AirBnb http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/16489/all en-US 9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-483959284.jpg" alt="Retired woman finding easy ways to earn extra income" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you want to boost your retirement savings before you hit the magical age of 65, or you need some side income as a retiree, you are in luck. The Internet has made it easier than ever to earn money without committing to a 9-to-5.</p> <p>Here are nine websites that can help you boost retirement income.</p> <h2>1. Shutterstock</h2> <p>Enjoy taking photos? Your photographs could earn money if they are approved and purchased by others. The photos that sell the best are high-quality images that can be used as stock photos for websites and eBooks.<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/contributorsupport/articles/kbat02/000006640" target="_blank"> Shutterstock</a> pays contributors $0.25 per photo download, which doesn't seem like a lot. However, if your collection of photographs gets downloaded 2,000 times over the year, that is an extra $500. You'll need a current form of government-issued ID to join Shutterstock, and you'll also need to submit up to 10 images for their initial review. Once their review team approves your first image, you can start selling.</p> <h2>2. Airbnb</h2> <p>When the <em>busyness </em>of raising a family starts slowing down, many couples discover a passion for travel. You can pursue travel while still paying the mortgage with<a href="https://www.airbnb.com/" target="_blank"> Airbnb</a>. You can even rent out an extra room or guesthouse with the site. Simply sign up, create your listing (make sure you include lots of photos), and set your rate. What you charge is up to you, but you'll want to factor in the location and the space you're renting.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb </a></p> <h2>3. Teachers Pay Teachers</h2> <p>Are you retired from education, or perhaps just love creating fun teaching materials?<a href="https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/" target="_blank"> Teachers Pay Teachers</a> is a website that allows users to upload their lesson plans and resources for others to purchase. The site boasts that they have helped teacher authors makes $330 million since the creation of the site.</p> <h2>4. TaskRabbit</h2> <p><a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/" target="_blank">TaskRabbit</a> is not just for Millennials or college students; it is for anyone who wants to earn money doing odd jobs, from putting together Ikea furniture to writing a retirement speech. You never know what someone will post. Experts and nonexperienced individuals alike can earn extra cash through this site if they live in a popular area.</p> <h2>5. Care.com</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-12141287-1435333490000" target="_blank">Care.com</a> is a site that connects individuals who need services with local help. You can apply for local job listings in child care, adult and senior care, pet care, and home care. The best part is that you can find work that fits in with your schedule. Some parents just need a trusted adult to pick up or drop off their children at school, while others just want a weekend baby sitter. Don't automatically assume that your tight schedule won't be a good fit for this site. Another thing I love about Care.com is that the site includes background checks, so more people feel confident with whom they hire.</p> <h2>6. Tutor.com</h2> <p>If you are knowledgeable in a certain academic subject, then why not tutor in it?<a href="http://www.tutor.com/apply" target="_blank"> Tutor.com</a> hires experts in all fields and connects you to their large database of students in need. Potential tutors need to pass an exam and the application process to qualify. Tutors in finance and computer science are in especially high demand.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-make-money-online-that-arent-scams?ref=seealso2">13 Ways to Make Money Online That Aren't Scams </a></p> <h2>7. Rover</h2> <p>More pet parents are shying away from kennels and going for personalized overnight pet care. Pet lovers want to know that their favorite pooch is being snuggled or walked when they are gone, not just kept in a cage.<a href="https://www.rover.com/" target="_blank"> Rover</a> is one site that allows you to upload your profile and choose what type of pet care you offer. You can choose to watch dogs at your own place or the owner's, or just tailor your profile to be a dog walker.</p> <h2>8. Skillshare</h2> <p>Most of us are an expert at something, whether that be hand lettering or building computers. Utilize your passion and know-how by turning it into a class on <a href="https://www.skillshare.com/" target="_blank">Skillshare</a>. With Skillshare, you earn money every time someone signs up for your course. The site says that their highest-earning teachers make $40,000 a year.</p> <h2>9. Fiverr</h2> <p>On <a href="https://www.fiverr.com/">Fiverr</a>, you can make a quick buck (well, at least five) for simple tasks, such as voice-overs, quick articles, or whatever you would like your gig to be. I profiled one of Fiverr's top-sellers who writes resumes. She has been using Fiverr for years and has funded two adoptions with her earnings. Of course, her resumes cost much more than $5.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/making-extra-cash">See also: </a><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Job Sites</a></p> <h2>Before You Start Making Money Online</h2> <p>There are many websites available to individuals looking to boost their retirement income. However, before diving in head first, take these three tips to heart:</p> <h3>Don't Pay for Jobs</h3> <p>There are too many good and free resources available. If a site asks you to pay money for a &quot;secret guide&quot; or &quot;guaranteed moneymaking business,&quot; it might not be legitimate.</p> <h3>Your Time Is Valuable<strong> </strong></h3> <p>The reason why I didn't list survey websites or websites that pay you pennies to open emails is because I strongly believe your time is valuable. Even if you are single and retired, there is something better for you than making a few dollars per hour clicking through spam or websites. Set an hourly desired rate for yourself and don't be tempted by sites that pay less.</p> <h3>If It Sounds Too Good to Be True...<strong> </strong></h3> <p>You have probably said this line to your kids, and I am repeating it to you. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There is no such thing as making thousands of dollars for minimal work, so don't believe the websites, email messages, or forum posters that say so.</p> <h2>And Don't Forget About Your Social Security</h2> <p>Your Social Security benefit may be reduced if you earn wage or self-employment income and begin receiving Social Security early, before your official retirement age. Your benefit will not be reduced if you continue to earn beyond your retirement age. To learn more about earnings caps and other details that may affect your decision to work in retirement, see the <a href="https://faq.ssa.gov/link/portal/34011/34019/article/3739/what-happens-if-i-work-and-get-social-security-retirement-benefits" target="_blank">SSA's FAQ on earning and retirement benefits</a>.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-great-side-jobs?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">Boost Your Income With Any of These 30 Side Jobs</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-an-extra-1000-this-summer">9 Ways to Make an Extra $1,000 This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-make-money-on-super-bowl-sunday">8 Creative Ways to Make Money on Super Bowl Sunday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-must-know-about-money-before-you-take-a-side-job">10 Money Moves You Need to Make Before You Take a Side Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-when-youre-sick-of-your-side-gig">What to Do When You&#039;re Sick of Your Side Gig</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income AirBnb baby-sitting care freelance gig economy part time jobs pet sitting renting selling photos side gigs Tutoring websites Mon, 06 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1884962 at http://www.wisebread.com A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_173834733.jpg" alt="Woman creating simple plan to get extra $2,000 this year" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What are your big plans for this year? Buying a house? Going back to school? Or simply taking that dream vacation? Big purchases require thousands of dollars, but the good news is there are simple steps to ensure you will meet your goal.</p> <p>First, establish a clear plan and set goals that are attainable. How much money do you need to save, and when do you need it? The formula for saving money is simple enough: earn more, spend less. Here are some ways that you can do both of those things to put several thousand dollars extra into your bank account this year!</p> <h2>Ask for a Raise</h2> <p>If you have a good track record at your job and you've never gotten a raise &mdash; or it's been awhile since you did &mdash; this could be a good time to set up a meeting with your boss. Normally, employee evaluations are carried out annually, so if you're coming up on the one-year mark, this is an especially good time to bring up the subject.</p> <p>People often feel uncomfortable <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-say-to-your-boss-to-get-a-promotion-or-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">asking for a raise</a>, but it's a normal and natural conversation to have. However, it's critical that you come to the table prepared.</p> <p>When you sit down with your boss, be clear about what you're asking for and why. Get specific about how much you want to make. The average annual raise in 2017 is expected to be 3.1% according to a WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey. Stellar performers may earn more.</p> <p>If you think you fall into the latter category, you should have strong evidence of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-you-should-demand-a-raise?ref=internal" target="_blank">why you deserve an above-average raise</a>. Cite examples of successful projects you've managed, or great sales you've driven. You may also want to check out the average salary for your position in your industry. If you're being paid below market rate, add that to your argument.</p> <p>Of course, once you've secured a raise, be sure to save it instead of spending it. Let's say you're earning $3,000 a month and you get a raise of 3%. That translates into an extra $90 a month that you can put into your savings account. Make it easy on yourself by setting up a direct deposit of that amount into your savings account. That way, saving becomes automatic. