One of the biggest things holding back would-be travelers from taking the trip of a lifetime is…. (you guessed it!), money! For many people, it’s easier to go traveling when you’re just out of school and go backpacking for a few months. You’re happy to live the cheap hostel life and there are very few commitments keeping you back home. But as you get older, you tend to settle into life a bit more and start having real responsibilities. Things like your mortgage, car payment and other bills make it difficult to ditch your real life for an adventure, even for just a week or two.
Luckily, there is a way to not only keep paying your bills while you travel, but possibly make a little spending money as well – listing your place on Airbnb.
Most of you will be familiar with the Airbnb platform. Apart from being an incredibly useful service to find accommodation while traveling, they’re also a pioneer in founding and developing the sharing economy. Airbnb has helped create a safe and secure platform of hosts around the world, so you can always find accommodation that fits your budget. Whether it’s crashing on someone’s couch in the living room or renting your own private villa, Airbnb has it all. Airbnb has become so popular around the world, you can now stay in crazy accommodations like castles, tree houses, igloos and windmills.
Chances are you’ve been traveling recently, you’ve probably stayed in Airbnb at some point. And while most people probably look at it from the consumer end (booking rooms / houses) there is a WHOLE other element to Airbnb that a lot of people aren’t utilizing…. hosting!
For every room, house or apartment that you’ve been a Guest at with Airbnb, there’s a smart and savvy host behind the listing that has worked out a way to make money from their listing. These people are making an income, and many of them are traveling the world using this income.
Benefits of Hosting on Airbnb
Picture this. You’ve got a nice little apartment with your partner and you’re planning to go away on holiday for 2 weeks. You both love to travel, so this isn’t the first time you’ve ventured off on a holiday, whether it be for the weekend in the snow or a month long backpacking trip to Central America.
You’ve got a mortgage to pay, as well as the expenses of your trip, so money is tight. The whole time you’re traveling your beautiful house is going to sit there, accumulating bills, while you spend even more money on your trip. How can you avoid the financial pitfalls of traveling? Easy answer, list your apartment on Airbnb!
Since 2008, Airbnb has been perfecting a platform that helps travelers all over the world find affordable accommodation, and hosts create a flexible schedule to list their places exactly how they see fit. As a host, you control all aspects of your listing and can set it up to suit your life and lifestyle.
This is undoubtedly one of the best features of Airbnb for a host. You control your schedule and when you want to list your place, as well as how much you want to list it for, how long and whether there’s a minimum or maximum stay. You can choose to put it up on the weekend while you’re off on a short trip, or list it for months at a time. The flexibility of the program is by far the most appealing aspect for hosts.
And the beauty of hosting is that while you’re traveling, you’ll be making money! Not only does that help pay the bills back at home, but it also helps fund your travels while you’re off exploring the world. Wouldn’t it feel nice, as you’re kicking back with some margaritas poolside in Mexico, to know that your place back home is paying for the next round, as opposed to your savings account?
Better still, while you’re traveling you can use Airbnb to find accommodation as well, and then pay for it with the money you’re earning from Airbnb. What a satisfying feeling it would be to stay at someone else’s listing while you’re traveling, knowing that back home your place is paying for this stay. It’s about as meta as it gets in the travel tech space.
Who Can Be an Airbnb Host
Anyone who is looking for a little extra cash to help fund their next adventure and interested in opening up their home to the world! If you’ve got a spare room, house or apartment while you plan your next trip, you too could be an Airbnb host.
And while anyone can be an Airbnb host, that doesn’t mean Airbnb just open the flood gates and forget about standards. In the interest of providing a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for both host and guest, Airbnb does have a few community standards that hosts must adhere to. These aren’t intended to be restricting, but just to ensure a high level of hospitality and safety is provided to the guests. It’s not different than any expectations at a bed and breakfast or hotel.
Costs to List on Airbnb When Traveling
You may be wondering if there’s a monthly fee or any starting costs to posting your accommodation. Nope! Being a host doesn’t cost you anything! It’s absolutely free to sign up as a host on Airbnb and make a listing. Airbnb will only ever charge a small service fee (generally 3% of total booking) once a reservation has been made.
