Several months ago I went to a friend’s beautiful home and she shared with me that her family had started an Air B&B in her home. Basically, they rent out unused space in their home to strangers.
This seemed intriguing to me. We had a largish space in our basement that was primarily being used by the children for massive Lego creations. This room was next to impossible for me to keep tidy- toys, books and especially Legos were always all over the place. When my daughter came into town, we had a huge, high quality air mattress that we would set up down there. I started to think about what offering that space to rent by the night could mean for our family.
First, if we rented out the space, it would provide a little extra money to us- and we are seriously trying get completely debt-free, including our house in the next year. But tuition and doctors bills and house repairs and car repairs keep coming, so the money would be a real blessing to help stretch my husband’s income
Second, we could offer safe, clean, very affordable housing to travelers. I have many memories of our lean years, staying in hotels that were far below our comfort level because it was the best we could afford. I wanted to offer a clean, homey place for budget travelers.
Third, there would be sacrifices for all of us. There would be bedding to wash, floors and bathrooms to keep clean, snacks prepared. There would be a loss of privacy, and some loss of freedom- the children and adults all needed to be considerate and quieter than usual after our stated “quiet times.”
Finally, it has a “new world” feel to it. We are on the cutting edge of something that is going to transform how people interact and travel in the world. I love that part of it. I want my kids rubbing elbows with the eccentric artists, musicians, hungry college students, young businessmen working on a new hustle. And we have! I have enjoyed every guest and every experience we have had so far. We know we have been a blessing to the travelers and they have been a blessing to us!
We have also booked our own family travels through other people’s Air B & B and have been able to be blessed by staying at a great place at an affordable cost.
Several people have asked: Do you really make any money? Well, let’s say I have a super cheap room ($35 per night) and I put a few snacks and coffee down there ($3.00 per person) and I have to do a load of laundry ($1.50 per load estimated) then I make about 30 per night. If I keep the room booked every single night by a single occupant, I make $900 per month. Of course, there are taxes, and depending on where you live, you may have some business fees. If it takes me an hour to “flip the room” that means I am making about 30 an hour for my actual work time. That’s not bad money.
We have never rented an entire month (yet) because my daughter was travelling here several weeks for a few days each week, so we blocked our room off for those days. But now that she is settled in her new town, her visits will be less frequent and I expect we will book more days. Either way, the money has been a nice boost to our family’s income.
Others have asked about safety. Each family must evaluate this for themselves. We have surveillance cameras all over our house and property and we disclose this in our Air B & B listing. We also have a working security system that my husband can use to set a new code for each visitor. You can’t come in our doors or windows without triggering the code, which expires as each guest leaves. We also never leave a guest here alone with our children. So far, we have had no bad experiences of any kind.
Each guest evaluates each home, and each host evaluates each guest upon departure, which is available for all future hosts/renters to read. This helps everyone decide who they will allow to stay in their home. Also, our house rules, published in the site include things like: No smoking, no pets, no unregistered guests and our quiet hours. Guests can choose not to come stay with you if they don’t like your rules.
If you thinking about booking an Air B & B for an upcoming trip, or starting one of your own, I’d love to hear your experiences. Also, if you use my link, we both get a bonus!
Earn $50 when you host your first trip on Airbnb. https://www.airbnb.com/r/maliar247?s=4&i=1
If you travel with Air B & B, use this link to get a $35 dollar credit! www.airbnb.com/c/maliar247