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-get-a-promotion?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Get a Promotion</a>)</p> <h2>Seek Out Non-Traditional Sources of Income</h2> <p>If you're trying to earn more, it can also be helpful to augment your income beyond what you're earning every month in salary.</p> <p>Luckily, with the sharing or &quot;gig&quot; economy, there are many new ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-money-outside-your-day-job?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn money outside of your 9-to-5</a>. These earnings can add up fast, and often this &quot;work&quot; is very flexible and can fit in easily with your schedule. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Websites That Can Seriously Pad Your Pockets</a>)</p> <h3>Offer a Room on Airbnb</h3> <p>If you have a home or apartment with extra space, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed" target="_blank">listing your space on Airbnb</a> or another short-term rental website. Prices vary dramatically depending on where you live and the quality of the space you're renting. For instance, in Los Angeles prices range from $17 a night for a small, basic room to more than $1,000 a night for use of a whole luxury home. The average price of a private room is $73.</p> <p>Let's say you'll rent a spare room at that average rate for 10 days per month. That would equate to monthly earnings of $730. Subtract taxes, cleaning supplies, and any other materials you need to buy to keep up with your guests, and you should still clear around $500 a month.</p> <p>Keep in mind it will take some time for you to accumulate positive reviews, and certain times of year may have slower traffic than others. Also, many cities are regulating short-term rentals, which may impact how much money you can expect to make. Investigate the rules, then see how much you can make.</p> <h3>Become a &quot;Tasker&quot; on TaskRabbit</h3> <p>If TaskRabbit exists in your area, this is another great way to earn extra money toward your savings goal. Once you've been approved as a Tasker you can view the gigs people are offering. They can be anything from running errands, to waiting in line for a restaurant that doesn't take reservations, to making deliveries or helping plan a wedding.</p> <p>You get to set your rates and see tasks that correspond. If you set it lower &mdash; at say, $10 an hour &mdash; you may find more jobs than if you set it at $30 an hour. You choose which tasks fit into your schedule and how many jobs you want to take on in a month.</p> <p>Just by doing three two-hour tasks at $20 an hour, you could earn an extra $120 a month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-make-a-living-in-the-gig-economy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Can You Really Make a Living in the Gig Economy?</a>)</p> <h3>Drive for a Ride-sharing Company</h3> <p>Signing up to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft?ref=internal" target="_blank">drive for Uber, Lyft</a>, or any other ride-sharing company is another way to use the gig economy to earn some extra money. You'll need a four-door car in most cases, and you must be at least 21 years old with a clean driving record and car insurance.</p> <p>Uber is considered to pay better than other companies. An Uber study showed that its drivers in the company's top 20 markets average $19 an hour. Work 15 hours a week and you could gross $1,140. You'll have to pay taxes, vehicle upkeep, and insurance out of that. But you can work as much as you want, whenever you have the time, so it can be a good way to rack up several thousand dollars in just a few months.</p> <h2>Spend Less Money</h2> <p>There are a lot of incidental expenses that are easy enough to ignore in your day-to-day routine, but when you closely examine your monthly spending, it's often surprising just how much money these expenses eat away. Reduce them as much as possible to put more of your money into savings.</p> <h3>Kick the Coffee Shop Habit</h3> <p>This is a typical example, but it's worth mentioning because working Americans spent an average of about $21 a week on coffee in 2013, according to a survey by financial staffing firm Accounting Principals. The cost to make a cup of coffee at home is around 50 cents. If you drink two cups a day, that works out to about $7 a week. Over the course of a year you could save nearly $730 by making a habit of brewing your coffee at home.</p> <h3>Cut the Cord</h3> <p>Look at trimming bigger expenses, too. For instance, if having a landline is not essential for your work and you can use your cellphone, this could be an easy place to save $15&ndash;$30 a month. If you throw cable TV into the mix, you're looking at a savings of anywhere from $20 to $100 or more, depending on the package you have. Those savings can help you get to your goal quicker while minimizing the extra work you may have to take on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-alternatives-to-cable-tv-that-will-keep-you-entertained?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Affordable Alternatives to cable TV That Will Keep You Entertained</a>)</p> <h3>Buy Necessary Household Items in Bulk</h3> <p>Unlike going to Starbucks every day, there are some expenses that simply can't be avoided. Make a list of the things you buy every month that are absolute necessities. Think of things like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, soap, and food staples that you always need to have on hand. These are prime items to buy in bulk, especially if you have a family.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk?ref=internal" target="_blank">save 10&ndash;70% on certain bulk items</a>, but you need to be an astute shopper and judge how much you'll really use to figure out if the items will actually save you money in the long run. It's not a bargain if you end up having to throw out expired products or rotten food.</p> <h2>Track Progress in Writing</h2> <p>One final tip: It's important to write things down when you're serious about saving. Writing down your goal will help you to mentally commit to it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-journal-may-be-the-fix-for-your-finances?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">This Simple Journal May Be the Fix for Your Finances</a></p> <p>Record both your savings and your expenses, so you can identify areas where you're doing well and areas where you could improve. This will let you check in and re-evaluate every month to make sure you stay on track.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-earn-extra-money-with-your-car">7 Ways to Earn Extra Money With Your Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-make-money-on-super-bowl-sunday">8 Creative Ways to Make Money on Super Bowl Sunday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-more-money-as-an-uber-driver">How to Get a High Rating and Make More Money as an Uber Driver</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-extra-money-driving-for-uber-or-lyft">How to Earn Extra Money Driving for Uber or Lyft</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income AirBnb coffee cord cutting lyft raises ride-sharing saving money sharing economy side jobs TaskRabbit Uber Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:30:28 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1871127 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_paris_travel_486971456.jpg" alt="Woman traveling to cities where Airbnb is cheaper than a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since it was first founded in 2008, Airbnb has become a household name, nearly synonymous with the concept of short-term rentals. According to their website, Airbnb properties are available in more than 34,000 cities in over 190 countries, with 60 million users. This can be a great way to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-in-a-5-star-hotel-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-motel?ref=internal" target="_blank">save on accommodations</a> while traveling. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-to-get-hotel-deals?ref=seealso" target="_blank">3 Easy Ways to Get Hotel Deals</a>)</p> <p>By offering accommodation in locals' homes and apartments, Airbnb is often able to offer lower rates than traditional hotels, sometimes at unique properties or with added perks (like full kitchens). For solo travelers, renting a room with Airbnb can also be a great way to get to know a local host.</p> <p>However, you'll be giving up some hotel conveniences, too. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" target="_blank">Airbnb isn't for everyone</a>. But if you're willing to forego hotel gyms and professional staff, here are five destinations where Airbnb is much more cost effective than a hotel.</p> <h2>European Destinations</h2> <p>In 2015, more than half of Airbnb's revenue was generated from its European listings. This is an important clue to consumers, as some of the best deals to be had are in expensive European capitals where Airbnb is doing some of its best business.</p> <h3>1. London</h3> <p>London is full of tourist sights that any traveler would be excited to see. This capital city is home to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and many diverse national museums. However, London is also one of the most expensive destinations for international travelers.</p> <p>Even budget options in London can be pricey, with hostel dorm rooms often upward of $20 a night for a bed in a room with eight to 10 other people. Needless to say, many travelers don't want to stay in those conditions, but to book a four- or five-star hotel in the city center costs $250 and up.</p> <p>According to a 2015 study by Busbud, Airbnb listings were $108 a night cheaper than hotels, making London one of the best destinations to consider saving with Airbnb.</p> <h3>2. Venice</h3> <p>Venice is another European destination you won't want to miss, but hotels here are notoriously expensive, averaging just over $230 a night according to the Busbud study. However, by booking with Airbnb travelers were able to save an average of $86.</p> <p>There are plenty of good ways you can put these savings to use while out enjoying the area. Be sure not to miss a trip out to Burano and Murano, small islands a short gondola ride away from Venice, known for glass working and artisanal lace production.</p> <h3>3. Paris</h3> <p>Airbnb's rapid growth in Paris was reported by The Wall Street Journal in 2015, with the city continuing to be a hub of Airbnb activity to this day. Paris has more than 55,000 listings that get a great deal of traffic from visitors, according to Inside Airbnb.