I teach at a small college in Pennsylvania and travel several times a year for work and vacation.
My wife and I are quiet and clean guests. We usually travel to places where we know people; friends and family are often the best guides to the places they live, and it's always a little more fun to get dinner, go for a hike, or visit a local landmark with friends!
One of our favorite trips was our honeymoon trip to the Dalmatian coast in Croatia: we walked all around the medieval walled cities, and up and down the hills, where graffiti, bullet holes, makeshift soccer fields, and many, many wandering cats told their own stories about the place and its history. The perfect blue skies and clear water made for a lovely and peaceful setting. So what if we accidentally ordered a goat meat-stuffed pastry for breakfast and drank the worst, cheapest brandy in the world? (The bartender assured us it was a local specialty.) Sometimes, to really get to know a place, you have to eat the goat.
I'm eager to use Airbnb to get a better sense for the culture of the places we visit.