Thursday, November 13, 2014
Earn some money on the side by renting to travelers. Whether it’s an extra room in your house, a vacation home, or an empty apartment, there’s an eager market on the rise, and it’s looking for unique spaces it can rent for a short, but fulfilling, stay.
It’s a trend these days – homestays. A form of tourism, homestays have emerged as fashionable alternatives to travelers. They’re typically cheaper than a hotel, and thanks to the rise of agencies and digital platforms like AirBnB – to date, the most popular of its ilk – homestays have gained a foothold in the market. To date, more and more people are catching on to this phenomenon.
Homestays entail living with, or renting a space, inside a local’s private property. This arrangement allows for a markedly different atmosphere than staying at a hotel or similar facility.
Where hotels can be generic, a homestay is highly unique. In the case of sharing the same roof as the host, the traveler becomes a member of the household. As such, homestays provide the chance to interact with and develop a relationship with the locals – in this case, the host and his or her family.
Homestays are, as such, a more individualized experience. They allow for travelers from different backgrounds to experience the local culture first-hand; to learn the language, as in the case of foreigners; and to forge friendships.
Before serving up your place as a homestay, make sure that state or local bylaws allow you to do so. In some places, the host may have to register and pay for taxes.
Secondly, draw up an agreement to minimize difficulties between you and your guests. Agree upon rates, length of stay, reservation fees, services or amenities, permitted use of the premises and its facilities, curfews, transportation, if any, and other pertinent matters.
Lastly, advertise your homestay with agencies or trusted websites that have a database its users can scour or search through. Compose a descriptive and engaging profile with comprehensive details about your homestay, directions, a description of the local area and its attractions, and provide flattering photos of the guests area.