A pause on travel doesn’t need to mean a pause on experiencing the world. Airbnb recently launched its Online Experiences program—a variety of virtual, expert-led classes you can take from home. The program is adapted from the company’s in-person experiences, which connected travellers with local hosts for activities such as historic neighbourhood walks, photo-op tours and destination-specific courses. The streamed, scheduled experiences give users the opportunity to learn about new things and try out international activities remotely, while continuing to generate income for Airbnb’s network of hosts.

Online Experiences are booked through the Airbnb website and hosted on Zoom, with prices ranging from a free tour of a Tennessee hobby farm to a $100 private astrology reading from Barcelona. Plus, many hosts offer discounts and options for group bookings, making the experiences a memorable “night-out” with friends from the comforts of home.

There are currently more than 150 experiences available. Here are a few of our favourites that give you a taste of faraway places and might even inspire your next trip.

Backstage with a Cirque du Soleil Producer, Montreal, Quebec

Get an exclusive peek behind the big top during this informal conversation with a veteran Cirque du Soleil producer. This 90-minute master class gives insight into the creative process behind one of the world’s most famous entertainment troupes, from initial ideas to stage debuts. Be sure to brainstorm your best questions and come prepared to gain a new perspective on Cirque du Soleil.

Rates start at $30 per person, airbnb.ca/experiences

Secrets of Hollywood Sound FX, Los Angeles, California

You may never hear your favourite TV show the same after exploring the art of Foley (reproduced sound effects added to TV and movies in post-production) in this one-hour digital excursion. Hosted by Foley artist Adam DeCoster, whose credits include everything from Cheers to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this experience will take you through some of the tricks of the trade in DeCoster’s home studio. It also includes a live demo showing the effect Foley can have on the feel of a scene.

Rates start at $57 per person, airbnb.ca/experiences

The Art of Mime with a Parisian Master, Paris, France

Take a one-hour deep dive into the art of mime broadcast from the epicentre of the craft, Paris. In this experience, mime master and educator Ivan Bacciocchi teaches the basics of the performance, including walking on the spot, while also discussing the historic and contemporary significance of miming.

Rates start at$24 per person, airbnb.ca/experiences

Kids in the House Cook & Eat with Silvia, Rome, Italy

Raid your pantry and gather the whole family for this pasta class. The kid-friendly course will guide you through the process of making pasta from scratch. Since the class is live-streamed, you can ask for help from host and teacher Chef Silvia Portentoso from Gambero Rosso Cooking School and Eataly. Be sure to check the “What to Bring” section to come prepared with all the required ingredients.

Rates start at $16 per person, airbnb.ca/experiences

Coffee Masterclass with National Judge, Mexico City, Mexico

There’s no better time to up your at-home coffee game than now, and this class gives you the skills and know-how for getting the most out of your morning cup of joe. Join coffee judge and Borola Café owner Ricardo Lopez as he breaks down what makes a great cup of coffee and guides you through the best practices for elevating your brew.

Rates start at $5 per person, airbnb.ca/experiences

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