Since my last entry, waaaaay back in June (where did THAT time go???), I have embarked on a new venture, and jolly good fun it is proving to be, too.
I had major surgery done on my house back in April, completely re-modelling the existing bathroom, and adding a new en-suite facility to the guest room. At the time, there was no intention to extend these facilities to anyone other than our occasional friends-and-families visitors. However, AirBnB was brought to my attention as something I might try, to help fill my daily void and, potentially to recoup some of my outlay on the alterations.
I’d never heard of AirBnB before, and if you haven’t, I suggest you give it a serious looking at as a much cheaper and more interesting form of accommodation for travelers.
To summarise, it is a web-based way of letting out spare rooms for financial reward. You can be as basic or extravagant in your facilities as you like, and as long as you are honest and open about your offering, then your guests can expect an experience that’s always going to be more interesting and personal than, say, Travelodge.
I started letting the guest room out at the end of July, making my entry on the AirBnB site live at about 4pm on a Sunday afternoon. I thought that I’d be doing well if I got any sort of response within, say, a month. Eight hours later, I got my first enquiry, and it’s been pretty busy ever since. I’ve had a steady stream of visitors from a wide variety of age-groups and countries – Canada, Australia, USA, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Romania and even some from the UK. Bookings have slackened a little since November; that’s to be expected in the winter, I guess, but I already have several bookings for next year, so it promises to be busy again.
The most surprising and satisfying thing is that everyone, without exception, has been really pleasant, and it’s been a genuine pleasure sharing our home with them. Some are more private than others, preferring to spend their time in their room, or watching a movie in the conservatory, but others are happy to share the lounge with us, have a drink and a chat, and to just chill. We’ve learned a lot that way – not just about the individuals, but about their homes and their ways of life.
We’ve seen the other side of the coin, too, and have used AirBnB as guests three times so far. The three stays have been very different, but have each been extremely pleasant and so much more enjoyable than the Travelodge way of doing things. We’re so sold on it that we have future trips to Scotland and Canada all booked up with AirBnB.
So, if you have spare accommodation capacity – ANY spare capacity at all – I can recommend giving AirBnB a go **. You can do as much or as little of it as you want, even offer the most modest of facilities and people will come. You’ll meet some fascinating folk along the way, and make a few bob too.
What’s not to like?
** Unless you live in or very near to Llanfairfechan. Then, of course, you’d hate it. (And I’m not just saying that because I don’t want the competition. No, really.)
If you want to have a gander at my humble offering, take a peek here…