Over the summer, my wife and I traveled with our two young kids on a two-week vacation through Europe.
It wasn’t as highfalutin as it sounds. In London, our Airbnb had ample skylights — which rendered the place all but uninhabitable during Europe’s heat wave. In Paris, our charming home-share had a cavernous hole in the ceiling of the entryway, revealing load-bearing beams that appeared to have been rotting since Napoleon’s reign. And in Amsterdam, our Airbnb advertised a kids’ bedroom stocked with toys — but failed to mention the mosquitoes and mice.
I’m not complaining. If travel mishaps are the stuff of memory, my vacation was unforgettable. And without home-sharing services like Airbnb, review sites like TripAdvisor and conveniences like Uber, OpenTable and Expedia, the trip would have been far more expensive, less accessible and, in a strange way, less authentic.