There are more and more resources on the web to find accomodations away from the classic hotel rooms. And it’s making the idea of travelling all the more exciting. In a post last year titled My house is yours. Your house is mine. I talked about some smart home swapping websites.
The following two online platforms revolve around the idea of creating communities of like-minded & free-spirited travellers who are looking for budget accommodations when travelling around. They’re not exactly geared to the travelling family with young children, but I am sure that they’ll get there eventually. Or other sites will.
Airbnb – With over 60,000 active listings in 12,663 cities in 181 countries, Airbnb is an amazing resource AND a real pleasure to browse. It connects owners of (short term) apartment or home rentals with travellers (and it’s backed by supersexy Ashton Kutcher himself). The site is nicely designed and gives the possibility to take a peak at people’s homes from close ups. It’s mostly studios and small apartments in the database, but it could work well for young families. There’s a rating system just like on TripAdvisor, so you know what others in the community have experienced. I tried with Istanbul and Sydney and found the choice of places and locations quite exciting.
Couch surfing – This is a non profit organization that connects travellers with…couches and cultural experiences ie. places to stay for free at people’s homes with the view of sharing a piece of life: We have a vision of a world where everyone can explore and create meaningful connections with the people and places they encounter. It’s extremely successful with the younger crowd, and our summer au pair has been finding free accommodations all over the world thanks to Couch surfing. I was amazed when I heard about it and I secretly wished it existed when I was backpacking and internet barely existed (how prehistoric does that sound). Well, if I am not going to sleep on someone’s couch anymore, maybe we can lend ours once in a while and see who’s coming for dinner. The children might like that..
…to be continued