I'm a 34 year-old lawyer and graduate student from Canada. I love to travel and only recently discovered AirBnB. A lot of my travel has involved moving to different cities - in the last 8 years I've lived and either worked or studied in: Toronto, Dublin, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Cambridge (UK), London, Vancouver, and now Montreal. Having said that, some of my favourite places have been where I spent the shortest amount of time - Sarajevo and Madrid among them.
I like to be out and about when I'm visiting a new place, trying to experience a mix of museums, some outdoor spaces, and restaurants. Not too groundbreaking, I suppose, but I think it's a good way to get a sense of the local culture and a hint of what it might be like to live in a new place.
When I'm staying with others I respect their space and their routines, but really appreciate any local knowledge and suggestions they have to share. Guidebooks are only a start - the people that live in a place are the best resource.