves asking, what does all this have to do with my diet and health? Let’s begin by mentioning that whenever you consume plants with high contents of lectins, they bind to the cells in your digestive system and intestinal tract. This can affect your overall health and immunity. At the same time, this could develop into dangerous digestive problems. In a candid interview with Dr. Gundry, information about lectins further explain the need to have Lectin Shield in your everyday life. 

A Powerful Ally in the Fight Against Lectins 

If possible, you should try to avoid consuming too much of the foods that are high in lectin content. This includes things like oats, beans, tomatoes, and a whole plethora of others. It would be nearly impossible to cut out all lectin consumption from your diet. However, there is a supplement you can take that will help your body to rid itself of these lectins, helping your digestive system to avoid the damage they can cause. This amazing supplement, made by GundryMD, is known as Lectin Shield and is the first of its kind in the fight against lectin damage. There are even Pinterest pages about Lectin Shield and lectins!

What Makes Lectin Shield Work? 

This supplement helps to prevent lectins from binding to your body’s cells and wreaking their havoc. The following ingredients in Lectin Shield are what provide your digestive system with the tools it needs to ward off these invasive proteins: 

  • Sodium Alginate: This component works by adding bulk to the stool and aiding bowel movements. It helps to prevent lectins from attaching to cells during the digestions process. 
  • N-Acetyl D-Glucosamine: Wheat is a main source of lectins, and this component helps by blocking the the ones found in wheat. It is also known to be a natural pain reliever. 
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): This ingredient absorbs lectins and relieves the pressure put on the organs in your lower digestive system, helping it to work more effortlessly. It can also help to relieve joint pain. 
  • Bladderwrack: This is a substance that has been obtained from seaweed and helps by locking lectins in food. It is also rich in antifungal properties which protect the body from yeast infections. 
  • Larch Arabinogalactans: This fiber comes from the larch tree and strengthens the lining of your gastrointestinal tract, helping to protect it from lectins. 
  • D-Mannose: This ingredient protects you from the lectins found in legumes like beans, peas, and lentils, preventing them from being synthesized by the body. It also contains antibacterial properties. 
  • Okra extract: This extract protects you by blocking a wide range of lectins, while also having other additional benefits. It works to relieve joint pains, keeps your skin supple and healthy, and supports beneficial bacteria. 
  • Sialic Acid: This acid prevents lectins from binding to the intestinal walls.

More Reasons to Try Lectin Shield 

Even better, this supplement can help you manage your weight by helping you to feel fuller for longer. It also helps to relieve certain digestive problems like bloating and gas. Lectin Shield can give you a boost of energy and help you to better absorb the important vitamins and minerals in the food you eat. As you seek ways of getting and staying healthy, learning about lectins and how to avoid the damage they cause is important. You can find out more information about ways of Lectin Shield in this Pinterest article.

Nothing to Lose

Lectin Shield carries no risks and comes with a 90-day money back guarantee. You can try this supplement out, and if you are not happy, you can return it to get your money back. So, there really is nothing to lose. Like most who try this product, though, you will be likely to become another loyal user. As with any supplement, make sure that you talk with your doctor before adding to your daily dietary intake. So, get your doctor’s approval and get your first bottle of Lectin Shield today!