When you were little, did you ever have a conversation with your friends about what you’d do if (or for the ambitious type, when) you had a million dollars? It might have been a pony, a swimming pool, video games, or a wind tunnel for indoor skydiving. In just a few short years, our expectations dwindle from a million dollars down to a few thousand—and from a few thousand to just enough to fill our latest cavity while still making rent. It’s almost enough to wish a DeLorean time machine to go back in time and smack our 10 year-old selves for filling our heads such silly ideas about the wonders of adulthood. So much for a pony, right?
Well, while the pony might still be out of the question, there are a few options available for those who aren’t millionaires but want to live the highlife for a few nights. And, shockingly, you don’t have to sell a kidney to do it either. Enter AirBnB, your new best friend.
AirBnB (Air Bed and Breakfast for the uninitiated), as you may already know, has made a name for itself among the millennial crowd as a budget-friendly way to put a roof over your head without having to beg hotel concierges for a discount. The beds are clean, the people are friendly and down-to-earth, and you get the added experience of conversing with locals in a new place that know all the hottest spots in town.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that AirBnB offers far, far more than just bargain rooms for the cash-strapped—especially for those willing to spend a little more to get a lot more. As in, celebrity homes a lot more.
How high does your financial ceiling have to be, you may ask? Shockingly, fairly low considering what most spend for a high-end, if generic, penthouse suite in Las Vegas. Obviously not every celebrity option is in the “affordable” range (a night in Casa de Mariah Carey will put you out $11,000), but you might be pleasantly surprised what is.
Don’t believe me? Try these on for size:
1. Julie Andrews
Known as “Rubber House,” the former of abode of Ms. Poppins herself is available for immediate occupancy for a reasonable $500 a night. While $500 is certainly not what a lone nanny would consider “affordable,” split three or four ways among friends this suddenly becomes the ultimate weekend getaway. Situated in seven acres of secluded wilderness, you’ll be sprinting through the fields belting out “The Sound of Music” until your lungs give out. C’mon, don’t be shy. You know you want to…
2. Jimi Hendrix
Look at this adorable cabin in Maui! Look at it!!! If I put a picture of this beauty in front of you and asked who the former occupant was, chances are the greatest rock guitarist of all time wasn’t going to be your first guess. Maybe Jimmy Buffett? Kenny Chesney? But nope, the guitar god responsible for melting the minds of thousands of hippies with his fretwork on “Purple Haze” and “Voodoo Chile” stayed here during the filming of Rainbow Bridge. No he didn’t own it, but do you really want to discuss semantics considering you can stay here for a measly $145 a night!? Just book it for your next free weekend.
3. Denzel Washington
This seaside paradise in Malibu has passed through the hands of a few big names over the years (Jimmy Page, Jan Michael Vincent), but for about $600 a night (the price fluctuates with the time of year) you can add your name to this esteemed list. The rear terrace overlooks 4 miles of sandy beaches, giving you the perfect spot to sunbathe, splash around in the Pacific, and then catch a California sunset. And just so you know, the house sleeps 8 with no charge for extra people. Can you say beach party?! Bring your friends.
4. Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt? The middle of Hollywood Hills? $600 a night? This one’s a no-brainer. You can’t much more quintessential celebrity luxury than this. It’s many charms include 3,000 square foot in a mostly wide-open floor plan, 6 bedrooms, 3 baths, and parking for 10(!) cars. But you’ll going to spend most of the time in the jacuzzi hot tub, right? Ms. Blunt herself, unfortunately, is not included. *Sigh…
5. Ava Gardner
For those out there like me with a penchant for classic Hollywood, congratulations! You get the most ridiculous deal of all. For my money, there’s no actress in the history of the cinematic medium more beautiful (or talented) than Ms. Gardner. Her home with second husband Artie Shaw for most of their brief marriage, this little slice of celebrity nirvana is yours to crash for a (borderline insulting) $85 per night. I know people who pay more than that in rent! If you absolutely must go out on the town, you’ll be only a five-minute walk from Universal Studios, Disney, Warner Brothers, and pretty much any movie-based hotspot a Hollywood starlet could think of. As for me though, I’d rather bury myself in this home’s 1,000-book library. Heck, for $85 a night I might never leave.