Ever had the itch to travel but found that household bills meant you had to put your vacation plans on hold? It’s not always possible to pay for that well-deserved break upfront and still cover the cost of mortgage payments or rent back home.
Well, travel just got a lot easier with a new type of online marketplace. Now you can rent your place out while you’re on the road, cover some bills, or just put a few extra bucks toward the cost of your trip.
In November, my girlfriend Amanda Jacobsen and I started planning a trip to Mexico City. But on top of her rent, Amanda didn’t have the cash to travel. Did we resign ourselves to a staycation, chain-watching episode after episode of HBO’s The Wire?
No. Instead, we decided to use this online marketplace website to rent her apartment during our planned trip. That way, her rent was covered and we could focus on exploring every corner of Mexico’s metropolis.
Listing on the website is simple—and free. All you have to do is upload photos and write a brief description of your living space, be it a studio apartment, three-bedroom house or a cottage in the woods, and then wait for a potential guest to message you. (Conversely, when you’re traveling, you can also use the website to find a place to stay. The website has listings in over 8,000 cities in more than 163 countries around the world.)
Amanda lives in a cozy one-bedroom cabin on Potrero Hill, a residential neighborhood in San Francisco. The place is quaint and quiet but certainly not luxurious: You have to climb three hills and two flights of stairs to get to her front door.
We weren’t sure anyone would be interested in her place. But after two days, a German woman said the place looked like a “perfect fit” and booked it for $60 a night.
I gave a full report on our experience with this service…including four tips to make sure you get the most out of using them…in the February issue of International Living magazine. You can become a subscriber here and get instant access to the current issue, including my full article.