Is Hosting on Airbnb Safe
In a short answer, yes, very safe! Airbnb is not only a practical service, but they’ve got your back. Each guest that joins Airbnb is required to provide information that helps confirm their identity. All guests need to provide a verified phone number and email address, and if you want to be extra secure you can elect to have guests be ID verified and have recommendations from other hosts.
Think of it like a secure social networking site, where you have a profile and you can provide different levels of verification to prove who you are. Airbnb does the same, to make sure you know exactly who you’re dealing with when hosting. When you get contacted by a potential guest you can view their profile, see if they have any reviews and also see what level of verification they have. Only once you feel comfortable do you need to accept their inquiry.
Aside form Airbnb’s thorough verification process, they also offer protection in the very unlikely scenario that something happens to your place. As a host you’ll be covered by Airbnb’s $1M USD in property damage protection, as well as another $1M USD in accident insurance.
How to Get Started as an Airbnb Host
Becoming an Airbnb host is a super simple, streamlined process. It’s designed for you to worry less about the technical side, and more about the benefits of being able to rent your place while you’re away.
When creating your listing, you control how you want to host. With so many customizable features for Airbnb hosting, you can set up your listing exactly how it suits your lifestyle. Choose when your listing is available, what time check in / check out is, what the maximum / minimum amount of nights a guest can stay and more!
Join Airbnb as a host and start to earn money while you travel!
What Should I Charge?
When it come to setting your price, Airbnb helps you along the way. With their Smart Pricing tool, Airbnb gives you assistance on what your listing price should be based on location, time of year, space available and amenities. Of course you can always choose to set your price exactly how you want, but this tool helps you get started.
Once you’ve started receiving some bookings, or when demands are higher, you might decide to bump up the price. Or if you’re having a slower month and want to entice more people, you can drop the prices a little.
You can also add a cleaning fee into your price, as well as discounts to encourage longer stays. If you’re traveling for a long time it might be easier to offer a weekly discount to entice people to stay longer than just a couple of days. Longer staying guests means less hassle while you’re off relaxing on a Caribbean beach.
It’s really that easy. You’re in control of how you host, how much you charge and when you want to host. Guests inquiring about your place can get in contact with you through Airbnb’s messaging service, which means you don’t need to disclose any personal information like your number or address until you’ve finalized a booking.
To get started listing your place and financing your own adventure, sign up here!
Recommended Trips to Take While Listing Your Place on Airbnb
So now you’re all set with your place listed on Airbnb, here are a couple of trip ideas to inspire your next adventure!
Northern Spain Road Trip
Rent a car and take off on your very own Northern Spain road trip adventure through rugged coastlines, mountains tops and delicious food and culture. Visit small Spanish villages in the countryside, where the adobe brick houses bake under the harsh afternoon sun, and the only way to cool down is with an ice cold beer or jug of sangria. Stop off in different towns along the way and live like locals do, wandering through the streets at night, stopping off for tapas and drinks at various bars along the way.
Swap your place back home for a beautiful villa, with its very own plunge pool that overlooks the lush green rice fields of Bali. Take in the smell of incense at the local temples, as you zoom past on a scooter and on to your next adventure. Eat delicious, $1 roadside nasi goreng and sip a cold beer to escape the humid evening heat. Or head across to the incredible Nusa Islands and explore the surf breaks, jagged coastlines and unique island culture.
Head Down Under, as you explore all the natural wonders that Australia has to offer. Whether you’re taking a road trip down the east coast, stopping off along the way to see all the amazing beaches, or posting up in a cute coffee shop in Melbourne and watching suburban life go by. Australia offers a range of different adventures or relaxing vacations for you to enjoy. Even if you’re from Australia, take advantage of renting out your place while you travel other parts of this beautiful country. As a fellow Aussie, I know you haven’t seen it all!
This post was created in partnership with Airbnb. For years we’ve been big supporters of Airbnb and have used it countless times throughout our travels. As always, we would never promote a product or service we didn’t personally use, trust and support.