I know I typically wow you all with the hot new scene, but you may be shocked to know that I am often sorely out of the loop. Fortunately I have a circle of people whom I can easily contact for the latest scoop on dining, technology, local news and yes, sometimes travel.

Over the summer I met a good friend for dinner at  an adorable French bistro in Long Island City (another tale for another time) and she told me all about Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list and book unique spaces around the world either online or from their iPhone. (She is very tech-savvy.) Seriously this site has everything from castles to sailboats to apartments. It’s a great way for people to showcase their spectacular spaces and have visitors come rent them out to see how the other half lives.

So far Airbnb exists in over 16,000 cities in over 186 countries with over 2 million nights already booked. It’s like sleepover social networking.

How to book:
1. Find your space using the search page to find a property. Enter dates you need and browse availability.
2. Book it by entering your credit card information (it’s a secure site) and within 24 hours the host will accept your request. (Note: Hosts can also choose to deny if you do not seem stand-up.) After confirmation the exact address will be distributed.
3. Travel. Get your itinerary details and enjoy!

How to host:
1. Create an Airbnb profile and list your space with photos, price and availability. Listing is free!
2. Answer guest questions using the onsite messaging system. You can feel free to accept or decline requests.
3. Host your guest! You will be paid 24 hours after they check in.

Are your tastes more of the silver spoon variety? Fear not. I’ve just received word that Airbnb now has an “In the Lap of Luxury Collection.” Travelers can use the site to now access some of the world’s most in-demand accommodations (think a ski lodge in Squaw Valley, a private island in Fiji, or yacht cruising in Miami).

Get clicking friends. If you like to travel and mingle, this is right up your alley, and the friends I have who have used this service say it is truly memorable.

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