Hey Skint pals,
What’s with all this rushing through life? This week I’ve had four emails about booking summer holidays . . . slow down, folks! I’m not even feeling Christmassy yet. But since I read a piece about the airbnb site, which matches travellers with sociable city residents all over the world, I’ve been thinking about how I can make some money from my own home whilst travelling this summer. I live in Glasgow and with the Commonwealth Games coming here next summer, I know a few people who are renting out their homes, or rooms in their homes, to athletes or tourists. A pal of mine did the same during London’s Olympics last year – for an eye-popping amount of money.
I’d happily travel abroad for a while, funded by letting out my home here. Pals of mine have been living in Switzerland for the last two years, whilst tenants covering the mortgage costs on their Glasgow flat. Some folks worry about letting strangers use their home but I’d be happy to do it after taking a few precaution. The most important thing is properinsurance – one designed for landlords, like the the CIA landords insurance I found. That way you can go away travelling, knowing that things are covered back home. Don’t rely on your own household insurance – that covers you, but not necessarily your paying guests. After sorting that, it’s just a case of locking away valuables and personal items; clearing space in cupboards and drawers; and cleaning the house! Oh, and you might want to consider using a letting agency, which will vet tenants and deal with any property problems whilst you’re away.
Other travel-related ways to make money from your home are:
- A holiday home swap. Fancy a fortnight in Florida for no more than the flight price? Or a long weekend in the coolest part of Berlin? Home swaps get you all that and maybe, if you’re lucky, an outdoor hot tub too! Lots of holiday home swaps throw in the use of their car too, making this the ultimate luxe-for-less break. (If you’re including your car in the deal for guests remember to tell your car insurance company).
- Housesit. Different from a holiday home swap, because that you don’t give up your own home, just enjoy the perks of someone’s else’s! For most housesits you have to be able to commit to staying for a longer period – a few weeks or even months, and you might have to look after a pet, water plants etc. For a month on Bondi Beach in December I’d be happy to tend to the aspidistras!
- Airbnb – as I mentioned up top, airbnb is taking off. The deal is that you open your home to travellers, charging a fairly modest rate to let them stay for a while. I wrote about this before if you want to learn more. Apartment owners who open their homes get to mix with new, interesting people, and earn a bit of cash into the bargain. For travellers, the advantage of airbnb over hotels is that they get to see a side of a city that hotel dwellers never could – all the hidden nooks and crannies that only the locals know.
What about you, Skint pals? Would you – or have you – let your home out to strangers? Got any tales to tell of how to bag world travel for a bargainous price? Share them, do – we love a good tale of adventure.
PS – Sammy Davis got me thinking about airbnb first – thanks Sammy!