</p> <p>Given that consumers can save more than $100 on average by booking with Airbnb, it's no surprise that the company has had such great success in Paris, a city with a reputation for being expensive.</p> <h2>In the U.S.</h2> <p>Airbnb can be an affordable alternative to hotels in the U.S., too. In fact, in 2013, a comparative study by Priceonomics found that, on average, to rent an entire apartment in the U.S. with Airbnb was 21% cheaper than paying for a hotel, while renting a single room with Airbnb was half the price of a hotel.</p> <p>Since 2013, the cost of hotels has only been rising, from an average of $110 to $120 in 2015. Given that Airbnb has been gaining traction considerably in the past few years, consumers in the U.S. now have more options than ever before.</p> <p>It is important to remember, however, that these are national averages. Every city varies a little and of course, some cities are more Airbnb-friendly than others. As with the European examples, it seems that in more expensive cities, consumers stand to save more from booking with Airbnb.</p> <h3>4. New York</h3> <p>New York received an estimated 58 million tourists in 2015, making it one of the biggest tourist destinations globally. From bustling Times Square, to Broadway, to Wall Street, to Ellis Island, to its wide array of unique parks and museums, there is no shortage of sights and entertainment for visitors.</p> <p>Plus, New York has the Airbnb listings to match. There's a whole array of options in many diverse neighborhoods. A quick search I made on Airbnb showed the average cost of accommodations was $142, factoring in all options, from a shared room to an entire apartment.</p> <p>Keep in mind that rates also depend on location, location, location.</p> <h3>5. Seattle</h3> <p>Seattle has the advantage of being a good-sized city, while also offering access to beautiful coastlines and nearby mountains. As Washington state's largest city, it attracts a fair amount of both domestic and international visitors.</p> <p>The average cost of a hotel room here in 2015 was $209, according to Statista, making it one of the more costly cities in the U.S. Those looking to book with Airbnb stand to save more than $80 on their reservation.</p> <h2>Places to Avoid Using Airbnb</h2> <p>While these five cities offer a great value on their Airbnb listings, there are also some places you don't want to use Airbnb. Barcelona, for instance, will cost you $140 more on average to book via Airbnb as opposed to a hotel.</p> <p>In the U.S., Austin (home of Airbnb competitor HomeAway) is a much more expensive place to stay with Airbnb, while Los Angeles comes out just about even. Using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card reward programs for hotels</a> can make hotels even more attractive than Airbnb in some places.</p> <p>Airbnb can offer great value in notoriously expensive cities both in the U.S. and in Europe, but that doesn't mean it's always a great deal. Check out your destination before you book to be sure you're getting the best value.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg&amp;description=5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Cities%20Where%20Airbnb%20Is%20Way%20Cheaper%20Than%20a%20Hotel.jpg" alt="5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations AirBnb deals Europe hotels short term rentals tourism united states vacation Mon, 30 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Nick Wharton 1871129 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-453477539.jpg" alt="what to do if your airbnb is awful" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a friend, I'll call her &quot;Diane.&quot; Diane was excited to find an affordable two-bedroom Airbnb rental in Chicago. She looked forward to spending the holidays meeting up with old friends and saving money by cooking for her family instead of eating out every night.</p> <p>Instead, she ended up wasting the first few days of her trip on the phone with Airbnb customer service, and the unit's owner &mdash; who had provided a nearly empty apartment. This was not what she expected from the listing.</p> <p>&quot;The whole place felt like an abandoned afterthought,&quot; Diane said. She learned the owner had moved out and left very little behind &mdash; no couch in the living room and not enough kitchen supplies to put together a meal.</p> <p>Airbnb can be a great way to save money and enjoy neighborhoods outside tourist districts &mdash; when things go well. But some guests have been frustrated by the company's response when things don't turn out as advertised.</p> <p>Airbnb Spokesman Nick Shapiro calls negative experiences &quot;extremely rare&quot; on the service, but said that when they happen, Airbnb wants to get problems fixed and get guests into a better situation if necessary. He points out that guest refunds come directly from the host, and if the company seems to ask tough questions when people complain, it's because it must protect both hosts and guests.</p> <p>&quot;We are negotiating with another user's money and we are not there on the premises, so we do our best to work with both the host and the guest to find the most fair outcome,&quot; Shapiro said.</p> <p>It is possible to get a refund or replacement accommodation from Airbnb when a rental isn't up to snuff. But you need to play by their rules &mdash; and even then, it isn't always easy. Despite trying her best to follow every rule, my friend never ended up getting the full refund or hotel reimbursement she asked for, although she did get some money back from the host after bugging out early. If you find yourself in a similar situation as &quot;Diane,&quot; here's what you can do.</p> <h2>1. Act Quickly</h2> <p><a href="https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/544/what-is-airbnb-s-guest-refund-policy" target="_blank">Airbnb's policy states</a> that guests must file a claim within 24 hours of check-in in order to claim a refund. They are pretty strict about this. Just contacting them within the first 24 hours &mdash; as Diane did &mdash; isn't enough. You have to file a complaint within that period to comply with the refund policy.</p> <p>The company holds payments for the first 24 hours, to give the guest time to verify that all is as it should be. Shapiro explained that since Airbnb staff can't verify complaints in person, caution is necessary.</p> <p>&quot;It can be easy for a bad actor to fabricate evidence, which ultimately hurts a host. If a guest contacts us on day three of their five-night reservation complaining that the listing is messy, there is no way to know if that mess was caused by the guest or not.&quot;</p> <p>If you discover a problem late at night, don't wait until business hours to complain. Airbnb provides 24/7 customer service everywhere.</p> <h2>2. Contact the Host</h2> <p>If you call Airbnb to complain about a rental, they'll tell you to contact the host first.</p> <p>&quot;Giving them a chance to fix an issue is the fastest way to make sure you get what you need,&quot; Airbnb explains on its website. But don't wait long to hear back from the host before you request that refund. Remember, the clock is ticking.</p> <p>For this reason, meeting the host for a walkthrough is a good idea, and the best time to bring up any problems with the property.</p> <p>When Diane and her husband met the owner at that nearly empty Airbnb, they accepted the keys and said goodbye to the owner, a move she now realizes was a mistake.</p> <p>&quot;I wish I had been less worried about being polite, and more assertive about the missing items right from the start. Having to confront the person who has your money and holds the keys is really challenging. You just want the guy to leave so you can make a game plan and take it all in,&quot; she said.</p> <p>Another way to prevent problems that the host could fix is to communicate with the host before you arrive,&quot; Shapiro advised.</p> <h2>3. Communicate Through Airbnb</h2> <p>Use Airbnb's messaging system when you contact the host, so that the company can see your message, when you sent it, and the host's reply. Also save a copy of all communications for yourself, in case you need them later.</p> <h2>4. Read Airbnb's Refund Policy Carefully</h2> <p>Only certain conditions may be eligible for a refund in Airbnb's policy, even in that first 24 hours:</p> <ul> <li>If you can't get into the rental;</li> <li>If the listing misrepresents the unit;</li> <li>If the place is dirty or unsafe;</li> <li>If there's an animal there that wasn't disclosed in the listing.</li> </ul> <p>When you submit the refund claim, make it clear how the property qualifies for a refund under these specific conditions.</p> <h2>5. Re-Read the Listing Closely Before Complaining</h2> <p>In order to comply with Airbnb's narrow refund qualifications, it's a good idea to study the listing before contacting them to pinpoint any misrepresentation. It's not a bad idea to print the listing before you travel, in case you have trouble accessing the listing while on your trip. And don't forget to check the photos and captions, not just the main listing text.</p> <p>&quot;Some of the promises for the apartment were in the photo captions,&quot; Diane explained. &quot;So when I first wrote to the owner and Airbnb, everyone claimed there was no promise of a stocked kitchen, etc. I felt like I had imagined it. By the time I realized they were in the photo captions, it was really too late.&quot;</p> <p>It's important to plan your initial complaint carefully, because changing or adding to your complaint later could work against you. Remember, Airbnb staff is looking to protect owners from bad actors.</p> <h2>6. Document the Conditions</h2> <p>Airbnb requires proof in your refund claim, as in photos. Take a picture of that broken window, dirty bathroom, or the gaping hole where the kitchen stove should be, and send it along with your claim.</p> <h2>7. Check the Cancellation Policy</h2> <p>Even if Airbnb and the owner refuse to refund the first night of a stay, if the owner has chosen the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/home/cancellation_policies" target="_blank">&quot;flexible&quot; cancellation policy</a>, you can go on Airbnb and cancel the remainder of your stay for a refund. Of course, you'll need to check out at that point.</p> <p>With the &quot;moderate&quot; policy, you can get a 50% refund for unused nights. For the stricter policies, you can't get a refund for cancellation after checking in. For a long-term rental, the first month cannot be canceled.</p> <h2>8. Try Social Media</h2> <p>If you feel the host and Airbnb are not being helpful, or you've complained but didn't hear back, a nudge on Twitter or Facebook can get things moving.