Just as Uber wants to be more than just a ride-sharing service, Airbnb wants to be more than just a convenient way to find a place to stay when you’re visiting a new city. A few days ago, the company started sending out invites for a new feature called Journeys, which helps uses plan pretty much their entire trip, offering everything from free meals to setting you up with a Lyft ride to take your from the airport to wherever you’re staying.
Airbnb is testing a new service that will give people something to do in new cities and, in the process, forever dispel the notion that its platform is just about helping people find a couch to crash on in a kindly stranger’s apartment. It’s called Journeys, and it’s currently available as invite-only to people who want to visit San Francisco in December, but haven’t yet booked their trips. Journeys offers full three-to-five-day travel plans to its selected testers. Through it, Airbnb will offer a free meal during each day; planned excursions devoted to San Francisco’s nightlife, natural wonders, or food scene; agent-selected rooms; and a Lyft ride from the airport to wherever the person is staying. These trips will reportedly cost between $500 and $750 for the individuals invited to use it. Journeys is focused more on providing a good trip — think of it less as a personal assistant and more as a travel agent. The Next Web, which first revealed Journeys, compares it to the discontinued concierge service Airbnb introduced in 2011. That service was supposed to give travelers everything they could ever want, from offering advice on restaurants to locating the nearest emergency room.