My boyfriend and I used Air BnB to get to know Austin when we first moved here in April 2012 from San Francisco, where he worked as a software engineer and I was the development manager for a wonderful nonprofit organization. Although I have some family in Austin who were very helpful with recommendations on where we should move, we wanted to take our new home town for a test drive before signing a mortgage. Scouting out the city on Air BnB gave us a great opportunity to get a feel for our new home town and to make sure that we chose a home that would work for us. I am SO glad that we did!
After spending a few nights in each of Austin's unique neighborhoods, we settled down in a gorgeous, modern, loft-style condo in central Austin. It's ideal for commuting to downtown, the University of Texas (where I am currently a graduate student, pursuing my MSSW), and just a few minutes' driving distance from South Austin. We're also right across the street from Pease Park where I enjoy going for bike rides and jogging (when it's not 100 degrees outside, that is...) and very close to Mopac (Highway 1) for when we need to get out of town.
I love to travel, and will definitely be using Air BnB to get a more local, authentic experience for future trips. I worked in the hospitality industry for a long time and while I do love a fun hotel visit, there is really nothing that compares to visiting a city and getting a feel for what it's actually like to LIVE there.