</p> <p>When Rose Maura Lorre and her family checked into an Airbnb that didn't live up to the listing photos, had treacherous stairways, a minor bug issue, and &quot;a bedroom that really wasn't,&quot; her husband first tried emailing customer service, but then, Lorre said, &quot;I took it to their Facebook page and got an immediate response.&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb found them a new place to stay by the next day, and refunded them for the first night.</p> <p>Diane got a quick response from Airbnb's Twitter team, although the team's proposed solution didn't work for her. They offered money to buy the missing items, but she didn't feel that she should have to spend her vacation time stocking someone else's kitchen.</p> <h2>9. If the 24-Hour Window Has Passed, Complain Anyway</h2> <p>Shapiro acknowledges that sometimes guests discover a problem mid-stay.</p> <p>&quot;This is where our customer service team has more responsibility to make a judgment call,&quot; Shapiro said. &quot;We have to ask questions like, 'Why was this not discovered until now?' 'Is this something that the guest somehow could be at fault for?'&quot;</p> <p>Airbnb didn't give Diane a refund, claiming that, although she had complained right away, she had raised the qualifying issues with the apartment too late. But other customers have had better luck. The blog Root of Good describes getting a <a href="http://rootofgood.com/bad-experience-airbnb/" target="_blank">full refund and an apology voucher</a> when he complained two days after checking into a filthy apartment.</p> <h2>10. Try the Owner Again</h2> <p>For Diane, more problems popped up throughout her stay, like a hairball lurking under the bedsheets. When she wrote to Airbnb again, they directed her to its <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/resolution_center" target="_blank">Resolution Center</a>, where you can request money back directly from the host with a click of a button. Asking doesn't necessarily mean getting, but you can try. Diane was able to convince the host to refund the days she didn't use his apartment.</p> <h2>11. Contact Your Credit Card Provider</h2> <p>As with any unsatisfactory customer experience, you can request that your credit card provider withhold payment. One Airbnb customer, who <a href="http://www.airbnbhell.com/tag/chargeback/" target="_blank">described on AirbnbHell</a> being locked out of a rental for hours, reported successfully getting a refund through this method.</p> <p>If your credit card offers travel insurance, you could also ask for a refund via that route. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>12. If Nothing Else Works, Try the Media</h2> <p>Columns such as Christopher Elliott's The Travel Troubleshooter are able to spur companies &mdash; <a href="http://elliott.org/the-troubleshooter/cant-get-refund-airbnb-rental/" target="_blank">including Airbnb</a> &mdash; to give refunds after initially refusing. Besides, it might feel good to vent about a frustrating experience to a columnist or on TV. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Do%20About%20a%20Terrible%20Airbnb%20Stay_0.jpg" alt="What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Travel and Money: Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-on-accommodations-online">8 Ways to Save on Accommodations Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">The Easy Way to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Room</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Travel accommodations AirBnb Airbnb stay hotels travel tips vacation vacation rentals Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:30:36 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1877411 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vacation_home_pool_509553708.jpg" alt="Finding vacation rental alternatives to airbnb" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Airbnb has quickly grown to be a giant in the world of short-term rentals since its inception in 2008. While it may be the most well known of Internet vacation rental options, it is far from being the only website you can use to rent on the road. The sharing economy has offered us nothing if not diversity in choice. If you're not finding the right rental option on Airbnb, there are alternative websites to consider.</p> <p>One thing for credit card rewards chasers to keep in mind, however, is that Airbnb is the most rewards-friendly platform because its <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-credit-card-issuers-classify-your-purchases-for-bonus-rewards">merchant category code (MCC)</a> is hotel. If you have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">general travel rewards card</a> that lets you redeem points as statement credits to pay for hotels, Airbnb should count. There are even opportunities to earn bonus points for Airbnb stays with cards that offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases?ref=internal">rewards on travel purchases</a>. In contrast, most other vacation rental services are coded as real estate.</p> <h2>1. HomeAway</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10784590-1463767048000">Home Away</a> is considered by many to be Airbnb's main competitor, with approximately 1.2 million listings in 190 countries. HomeAway is owned by Expedia and specializes in renting whole properties. It also has a reputation for slightly more upscale listings, so if that's what you prefer, it's a good place to start. Since its payment system is not streamlined, though, (it's up to the owner how they want to accept payments), be wary of owners requesting money to be deposited in advance into their accounts. If you pay for your rental through the HomeAway site, your payment is protected.</p> <h2>2. VRBO</h2> <p><a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10784831-1463767133000">VRBO</a> has existed for 20 years and it is owned by HomeAway. While the website interface is not particularly pretty, it is functional. Like HomeAway, VRBO lists many full-size vacation properties, which means that the prices tend to be higher than Airbnb. VRBO is marketed more toward families, but otherwise, the differences between HomeAway and VRBO are negligible.</p> <h2>3. FlipKey</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-11964279-1446056276000">FlipKey</a> is owned by TripAdvisor, another giant in the travel industry, and it includes rentals in 11,000 locations globally. All of the hosts are verified by FlipKey staff, unlike Airbnb, where a host's reputation is just based on user reviews. With 300,000 listings, FlipKey has fewer properties than Airbnb and other major sites. While that's not negligible, it's not the biggest selection of places you can find. Additionally, not all of the listings are available to book online. Sometimes you will have to call or email with the property manager or owner directly.</p> <h2>4. Roomorama</h2> <p><a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, another smaller site, emphasizes security. Roomorama has about 80,000 owner and professionally managed properties to rent, and like FlipKey, it verifies all its hosts to enhance safety for renters. Roomorama's payment system also helps deter scammers. You pay Roomorama when you book and then get a six-digit code, which you'll give the property owner once you've successfully checked in. Only then does the host get paid.</p> <h2>5. Tripping</h2> <p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/">Tripping</a> provides aggregate information about rentals that it gathers from many other sites, so it can be a convenient place to one-stop-shop for accommodations. If a property is listed on multiple websites, Tripping will automatically provide price comparisons, so you can get the best deal. The key word here is choice, as Tripping claims more than eight million properties in 150,000 destinations. In fact, Tripping is the largest search engine for rentals. As such, you can find places ranging from $10 to $10,000 a night. Tripping may be great for finding a place online, but you will then be redirected for the booking process to whichever other website has listed the rental property. For instance, after a quick search of properties in Berlin, the majority were in fact listed on the HomeAway website, so any booking would have to made through HomeAway.</p> <h2>6. MeshTrip</h2> <p>Like Tripping, <a href="http://meshtrip.com/">MeshTrip</a> is also an aggregator, but it claims to only list properties that are instantly bookable. That means you shouldn't have to wait for word from the property owner on whether the space is available on the dates you want to book (although our test of the site led us to an apartment with a message reading, &quot;Sorry, we've just checked with our partner and this place isn't available on those dates after all&quot;). The site is only a couple of years old, but still boasts 1.3 million properties in 190 countries.</p> <h2>7. 9flats</h2> <p><a href="https://www.9flats.com/">9flats</a> is a European property rental company with approximately 200,000 listings to choose from. Its website design is appealing and easy to use and it has a section for &quot;all star hosts&quot; who come with high recommendations from renters. The website does not charge booking fees. Compare that to other sites that add 3%&ndash;15% fees, and the savings can really add up. 9flats is relatively small so the listings and locations it offers are more limited.</p> <h2>8. PerfectPlaces</h2> <p><a href="http://www.perfectplaces.com/">PerfectPlaces</a> is similar to 9flats in that it's also relatively small. Unlike 9flats, its listings are more concentrated in the U.S. Some bookings can be made directly through its website while others require you to contact the property owner. As with 9flats, you will not be charged a booking fee, which can help you save.</p> <h2>9. Haven In</h2> <p>If you really want to splurge on a European trip, check out <a href="https://havenin.com/">Haven In</a>. It offers home rentals in Paris, Provence, London, and Tuscany, and it's a good luxury alternative to the options available on Airbnb. The apartment and villa listings are carefully curated for a boutique rental experience that is often more memorable than a hotel. You'll be met by a bilingual greeter when you arrive, and round-the-clock service is available if you need anything during your stay. You can expect personalized attention from a professional, as opposed to the hit-or-miss experience you may have with Airbnb. It's more pricey than other peer-to-peer services, and even many five-star hotels, with listings in Paris starting at around $250 a night during low season.</p> <h2>10. Apartments Actually</h2> <p><a href="http://apartmentsactually.com/properties/paris">Apartments Actually</a> is a similar service offering boutique rental accommodations in Paris and Provence. Its properties are centrally located and beautifully curated, so you don't have to hunt through hundreds of listings to find one that you like.