Hosting is one of my favorite hats to put, especially hosting friends from out of town who want to explore Seattle. This is my favorite city in the world (as of this moment in my life) and I L.O.V.E. showing it off! The “tourist” sights never get old for me but most of all I love showing friends the “local’s” Seattle.
At the beginning of this year Bjarni and I decided to start hosting travelers from Couchsurfing.com which is a community of hosts/guests who want to provide/experience a more authentic trip. There is no money involved, you can offer someone to stay in your home or to meet them for coffee and a tour of your favorite spots. You choose how involved you get. For us, we decided to have people stay with us, the futon in the living room is perfectly set up for hosting a guest for a few nights. So far this year we’ve hosted about 22 times this year, hosting parties of 1-4 people and for 1-6 nights!
As I’m sure you can imagine that is a lot of hosting we’ve been doing but it has been fun to meet new people from all around the world this way, so we’ll have friends to visit along our own travels.
I’m currently on vacation right now, for two weeks, and Bjarni is home in Seattle. Now fast forwarding to last week… I had an idea about researching this Airbnb thing that I’ve been hearing about recently, so I did. I figured out what it was and that the spectrum is very wide. You can rent beautiful vacation homes, to city apartments, to single rooms in a home, and all the way to a place to spend the night. The options for renting a place on Airbnb are entire home/apt, private room, and shared space. Now I wasn’t trying to rent out the whole apartment while I was out of town (hello, Bjarni will still be at home) but I did think renting out the futon, just like we offer it to couch surfers regularly, might be an interesting experiment.
We decided upon a trial period, the two weeks that I’m out of town, to see how we (or really Bjarni) liked it. Setting up the listing was relatively easy, I took lots of pictures and specified the accommodations and what guests have access to. Within a few days of listing our place every single night of those two weeks were booked! We did price it very reasonably, $30/night, our home is clean and beautifully kept and in a great location. Personally, I would be thrilled to vacation in my own home!
Half way through these two weeks has gone well at home for Bjarni, he says it’s just like hosting couch surfers, and it’s an extra bit of cash we can save for our future travels. We may continue hosting Airbnb guests, we’ll see. If you’re curious about our listing I’ll include a link for you to check it out for yourselves!
Our Airbnb listing: Lakeside Cottage w/Beach Access