As a vacation destination, Ormond Beach has a lot of lodging options — including residential homes via Airbnb.
Greta Zukoff has a gypsy soul and was born with a terminal condition called "wanderlust."
Currently residing in Australia's Gold Coast, Zukoff has spent the last six months traveling in Indonesia, Bail and China, experiencing the rich culture and always finding time for a pilates class. What helps fund her adventurous lifestyle you ask? Her home here in Ormond Beach.
Zukoff has been using Airbnb, a community marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique accommodations around the world, for almost a year to host guests at her beachside bungalow to pay for her own travel expenses. She got the idea to rent out her home for vacationers after watching the movie "The Holiday," where the two main characters swap homes from across the world.
"I was in the process of figuring out if I wanted to buy a house, and I didn't want to be tied down," she said. "I saw that and thought, 'What a brilliant idea!' I can let my house leverage my desire to travel."
At first, she opted for the option to rent out a room and stay in the house with her guests, but eventually she decided to make her entire home for people to use.
"It fed the need for travel because I was meeting people from all over the world," she said. "You learn a lot culturally, and I really enjoyed that aspect. But I make far more money when I don't stay in my home. Now I'm just hopping around."
In her own travels, Zukoff gets most of her accommodations free by providing pet sitting or house sitting services, but occasionally she does use an Airbnb. She said she's never worried about people trashing her house and has only had positive experiences when renting her home.
"I think when you're using Airbnb, you're attracting people of similar ideals and philosophy," she said. "You're opening your home, and people don't stay in an Airbnb unless they're open to that."
Renting out the pirate ship
There's a definite theme to Judy Cole's beachside Airbnb that can be found when you step outside your car and see the huge pirate ship in the front yard.
"The woman who owned the house before me had an autistic son who loved 'Pirates of the Caribbean,'" she said. "The whole house was decorated that way."
While Cole removed some of the pirates and buried treasure left inside, the cannonball holes in the front exterior, the pirate ship playground and the pirate skeleton hanging on the front gate are still on display.
A stewardess for United Airlines for over 30 years, Cole had been wanting to buy a vacation home in Ormond Beach after visiting the town with her daughters. She saw her own little tropical paradise online while on a plane one day and made the leap.
"This little town has a lot going on," she said. "And the people here are so friendly. The friendliest I've ever met."
Cole's love for travel was handed down to her by her father, who also worked for United Airlines. Growing up, they would simply hop on an airplane and go wherever they wanted. When he retired, it didn't take long for her to miss the perks.
"I bought one plane ticket and said 'screw this,'" she laughed. "It's a lifestyle you get hooked on."
Other awesome Ormond Beach Airbnbs
1. Private Poolside Bungalow
"Your private retreat comes equipped with all of the necessities and extras. Make yourself at home in the luxury poolside bungalow, including full use of our pool, outdoor fire pit, outdoor grill, and access to our private dock on the Intracoastal."
2. Vacation Beachside House
"We live two blocks from the beach approach. Great beach area, not overcrowded. We also have a solar heated pool at the house. We have a nice pool deck with surrounding lights, perfect for day or evening. Florida room with ping pong and pool table."
3. Beach Side Rental at Historic Home
"Nice apartment first floor apartment with two private entrances at historic Ormond Beach Residence. One block from beach, restaurants, and other conveniences, with kitchenette, dining area, shower, bathroom, large bedroom and living room. No Pets."
For more information on signing up for Airbnb, you can download the app or visit airbnb.com.