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb.jpg&amp;description=10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Vacation%20Rental%20Alternatives%20to%20Airbnb.jpg" alt="10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations AirBnb booking sites rentals rewards short term rentals vacations Tue, 03 Jan 2017 10:30:24 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1865736 at http://www.wisebread.com Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore? http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_hammock_beach_000031567486.jpg" alt="Couple wondering if it makes sense to stay in a hotel" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying in a hotel isn't necessarily the cheapest option, especially when you're staying in a big city, like New York City. However, before you book that apartment on Airbnb, you should consider the various advantages of staying in a hotel.</p> <h2>Discounts Are Available</h2> <p>Airbnb is <a href="https://www.busbud.com/blog/airbnb-vs-hotel-rates/">not always the cheapest option</a>. Depending on where you stay, it may actually be more affordable to book a hotel. It can be very affordable to stay at a hotel using discounts, promo codes, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breakdown-of-benefits-and-value-of-the-best-hotel-rewards-programs-and-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">hotel loyalty programs</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">credit card reward programs</a>, and express deals on bidding sites. While you may be able to get a promo code for your very first day on Airbnb, there generally aren't any promo codes available for short-term rentals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources?ref=seealso">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a>)</p> <h2>You Can Complain</h2> <p>When you have a complaint at a hotel, all you have to do is call down to the lobby and let them know. If you want to take it one step further, you can ask to speak with a manager. This will usually result in discounts, upgrades, and just about whatever you ask for.</p> <p>When it comes to Airbnb, there is really nobody to complain to. If you are unhappy with your stay, you're stuck there anyways. At the end of your trip, if things don't go as planned, you may get a full or partial refund on your stay at a hotel. However, if you're booking a short-term rental, you likely won't get a discount.</p> <h2>You Only Have to Deal With Professionals</h2> <p>With Airbnb, you will likely have to deal with the hosts &mdash; before you book your trip and throughout your stay. Some hosts can be less than welcoming or accommodating. At a hotel, your interaction with hotel staff should be minimal, and they are expected to act in a professional, corporate manner.</p> <h2>You Can Enjoy Special Extras</h2> <p>You can expect a number of special extras when you stay at a hotel. These same extras aren't usually included in a short-term rental stay. Some of the most common extras you can often receive from a hotel include:</p> <ul> <li>Free soaps and shampoos (so you don't have to waste your own);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Endless clean towels and linen;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Special treatment on special occasions (let them know if it's your birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary so that they go the extra mile for your trip);<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Fitness room or spa;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Business center;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hotel bar or restaurant;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Continental breakfast or buffet.</li> </ul> <h2>Hotels May Be Cleaner</h2> <p>We've all heard the horror stories of black light findings and rumors of how filthy hotel rooms can be. However, have you considered how clean an Airbnb apartment may be? The owners aren't held to any standards, so you may be sleeping in a bed with dirty linen or using old towels.</p> <p>At a hotel, you can expect daily housekeeping, whereas with Airbnb, you're on your own to make the bed, empty the trash, and clean up after yourself. This can result in a tidy hotel versus an unkempt and unorganized Airbnb apartment.</p> <h2>Hotels May Be Safer</h2> <p>When it comes to a hotel, only the front desk and housekeeping should have a key to your room, so you can rest assured that no one should be coming in at night. On the other hand, with Airbnb, you have no idea how many people have the key to the apartment you're staying in, which may might you feel uneasy at night. Hotels also usually have security on the premises, security cameras, computerized door entry cards, and even room safes for enhanced security.</p> <h2>Hotels Are More Relaxing</h2> <p>Staying at a hotel feels more like a vacation from everyday life. It is a break from the normal daily grind. On the other hand, staying in someone's home on Airbnb may feel more like staying at home, with similar responsibilities.</p> <h2>Flexible Stays</h2> <p>You can book a hotel room for as little as one night, whereas with Airbnb, you usually have to book multiple nights. If you are expecting a late night arrival, a hotel is usually very flexible with the check-in time, whereas an Airbnb apartment usually has early check-in times that cannot be negotiated.</p> <h2>Local Assistance</h2> <p>Many avid travelers have made the case for Airbnb that staying in someone's home will allow you to find local favorites and get expert recommendations from your host. However, you can get the same experience from a hotel. Simply ask the concierge for recommendations, directions, and advice about the area. Staying in a downtown or metro area will also automatically put you in touch with some of the best things the area has to offer.</p> <h2>You Get What You Pay For</h2> <p>If you don't get what you see in the hotel's description, you can simply complain and they'll have to hold up to their end of the deal. On the other hand, Airbnb descriptions and photographs can be very misleading, so you don't always get what you're expecting.</p> <h2>Is Airbnb Still the Best Choice?</h2> <p>There are still a number of important reasons to consider short-term rentals. According to Priceonomics, compared to the average hotel room, you can <a href="http://priceonomics.com/hotels/">save up to 50%</a> by renting a private room on Airbnb, and up to 22% by renting an apartment on Airbnb. Those are substantial savings. You'll also have access to an entire apartment, including a kitchen and living area, as opposed to just a cramped hotel room. If you'll be staying in a popular area, like New York City, make sure to carefully weigh your options to determine if a hotel or Airbnb is right for you.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other reasons to stay in a hotel? Have you had experiences at a hotel or Airbnb you'd like to share? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg&amp;description=Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20It%20Make%20Sense%20to%20Stay%20in%20a%20Hotel%20Anymore-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-save-on-hotel-stays">9 Simple Ways to Save on Hotel Stays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-costly-flight-booking-mistakes-you-make-all-the-time">8 Costly Flight Booking Mistakes You Make All the Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accomodations AirBnb apartments hotels loyalty programs renting trips vacations Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1718095 at http://www.wisebread.com The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_moving_000048994080.jpg" alt="Couple deciding to use Airbnb to rent their space out" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Location, location, location.</p> <p>According to some experts, those are the only three things that matter for any property. If your first instinct is to list your rental property in the local newspaper, consider this: nine in 10 people in the market for a property today <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/Study-Digital-House-Hunt-2013-01_1.pdf">rely on the web</a> as one of their primary sources, and a full 52% of them turn to the Internet as their first step.</p> <p>So where on the web should be listing your rental? Here are 11 places to start.</p> <h2>1. Craigslist</h2> <p>With more than <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/factsheet">50 billion page views</a> per month, <a href="http://www.craigslist.org">Craigslist</a> is a great starting point for promoting your rental property. All apartment rental <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">postings on Craigslist</a> are free, except those for brokered apartment rentals in the New York City area (a $10 fee applies). To increase your chances of getting leads, you must include pictures. On Craigslist, you can upload up to 12 photos from your rental property and any user can leave out postings without pictures from their search queries.</p> <h2>2. Airbnb</h2> <p>Unlike Craigslist, on <a href="http://www.airbnb.com">Airbnb</a> you have a clearer picture of who you're dealing with. Most Airbnb users connect their accounts to their Facebook profiles so that they can filter searches by &quot;Social Connections&quot; and show listings that their friends have reviewed, or where they are mutual friends with a host.</p> <p>Of course, to leverage social connections on Airbnb, you first need to have reviews of your rental property. Most Airbnb Superhosts advise first-time users to research nearby properties and price your rental unit between 10% to 20% lower to increase your chances of landing those first bookings. Experienced Airbnb hosts suggest to not only list the good things about your rental, but also the bad things. Guests appreciate the honesty and, some of them may not mind those bad things at all!</p> <h2>3. HotPads</h2> <p>A free option to list your single-family home, townhouse, or individual apartment unit is <a href="http://www.hotpads.com">HotPads</a>. Based out of San Francisco, HotPads distributes your listing automatically to various partner sites to maximize your listing's exposure and get you more leads.</p> <p>If you have some money available to promote your listing, HotPads offers you the option to enhance it for as low as $1 per day. Your featured listing only appears to a user when it meets the category (e.g. buy vs. rent), geography, pricing range, and housing type specified in that user's query.