AirBnb is a wildly popular lodging alternative for people who want to feel like a local when they visit a new city. AirBnb allows people to offer their own homes, condos, apartments, or even boats for rent by the night. You can rent an entire home or just a room in the home. Everybody wins -- The host earns a little extra cash for space that would otherwise be empty, and the guest saves money over a hotel and gets a true local experience. Plus, you get to make new friends.

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I've rented both entire homes and private rooms in homes when traveling. The first time I rented a private room in someone's home I was a little nervous. Would the hosts be normal? Would I have complete privacy and security despite staying in a room off their kitchen? What if they want to talk to me a lot?

Staying in a private room in a local's house in Nashville ended up being the best solo travel experience I've ever had. I got to experience so much more of Nashville than I would have staying in a hotel or in a big empty place by myself. My host took me out to dinner at a popular off-the-beaten-path spot and pointed out the best coffee shops for my morning fuel up. We're still Facebook friends and chat on occasion.

This is the private room I stayed in when I visited Nashville on my own. I mean, c'mon, how could you not want to stay in this cozy bed? It was $76 a night compared to $299 for a hotel in the same area.

Lori and Jeff think it's so STRANGE to stay in a private room in someone's house but I'll never hesitate to do it again, especially if I'm traveling solo to a new city.

What do you think about AirBnb? Would you stay in a private room in someone's home while traveling?

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