By; Josh Baker

There are a number of great places to rent for vacation around the world. A good majority of us would rather stay in the comfort of a well-known hotel or hostel. While skimming through AirBnB I stumbled over a handful of strange dwellings for the audacious traveler that were certainly unique!


1.) Get Natural in a Yurt

(Image source: AirBnB/The Cazador Hut)

These structures have origins in the steppes of Central Asia. Nomads constructed these portable homes with wood and the wool of their following flocks of sheep. Unlike any of it’s ancestors, most yurts on the market for rental come with the amenities of today; running water, windows, heating, air-conditioning, and WIFI. If you’re looking for the experience of a wandering civilization while not leaving civilization then a yurt is a great choice.




2.) …Or a Hobbit Hut

(Image source: AirBnB/A Grass Roofed Earthen Hobbit Hut)

This is another choice for those natural folks out there. The pictured abode is made out of Adobe bricks from the grounds and includes a living grass roof. It has natural air-conditioning thanks to the thick walls as well as a rocket stove for the colder months. There is even an outdoor oven for baking pizzas or to use as a fireplace. It’s situated in the middle of a retreat center, a campground, and a communal living space. Also, if you’re so inclined to get on the roof, the grass and herbs which are growing can be made into a juice. Welcome to California!




3.) Chill out in an igloo

(Image Source: AirBnB/Adventure in the Snow – Igloo Night)

Speaking of rentals made out of natural material–it doesn’t get more natural than snow and/or ice. This igloo village in Kühtai, Tirol, Austria is more of a campground than a resort. One may wonder how he or she will get to sleep in a frigid place like this. Well, no need to fear, there are sheep skin mattresses and outdoor sleeping bags with freshly laundered inlays to “keep you warm all night”. There is even an igloo bar! If the cold is getting to be too much there is a hotel next door with heated showers and a restaurant for a warm breakfast.




4.) Be a Kid Again in a Treehouse

(Image Source: AirBnB/Treehouse in a National Park)

Years ago my childhood friend had a treehouse in his backyard. It was a hit amongst the kids in the neighborhood yet it was a touch simpler than this one. Located in Huétor de Santillán, Andalusia, Spain, this tree hut sleeps up to two people and sits in the middle of a national park. There is heat inside the room but the bathrooms are outhouses and the dining area is an outside pavilion. If you can get past that then there are various outdoor activities as well as wineries and cafes nearby. With a great view of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, I’d have no problem crossing the wooden hanging bridge and running down the wooden stairs to the outhouse.




5.) Live like a Gypsy

(Image Source: AirBnB/Bow Top Elle Gypsy Wagon Cornwall)

The popularity of these wagons lasted 70 years, dying out after the second decade of the nineteenth century. This gypsy (romani) wagon is located in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom, the country where they were traditionally used. Unlike those used in the day of yore, this rolling room has electricity and electric or gas heating. There is also a wood stove inside. It is a tight space but the view of the Lizard Peninsula or other countryside will entice you to only use the wagon for sleeping.



6.) Find yourself in a Shipping Container

(Image Source: AirBnB/Container home, a unique house!)

We move away from the outhouses for a moment and come to a shipping container. This is a modern looking home with all the amenities you would come to expect from a home or hotel. Located in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain, this place is just minutes from the historic downtown area and public transportation stops. While this is more interesting than strange, it still has the hint of a place one wouldn’t normally think to stay in. At least there is not commuting to the shower or dining area.




7.) Camp Without a Tent

(Image Source: AirBnB/Family Camping Pod (4 people))

I hope you enjoyed the modern amenities of number 6 because we’re back outdoors. These timber camping pods are a sturdier, more secure version of a typical tent. But, unlike vinyl/rayon/etc tents these pods have electricity and a heater…and lockable french doors! There is a centrally located amenity room for showers, bathrooms, laundry, and hot water. The best thing about this, and the other outdoor rentals, is that you are surrounded by acres of land. Noise isn’t an issue and the stars are their brightest. So, even if you are in a wooden tent the experience is what this place is about.




8.) Sleep in a not-floating boat

(Image Source: AirBnB/Boat, Tent, and Trailer on Horse Farm)

Here is a trifecta of glamorous camping. You can either sleep in the boat’s cabin, in the trailer ‘downstairs’, or the pavilion tent in between the two. The trailer houses the kitchen and, lucky for you, there is a well maintained Port-O-San. These three lovely rooms are located on a 27-acre farm in upstate New York. I’d stay three nights and sleep in each section.




9.) Crash in a pub

(Image Source: AirBnB/World’s 1st Self Catering Pub)

Conroy’s Old Bar has been featured in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper and is commonly referred to as “The Pub With No Beer”. There are darts in the bar area and bar games and books in the lounge. The outside has a beer-less beer garden and a beautiful view of the Tipperary. The garden has chickens which provide guests fresh eggs if available. Next door to the pub is a beauty and sports therapy salon. The pub’s guests get 20% of services–talk about a vacatin. Since Conroy’s no longer has a liquor license, you’ll need to bring your own beer/beverages.




10.) Get Extraterrestrial

(Image Source: AirBnB/Tagen im UFO Apartment in Wulkow)

Have you ever slept in a UFO? Neither have I and this one in Lebus, Brandenburg, Germany, isn’t taking off anytime soon. The description is all in German so I can only decipher a few things from the photos. As you can see there is a solar panel (how futuristic) and a satellite dish. I can only assume the satellite is for the television and not to transmit signals to otherworldly beings. Though I have been known to be wrong.



11.) Gnarly Dude

(Image Source: AirBnB/Surf Van)

Even though the surf van is an hour away from the North Sea it still find itself surrounded by water. The only way to the location is via ferry ride. Like the other outdoors-esque rentals this converted van is surrounded by meadows, dikes, and grazing cattle. There is running water, a refrigerator and a double burner stove inside the dwelling but the restrooms are located a walk away. If you want to feel like you’ve pulled a 30 year old Mercedes van onto an island in De Woude, North Holland, Netherlands, then here is your chance. Don’t try to drive away in it because you can’t…because it doesn’t run.

12.) Hurricane History in a Bus

(Image Source: AirBnB/Bywater-Hippie Bus. GLAMPING!)

Here is a little piece of Hurricane Katrina history. A recovery worker drove this bus down to New Orleans, LA, from the northern area of the country. She lived in it for four years while helping rebuild and recover the city in which the bus is currently parked. The history is the most interesting thing about this rental.



13.) Camp Like They Did in the 70’s

(Image Source: AirBnB/Airstream Vintage Adventure Pt.2)

Things on wheels are a popular vacation rental these days. This vintage Airstream was the “Cadillac of trailers in it’s day”. Unlike the other wheeled structures we’ve covered this one has a bathroom AND shower located inside! It’s about time, right? The owners even stock it up with coffee. That’s enough reason for me to stay a week. The Airstream sits on a peaceful 20+ acre lot with great views and nearby nature trails.




14.) Snooze in a Sphere

(Image Source: AirBnB/#06 Geodesic Dome and Cosy Space)

Geodesic domes are designed the way they are to distribute stress evenly across the structure. The only stress of this particular one is the outdoors moroccan toilet for “squatting like the good old days”. You also get to shower out in the open as well. An important selling point is the domes’ removable panels that reveal breathtaking views of the property that it sits on. The property is under the migration route of birds going to or coming from Africa. With that being said I’d be sure to leave the top panels on my dome.

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