</p> <h2>4. Trulia</h2> <p>Renting your apartment? There's an app for that. <a href="http://www.trulia.com">Trulia</a> lets you post your rental apartment using both iPhone and Android devices. Trulia is part of the same 20+ site syndication network as HotPads. However, two key things that set Trulia apart from HotPads are the first's active community and blog with useful articles.</p> <h2>5. Apartments.com</h2> <p>You probably have seen Apartments.com's hysterical TV ads featuring Jeff Goldblum in his <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zi8zwN57Ug">Brad Bellflower persona</a>. If you have several properties for rent, <a href="http://www.apartments.com">Apartments.com</a> provides detailed analytics for each of your listings. By seeing key performance indicators, such as number of impressions by day, number of appearances in search results, and number of clickthroughs in your listing, you can fine tune your listings and experiment to find out what works best.</p> <p>A nice feature of this site is that you can add a video to showcase your property and track the views by day of the video. By providing a video walk-through of your rental, you can entice more people to contact you.</p> <h2>6. ForRent.com</h2> <p>For those living in communities near universities or colleges, or in those attractive to retirees, <a href="http://www.forrent.com">ForRent.com</a> is a great option. This site has sections dedicated exclusively to off-campus housing and retirement living. ForRent.com charges $100&ndash;$150 per listing and additional fees for enhancements, such as additional photos and maps and directions.</p> <h2>7. Rent Jungle</h2> <p>Another pay-to-play option is <a href="http://www.rentjungle.com">Rent Jungle</a>, which boasts over 700,000 active listings of apartments and rental homes. Individuals posting 20 rental units or fewer pay $47 per month per listing and are able to include a three-photo gallery, unit information, floor plan, contact information, and list amenities and features.</p> <p>Like Apartments.com, Rent Jungle provides a dashboard to review traffic, manage leads, and tweak your listings.</p> <h2>8. PeopleWithPets.com</h2> <p>Talking about a jungle &mdash; it can be quite an adventure for pet owners to find good, pet-friendly apartments. If you think your apartment can offer outstanding accommodations to furry companions, then you could consider spending the $69 per month (with a minimum three-month commitment) to advertise your rental at <a href="http://www.peoplewithpets.com/advertise/">PeopleWithPets.com</a>.</p> <p>The fee may seem a bit high, but it may be due to two factors. First, we are talking about a niche market: <a href="http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp">65% of households own a pet</a> according to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey. Second, the site currently ranks quite well at the first page of Google results for &quot;pet friendly apartments.&quot;</p> <h2>9. DogVacay</h2> <p>Now, if you're more of a &quot;dog person&quot; than a &quot;people person,&quot; you may prefer to play hosts for pets without their owners. In that case, with <a href="http://dogvacay.com">DogVacay</a> you could rent your space for pet daycare or dog boarding.</p> <p>If your application is approved for dog boarding, then DogVacay pays you 85% of customer payments via PayPal one business day after boarding is complete. There is a $5 check fee if you prefer to receive a check via snail mail. The 15% cut from DogVacay is to cover a series of costs, including a comprehensive pet insurance with a $1 million commercial general liability coverage, a $1 million professional liability coverage, and a $25,000 veterinary coverage for guest dog ($250 deductible covered by guest).</p> <h2>10. JustPark and ParkingSpotter.com</h2> <p>Last but not least, you could cash in on your empty driveway, garage, or parking space by making them available for rent. <a href="http://www.justpark.com">JustPark</a> and <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com">ParkingSpotter.com</a> are two sites that let you offer your parking spot for rent on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.</p> <p>According to ParkingSpotter.com, the average monthly parking rate are <a href="http://www.parkingspotter.com/faq">$297.50 and $460</a> in Philadelphia and Boston, respectively. With such prices, it makes sense to try your luck making an extra buck with that empty driveway.</p> <p><em>Had a good or bad rental experience with any of these? Let us know below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-signing-a-lease">10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Lease</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing AirBnb apartments hotpads landlords pet friendl renting trulia Thu, 22 Oct 2015 11:15:22 +0000 Damian Davila 1593885 at http://www.wisebread.com Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_halloween_000075821055.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter carving pumpkins and making cash " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If there's ever a time of year that we could use a little extra padding in our pockets, it's the holidays. So try adopting a different approach this year by taking on a side hustle. All you have to do is get up, get out, and make a commitment to staying in the black with just a little creative thinking. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Offer Pet-Sitting Services</h2> <p>Dogs and cats can get pretty lonely when Mom and Dad are visiting family or on holiday vacation. To ensure their furry best friends are well cared for during this time of year, many pet parents opt for a sitter. Services like <a href="https://dogvacay.com/">DogVacay</a> and <a href="https://www.rover.com/">Rover</a> help regular people like you and me earn extra money by providing a safe, loving environment for pets to spend time while their parents are busy. I'm a dog sitter on DogVacay myself, and I can tell you firsthand that it's a decent way to put a few bucks in your bank account. It's also a lot of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-it-costs-to-own-a-dog">fun to have a dog</a> (I'm not a cat person) liven up your home.</p> <p>Once vetted by the service, you can set your sitting fee and have fun for the weekend, or even the week, with a loving pet. Both DogVacay and Rover also offer insurance, 24-hour support, and other services that make pet sitting easy and fun.</p> <h2>2. Open Up Your Home to Travelers</h2> <p>If you have extra space in your home &mdash; a guest bedroom, or even pull-out couch &mdash; you can &quot;micro-sublet&quot; (fancy word for a short-term rental) your digs on sites like <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> and <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>. I've been a micro-subletter for the better part of a decade now, and I can honestly say it has enriched my life. Not only by providing an additional source of income, but because of all the people I've hosted over the years with whom I've interacted and often befriended.</p> <p>Micro-subletting will only be successful if you're a people person &mdash; nobody wants to stay in the home of a Scrooge &mdash; but if you can make it work, you could potentially pay for all your holiday expenses and then some. No joke.</p> <h2>3. Host a Real or Virtual Garage Sale</h2> <p>I'm hosting a yard sale this month to get rid of too much accumulated junk in my basement and to pull in, ideally, a couple hundred bucks. Of course, there's not much time left to host an outdoor sale, but wouldn't you know that the Internet has solved that problem.</p> <p><a href="http://www.varagesale.com">VarageSale</a>, founded by a wife-and-husband team, is a social, local, and mobile online marketplace for families who want to sell their unwanted items to people in their neighborhoods. Once approved for a community, members can sell (and buy) everything from children's clothing to cars at a fraction of the retail price. As an added bonus, members can meet and develop closer ties with their neighbors &mdash; if that's your thing.</p> <h2>4. Clean Out Your Closets for Cash</h2> <p>Why not turn your closet clutter into some extra holiday cash? <a href="https://www.tradesy.com/">Tradesy</a> lets users safely, securely, and easily sell or rent their clothing, shoes, handbags, wedding dresses, and more. They handle the transaction from the time a photo of the product is uploaded to its delivery to the purchaser's door.</p> <p>Parents can also get in on the clothing resale action with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.totspot.me/">Totspot</a>, a parent-to-parent mobile marketplace that allows moms and dads to buy and sell gently used (or brand new) children's clothing and accessories. TotSpot boasts more than 150,000 active users today, and users often buy and sell just in time for the holidays.</p> <h2>5. Sales Referral Programs</h2> <p>If you have a robust social media following or a website that gets a lot of traffic, you may be able to take advantage of sales referral programs. If a customer buys an item as a result of your advertising, you get a cut. You can find these opportunities from large companies, like <a href="https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/">Amazon</a>, and even some mom-and-pop merchants.</p> <h2>6. Social Media Influencer Programs</h2> <p>The number of sites that will pay social media users for promotion of products is increasing, and you don't have to be a Twitter or Instagram superstar to participate.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.getswayd.com">Swayd</a>, which connects micro-influencers (defined as anyone with a couple hundred followers) with brands, is creating a marketplace for these people to connect.</p> <p>Instead of paying Kim Kardashian $100,000 for an Instagram or retweet, Swayd is paying 100,000 micro-influencers a dollar apiece to tweet. It's working with brands big and small, and if a campaign matches a profile, the influencer can see it and choose to accept the offer to post to their social media. Swayd will allow the market to define what a social media post is worth and allow influencers to show that even though their numbers are small, their engagement is strong.</p> <h2>7. Sell Unused Gift Cards and Merchandise Credit</h2> <p>If you've received gift cards for which you don't have much use (hey, it happens), or you've got merchandise credit to a store you don't particularly like, sell it to&nbsp;<a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=368971.3&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Raise</a> for cold, hard cash.</p> <p>Raise is an online marketplace that sells unwanted gift cards or store credits for real money. On the platform, consumers can choose their selling price and once the gift card sells, they have the option to be paid by check, PayPal, or direct deposit. Easy as that.