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8 Airbnb Shipping Container Homes You Can Rent for Your Next Vacation

Mar 23, 2023Mar 23, 2023

By Kristine Hansen

Curious about what it's like to live in a residence that used to sail the high seas or traverse railways? Give that fantasy a fix by spending the night in one of these houses cleverly crafted from shipping containers, all listed on Airbnb. More elaborate and spacious than a tiny home where everything has its (cramped) place, these rentals (often a combination of multiple containers pieced together) are perfect for a weekend getaway because you can truly spread out.

Whether in California or Texas, common design features in shipping container homes include a boxy interior, extreme durability, and the ability to easily go off the grid if desired. A cost-effective alternative to typical building materials is another draw, as is digging into the reusable philosophy in lieu of buying new, but the end result is a cooler house than anything else nearby. Shipping containers, of course, come in all sorts of sizes, and the architect and owner get to play a game of Tetris to nail the right configuration. Because these types of homes are typically built on lots surrounded by nature—although examples do exist in urban environments—this offers a chance for Airbnb guests to wake up to pine-scented forests or the desert's wide expanse.

With that in mind, and keeping strong design at the forefront, AD squared away eight incredible Airbnb shipping container homes available for rent for your next journey.

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Surrounded by open land for miles, the one-bedroom layout—which is roomy enough due to the shipping container's length—can easily expand al fresco. Located near Taos, you can actually see the Taos skyline from here, particularly on the glass-enclosed porch. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the bedroom further frame the landscape at Steel Pueblo, as the owner calls it, without leaving the bed.

This shipping container home embraces a funky design concept—appropriately snug in this renowned artsy community—with an eclectic aesthetic that allows craftsmanship and ingenuity to shine. For example, there was no shining up the rust or covering up the Chinese characters painted on the side when weaving one of the containers into the structure. You get one bedroom and 1.5 baths within the generous layout on the first floor. (The top floor is another unit.) Its hillside perch cues stunning views, with a deck to soak it all in. Plenty of windows coax in natural night, a perfect fit with the minimalist interior and its neutral hues.

Artist John Henry Jones refers to accommodations at El Ranchito as "container suites" and declares them free of light pollution. The two-bedroom Skybox Suite, in the shell of a 45-foot-long container, is the most spacious of the three on property. It sports a golden yellow exterior. Enjoy cool desert nights stargazing from the outdoor hot tub. Featuring two balconies, an outdoor gym and an outdoor bar for on-site fitness and imbibing, the listing also includes access to a lap pool, fire tables, hammocks and other necessary tools for unwinding.

Don't be fooled by the fact that this one-bedroom, one-bath home is in another home's backyard. It's detached and as large as many homes, mostly because the owners blended this with a guest house not made out of a shipping container. Because of this, you get a fun design pastiche of a mostly white beach-chic guest house with rough-around-the-edges shipping-container walls, using black-and-white exterior paint to add a luxurious accent. Guests can play in the pool, work out in the outdoor gym, or chill in cushy chairs by the fire pit, sharing the yard with the owners and your hosts.

Sporting 1,000 square feet of long, wide decking that's mostly covered in order to keep the sun out, one might forget this is two shipping containers meshed together to make a two bedroom and two bathroom Airbnb. With nooks and build-outs, it definitely feels like there's more space than the actual square footage. Each room is smartly designed, making good use of the space—a soaking tub in the primary bath, a work area in both bedrooms, and a living room that's connected to the outdoor deck. The Airbnb's location at the foot of a sandstone mountain also means killer views.

Tucked into this flea market and antiques shopping mecca midway between Austin and Houston, staying here means you’re checking into a veritable boutique hotel (nicknamed Flophouze), as there are six units available and access to lots of common areas. Between three and four people can sleep in each shipping container. Just outside the front door is a private fire pit, hammock, and chairs. The owners not only recycled these containers into chic abodes, but they also folded in wood from their farm in upstate New York and salvaged lumber from a Kentucky distillery. Kitchen countertops used to be flooring in a Texas bowling alley. If you really, really like your stay, Flophouze sells custom-built shipping container homes.

By stacking two containers vertically so they partially overlap, this Airbnb's visual effect is intriguing. The hosts call it "Utah's largest shipping-container home" and nicknamed it Envase Casa. It has four bedrooms and three baths, a carport, outdoor fire pit, second-floor deck, and first-floor patio that wraps around the house. In the primary bedroom is an electric fireplace for chilly nights and a spa-like soaking tub and rainforest shower in the en suite bath.

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Due to its vertical design, this Airbnb shipping container home near Lynchburg is roomy and can sleep up to six people across two bedrooms (both upstairs), plus many common areas. Bright orange panels on the exterior entry help jazz up the two containers’ gray exterior. Furnishings and design choices throughout, including shiny black kitchen cabinetry and an Edison-bulb pendant above a dining set, keep things light, bright, and modern. A deck on the first floor, plus a patio off the primary suite, provide easy spots to integrate with the outdoors.

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