If you’re going to be using an Airbnb-like service to rent someone’s home during your next vacation, why not upgrade your accommodations by renting a home that has architectural significance?
That’s the premise of PlansMatter.com, the online service that connects travelers with owners of historic properties.
Options include the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kinney House in Lancaster, Wisconsin, available to rent for $395 a night, with a minimum two-night stay, and Rudolph Schindler’s Mackey Penthouse in Los Angeles, available for $220 a night, also with a two-night minimum.
You could easily pay that much for accommodations at a generic Marriott or Hilton.
The site currently lists 39 properties, in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia. Most are modernist in design; all are worthy to be covered by Architectural Digest (and most have been).
You could use PlansMatter the same way you use Airbnb, as a convenient way to find and book lodging outside the traditional hotel ecosystem. But the prospect of a few nights in a home designed by a renowned architect also raises the possibility of an entirely new category of travel: architectural tourism. Trips arranged with the specific purpose of experiencing first hand life in a designer home. Or, in the words of the site founders, “travel planned around significant architecture rather than a specific country or city.”
The destination becomes the journey.
Reader Reality Check
Would you plan a trip around a stay at an historic home?
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.