</p> <h2>8. Become Part of Your Local Holiday Event Activities</h2> <p>Everybody thinks of being a mall Santa or one of his festive helpers, but there are lots of other opportunities to become part of your local holiday event activities, especially for Halloween. <em>Someone's </em>got to be the monsters in the haunted houses!</p> <h2>9. Entertain Kids With Scary Stories at Halloween Parties</h2> <p>Just like a magician or clown entertains at kids' parties, you too can read scary stories in costume to add a spook factor to local Halloween bashes.</p> <p>&quot;Dress up like a scary character and read books to kids,&quot; suggests<a href="http://www.sharronsenter.com/products/attract-customers-to-your-business"> marketing consultant</a> Sharron Senter. Your ideal target audience is parents hosting Halloween parties. You could easily get the word out by [putting flyers in] mailboxes and posting to online community portals. You could also pitch your entertaining services to small independent retailers who have a customer following.&quot;</p> <p>Taking this one step further, perhaps you could even become a regular reader at your local bookstore. Never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>10. Run Errands for Busy Holiday Shoppers</h2> <p>Some lucky ducks have assistants to do all the things they can't accomplish in a day, but what about the rest of the world? They often need help, too, and there's a possibility that folks in your area are seeking someone to run errands &mdash; like shop for meals, buy gifts, or other tasks. Post your errand-running service on Craigslist, <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/">Task Rabbit</a>, or mention it to your <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">NextDoor</a> community to get started.</p> <h2>11. Provide Gift-Wrapping Services</h2> <p>For many folks, gift-wrapping is the bane of their existence. You know who they are in your family because your presents look like they were kicked all the way from one house to the other. Likewise, there are plenty of people out there looking for someone with the handy, crafty skills of Martha Stewart to turn their gifts from drab to fab &mdash; and they're willing to pay for it, too.</p> <h2>12. Help Decorate Area Homes for the Holidays</h2> <p>I'm completely able-bodied, but after it took me 11 hours to decorate the exterior of my home last Christmas in the freezing cold, I'm not altogether opposed to finding someone on Craigslist who's willing to assist me for at least part of the day. If I'm looking, others are looking, too.</p> <h2>13. Start a Small Fall/Winter Yard Work Business</h2> <p>When I was a kid, I made a good amount of holiday (and post-holiday) spending cash by shoveling snow from my neighbors' walkways and driveways. The best part about this prospect is that you can totally start your own fall and winter yard work business (which can also include raking leaves and other tasks) the old-fashioned way &mdash; by walking door-to-door. The easiest way to capitalize on this tactic is to wait until a weather event, like a snowstorm, to make your move. Some of your neighbors would much rather pay someone to do that grunt work for them, and that's money in the bank for you.</p> <h2>14. Carve Pumpkins</h2> <p>Fancy yourself an artist? Offer to carve pumpkins in your area for those who like to get in the holiday spirit, but don't want to get their hands dirty.</p> <h2>15. Sell Baked Good and Cooking Services</h2> <p>If you know your way around the kitchen, and your baked goods taste like they could be in a professional bakery, there's a market for your skills. To build your business, start with the people you know &mdash; friends and family. Let them know that you're taking orders for holiday events, and that you'd love to supply the cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries. Also, if you're a decent cook, you can offer your services to cater a small party or prepare a holiday meal for a small group of people. There are a fair amount of overwhelmed hosts out there who'd be happy to pay your fee to free up their time and ultimately stress less.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to make cash from the holidays? Let me know some of your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping">8 Ways to Earn Extra Income While Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income AirBnb Christmas decorating Halloween Holidays making money selling Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:15:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 1597145 at http://www.wisebread.com Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-renting-home-178110017-small.jpg" alt="man renting home" title="man renting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As an early adopter of the micro-subletting culture &mdash; the founders of Airbnb invited me to join the service as it was just starting up back in 2008 &mdash; I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in successfully turning a home into a rental property. Six years in, I've not only made one home a major profit center by sharing my rooms with travelers, but now two &mdash; the latter of which is a direct result of the success of the first. My husband and I were able to purchase a second property with the income we've earned from renting our primary residence.</p> <p>Based on my own experience, here are nine essential line items you should check off if you plan to make a go of the incredible money-making and life-enhancing opportunity of turning your home into a rental property.</p> <h2>1. Research Your Market</h2> <p>My primary residence is in Manhattan, and the never-ending influx of tourists is what gave me the idea to market my guest bedroom as a hotel alternative many years ago. I didn't have to do much research to realize that there was a built-in business in my area for what I wanted to do, but as you can imagine that doesn't apply to all areas.</p> <p>Most areas, in fact, don't have the attractiveness to tourists that New York City does. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't become a homegrown entrepreneur in the comfort of your own living room. Because of the popularity of Airbnb, Roomorama, HomeAway, and other short-term rental sites, an increasing number of rooms are now available to budget travelers nearly everywhere. Thus, your first step in turning your home into a rental property is digging into these sites to see who in your area is listing their property, how full their calendars are with bookings, and to generally peruse their listings to see how they're managing their own burgeoning businesses. You'll get a good sense of what you can expect in terms of traffic to your listing and potential bookings.</p> <p>On another note, if there are currently no listings in your area, don't get discouraged. That could mean that you're getting in on the ground level of an untapped market &mdash; and you'll never know its potential if you don't test the waters.</p> <h2>2. Talk to Friends/Neighbors Who Are Renting Their Property</h2> <p>I didn't have any idea what I was doing when I first started renting my property &mdash; this was a brand new venture for me &mdash; so my first year or so was completely trial and error. You have an advantage, however, because micro-subletting has and continues to increase in popularity, so you're bound to know at least one person who's tried their hand at it. You don't have to stick to micro-subletters though; reach out to anyone who's in the rental-income game and ask to pick their brain about the ins and outs, highs and lows of their business. You'll gain valuable knowledge that can positively influence your own new endeavor, and you may even be able to avoid some roadblocks along the way by learning from their mistakes.</p> <h2>3. Transform Your Property Into a Visually Stunning Destination</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors in a potential guest's decision on whether to stay at your property will be how it looks. It's a decision-making process as old as time &mdash; we pick out food, cars, and romantic partners based on their physical attractiveness &mdash; so it only makes sense that that theory applies to where people want to lie their heads at night. Especially in a stranger's home. Considering this superficial factor then, it's important that your rental listing images stand out from the crowd. Photos should show a space that is inviting, comfortable, and clean &mdash; all critical components to ensuring that your room or home is near the top of the list when potential guests are choosing where to stay.</p> <p>If you use Airbnb, consider using its free photography to enhance your listing, which, I can tell you from experience, will truly take yours to the next level &mdash; considering that your home is already someplace that looks visitor-friendly, of course.</p> <h2>4. Eliminate the Clutter</h2> <p>If your home isn't immediately traveler-friendly, that's okay; you can change that. The first plan of attack in this instance is to do a deep clean (which, by the way, is beneficial in more ways than just preparing it to be a rental property &mdash; there's money to be made in selling your clutter!) to get rid of anything that's unnecessary, safely store away items of sentiment or extreme value, and otherwise organize your belongings in an aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive fashion. Having a well-kept and well-organized home will be easier on you when it comes time to clean between tenants, and the results will show in photos and the reviews your guests will leave you.</p> <h2>5. Load Up on Value-Centric Amenities</h2> <p>Another critical part of making your listing a major contender among potential guests' choices is the amenities you offer. It's all wrapped into the per-night fee that I'm charging, of course, but to them it looks like they're getting something extra for free &mdash; and often that means that they're choosing my place over someone else's. While I don't recommend that you run your business like a hotel &mdash; a more personal touch is always required in this person-to-person rental situation &mdash; I do suggest that you take your cue on what you're offering guests as a value proposition from hotels. In my guest bedrooms, I include fresh linens and towels, high-def flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers, and I provide the guests will free cereal, fruit, coffee, and tea. These are little things that go a long way in a guest's decision on where to stay, especially if they're budget minded.