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I don’t know how your average bloke copes with a nine-to-five, but I certainly wouldn’t have survived every desk job (with all the emails to read and pencils to push) without what I call my Escapism Routine. I cyber window shop Louis Vuitton and Burberry for my dream wardrobe (that I then more realistically attempt to recreate at H&M, but that’s beside the point). I Zillow the most expensive zip codes in search of the mansion I’ll surely buy once my millions roll in. And I zoom over to Ikea Dot Com to stock my imaginary mansion with the perfect living room set. They say it’s good to have a healthy imagination, and I’m sure my aggressive daydreaming qualifies. Of all my internet conjectures, though, nothing beats a little fictional vacation plannin—and that’s when I turn to browsing Airbnb luxury rentals.
The online lodging site has made this exercise almost dangerously easy. I could spend more hours than I’d comfortably admit perusing estates in the French countryside, Malibu hills or the bustle of Shanghai. My Pinterest vision board is almost bursting with fleshed-out escapes I’ll definitely be going on sometime soon, mark my words.
So, whether you’re facing down another day, desperately trying to get coffee into your system before you have another conversation about how yes, the A/C is a little colder than normal, and no, you don’t know who’s in charge of that or you’re working on a serious case of what I affectionately call Work From Home Hunch—I’d like to invite you along for a little rehabilitative, if imaginary, retail therapy. Put on some nature sounds, gleefully ignore those six emails from Martha in accounting, and absolutely pretend you have the kind of income that supports jet-setting to one of these gorgeous spots.
Actually, you know what, while we’re pretending, let’s just say we’re going to all of them.
2. Malibu’s Premiere Luxury Estate in Malibu, CA
Live like Hollywood royalty as you sprawl in your breakfast nook avec ocean view. This place comes with, say it with me, five and a half acres of land. Horses included!!!
To book: airbnb.com, $2,500/night
Villa Sanglung in Singaraja, Bali
This open floor plan comes with a sparkling infinity pool and views of one of the last untouched reaches of Bali.
To book: airbnb.com, $169/night
The World Famous Seashell House in Isla Mujeres, Mexico
World. Famous. Seashell. House. I don’t really know what else you’re waiting for, but if for some reason you’re still not sold, I’ll tell you the bed is 100% shaped like an oyster shell with a giant pearl for a pillow.
To book: airbnb.com, $306/night
The View in Big Sky, MT
It’s equipped with a hot tub and “ski on, ski off access,” which honestly is overkill because you’ll just want to stare at that freaking mountain the whole time.
To book: airbnb.com, $738
Old Smock Mill in Kent, UK
Whether you’re feeling more like the Bachelorette’s Hannah B. or a whimsical hermit, this windmill dwelling is gonna do you just fine.
To book: airbnb.com, $218/night
Villa Habiscus in Capri, Italy
With the stunning views of the Amalfi Coast and a full pizza oven on the terrace, you’ll be pretty much set for life.
To book: airbnb.com, $552/night
Hector Cave House in Santorini, Greece
You had me at “hideaway cave.”
To book: airbnb.com, $349/night
Villa Chianti Fornace in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, Italy
Frolic around the Italian countryside courtesy of this six-bedroom villa and sleep peacefully at night, knowing you’ve seen where they make the Chianti.
To book: airbnb.com, $946/night
Villa Amara in Tulum, Mexico
Whether you’re a snorkeler or a sprawler, the views of the white sand beaches are the perfect vacation fuel.
To book: airbnb.com, $1,450
Pirate’s Life Houseboat in Charleston, SC
Tired: houses, boats. Wired: houseboats.
To book: airbnb.com, $289/night
Turan Luxury Apartment in Florence Italy
Not only is this apartment spacious and gorgeous, but it’s literally a stone’s throw away from the Ponte Vecchio. Just please don’t actually throw any stones at the Ponte Vecchio.
To book: airbnb.com, $473/night
Nojoom Hills in Koh Samui, Thailand
The mother of all infinity pools for the mother of all winter escapes.
To book: airbnb.com, $800/night
Villa Mimosa in Tuscany, Italy
A noble, historic summer home with seven bedrooms. Who wouldn’t want to weekend in a literal manor?
To book: airbnb.com, $618/night
Aaliyah in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you squint, you can see Tom Cruise doing his own stunts all over that skyscraper.
To book: airbnb.com, $350/night
Villa Saline Reef in Cap Estate, Saint Lucia
If I stayed here I’d probably spend the entire time standing on the parapet, staring out at the sea and sighing dramatically, but to each their own.
To book: airbnb.com, $715/night
Mas du Fér-a-Cheval in Bonnieux, France
This restored 18th century farmhouse boasts a heated pool and cabinets made from the undercarriage of a train wagon—but if you weren’t immediately won over by the literal rolling fields of lavender, then I don’t know what to tell you.
To book: airbnb.com, $2,312
Crystal Waters in Rum Point, Cayman Islands
With a king-bed-furnished master suite just literal feet away from the “200-foot-wide stretch of white sand beach,” I’m gonna be dreaming about this one for a loooooong time.
To book: airbnb.com, $1,000/night
Trullo del 1800 in Cisternino, Italy
An 1800s castle? Don’t mind if I do. Have fun brushing up on your Italian to read any of the additional details on this angolo di natura incontaminata, though.
To book: airbnb.com, $99/night