( The iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Visit California.)I've booked myself into Airbnb accommodations a few times. My most memorable (and economical) budget booking was in London, England last Christmas when I lucked out on a canal boat rental. Granted, there was the novelty of staying in a boat right in the middle of London on Regent's Canal, but I instantly became part of the local community of canal-boat-dwellers. They gave me tips on where to buy fire wood (yes, there was a wood stove), pointed me toward the friendliest neighbourhood pubs for a hot meal, and shared their experiences with me while sitting on top of their year-round homes on the river. So do check out www.airbnb.ca when planning your next trip. And if you do make it to San Francisco, my talented colleague Daniela Payne shares her five great tips for eating out in San Francisco – which is all the more affordable if you've saved on accommodation. Happy travels!