</p> <h2>6. Explore New Options to Market Your Property Online</h2> <p>I've already alluded to this aspect of successfully turning your home into a rental property, but in case you've missed it, listing your property online is the best way to drive a lot of traffic to your property. <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a>, <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, and <a href="http://www.homeaway.com/">HomeAway</a> are the major players in this game, but there are other sites on which you can list to really corner the market.</p> <p>If you want to go all out, look into similar sites like <a href="http://www.vrbo.com/">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.misterbnb.com/">Misterbnb</a>, <a href="http://www.furnishedquarters.com/">Furnished Quarters</a>, and <a href="http://www.sublet.com/">Sublet.com</a>.</p> <p>For the most part, your listings will market themselves on these sites, but you need to stay on top of your inquiries, keep your listings up to date, and promote them on social media and offline to maximize their efficacy.</p> <h2>7. Undercut the Competition</h2> <p>I didn't go to business school, but I've learned a thing or two about good business by being an accidental entrepreneur: If you want to make money, you have to offer the best product at the most reasonable price. That business model has never failed. That's how I've run my rental-property business since the beginning, and that's one of the main reasons why I'm booked nearly 365 days a year. My strategy is to research the comparable listings in my area on the sites on which I'm listed and set my price for my more attractive listing below their nightly fee. As a result, my calendar is consistently full while theirs has gaping holes.</p> <p>I wonder if that qualifies for an honorary business degree? I should call my alma mater.</p> <h2>8. Streamline Your Organization</h2> <p>When your bookings start to pile up, it's easy to get overwhelmed &mdash; which is why you need to set up organizational procedures to ensure that your business is streamlined and runs efficiently. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is number one on this checklist &mdash; you don't want to overbook guests who will have no place to go if you can't accommodate them because of your error. Organizing your cleaning protocol so you can breeze through the house and prepare for new guests quickly is a close second to an organized calendar. You should not be lax about either one of these organizational aspects for many reasons, the most important of which is that you owe it to your <em>paying</em> guests to be professional and prepared at all times.</p> <h2>9. Stay Up-to-Date With Rental Trends</h2> <p>In order for any business to succeed for the long term, it must evolve and keep up with industry and social trends &mdash; and your small rental-property business is no different. Because micro-subletting is a relatively new concept, local laws are changing rapidly to ensure that taxes are being paid and safety measures are put in place. Cities like San Francisco have made micro-subletting legal while New York City is still entrenched in litigation to determine how best to manage the growing trend. Newsletters and other correspondences from the services on which you list are great resources as is talking to your fellow rental-property entrepreneurs about their experiences. I also can personally recommend the <a href="http://www.internationalrealestatelistings.com/podcast/">Overseas Property Insider Podcast</a> from my buddy Taylor White, which offers insider information into the vacation rental industry on a regular basis.</p> <p><em>Do you have a rental income property? Do you have tips to share with us on how others can turn their homes into profit centers? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing AirBnb microsubletting rental income sublet Wed, 26 Nov 2014 19:00:08 +0000 Mikey Rox 1260447 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-179281525.jpg" alt="hammock" title="hammock" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation rentals are a big part of the sharing economy &mdash; the idea that sharing things could financially benefit all involved. For example, travelers have been taking advantage of free accommodation by swapping their homes with each other through <a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/">HomeExchange</a> for decades. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/home-exchanges-free-accommodations-with-perks?ref=seealso">Home Exchanges: Free Accommodations With Perks</a>)</p> <p>When you rent a vacation rental, you're dealing with a private property owner instead of hospitality professionals. On one hand, this could mean that the customer service standards won't be up to the level you usually enjoy at hotels. On the other hand, vacation rental owners can be warmer and more accommodating. And the prices are often lower than hotels, too.</p> <p>The quality of vacation rentals can vary wildly because there are no professional standards that apply to these properties. But if you're careful, you can improve your chances of having a safe and enjoyable stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>When You Should Start Looking</h2> <p>You might be able to score a last-minute deal when you book a hotel room. But with a vacation rental, you should start looking as early as possible. If you only have one week before the trip, you might be better off booking a hotel room instead.</p> <p>Running the vacation rental is usually not the host's main job, so it could take a while for a host to reply to your message and confirm your booking. Allow at least two weeks to sort things out with your host.</p> <h2>Where to Find Vacation Rentals</h2> <p>By far, the most popular vacation rental site is Airbnb. As the pioneer in the peer-to-peer accommodation rental industry, Airbnb has a big pool of relatively active hosts and a high number of listings, so you're more likely to get a confirmed booking through this website.</p> <p>Over the years, other vacation rental websites have appeared. They may be worth a try if you can't find the right accommodation on Airbnb.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10545784">HomeAway</a>, for example, markets itself as &quot;the UK's number 1 website for holiday cottages, villas and apartments.&quot; Other vacation rental websites include <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10790643">VRBO</a>, <a href="http://www.wimdu.com/">Wimdu</a>, and <a href="http://www.onefinestay.com/">One Fine Stay</a>.</p> <p>To save time, you can use a vacation rental search engine called <a href="http://www.tripping.com/">Tripping</a>. Tripping searches multiple vacation rental sites at once, although Airbnb is not included in its database.</p> <h2>How to Do a Property Search</h2> <p>When you perform a search on a vacation rental website, you usually have to enter the location, the dates of your stay, and the number of guests.</p> <p>Once the website presents you with the results, you can narrow down your choices by price, location, and whether you want a room or an entire property. Vacation rentals can be spare rooms, apartments, houses, or more unusual dwellings like treehouses and boathouses.</p> <p>For longer stays, the website may automatically show you lower weekly or monthly rates.</p> <h2>What to Look for in Listings</h2> <p>A listing usually has photos, a text description, and reviews from previous guests. If you carefully look at all the information on the listing, you can reasonably judge which properties are suitable for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-tips-on-how-to-manage-a-short-term-rental-business-and-succeed?ref=seealso">How to Manage a Short-Term Rental Business</a>)</p> <p>Pay close attention to several parts of the listing.</p> <h3>Amenities</h3> <p>Come up with a list of all the amenities you need. With a hotel stay, you can safely assume that you'll get certain things, such as laundry facilities or a coffee maker. There is no such guarantee with a vacation rental.</p> <p>When you look at a listing, compare it to your list of amenities. Just because the listing doesn't mention something doesn't mean the host won't provide it. Note which amenities are missing from the listing description and remember to ask the host about these items when you send him a message.</p> <h3>Reviews</h3> <p>After a few stays at vacation rentals, I'm now willing to pay more for a vacation rental that has a high number of positive reviews. The guests who leave reviews vouch for the property's safety and quality, so you're less likely to come across unwanted surprises.</p> <p>Read the wording of the reviews closely. The reviews are often on the generous side because the guests may worry about getting bad feedback from the hosts in return. A remark that &quot;the place needs some dusting,&quot; for example, could actually mean that it's really dirty.</p> <h3>The Host's Profile</h3> <p>Depending on which vacation rental website you use, each host may have a profile you can check out. The profile displays the reviews the host has gotten from all of his listings. On Airbnb, you can also look at whether the property owner has submitted an ID and social media accounts for verification.</p> <h3>Fees</h3> <p>Pay attention to the fees displayed in each listing. Every listing has an Airbnb service fee, which is what Airbnb charges for using its reservation system.</p> <p>On top of that, the host may charge a security deposit, an additional guest fee, and a cleaning fee. The security deposit covers any damage that may occur during your stay and will be returned to you if everything goes smoothly. You may have to pay an additional guest fee if you have more than a certain number of people in your party. There may also be a cleaning fee to freshen up the space before and after your stay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-hidden-travel-fees-youve-probably-paid-but-shouldnt-have?ref=seealso">37 Hidden Travel Fees</a>)</p> <h2>How to Confirm a Booking</h2> <p>Before you have a confirmed booking, don't fall in love with any of the listings on vacation rental sites. Sometimes the availability on the website is wrong or the host just never responds to your message, so keep your options open.</p> <p>Send a message to a few hosts whose listings you like. In the message, tell the host a little bit about yourself and your travel companions. State the dates of your stay so the host can check her schedule and confirm whether the property is available. Don't forget to ask her about the amenities you want that are not mentioned in the listing.</p> <p>If you want to negotiate the pricing, do so in the message. Aside from the Airbnb fee, the host can change all prices and fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-negotiate-with-confidence-and-strike-the-best-deal?ref=seealso">How to Negotiate and Get the Best Deal</a>)</p> <p>Once the host has confirmed that the place is available, you can make a booking. Don't wait for a reply from every single host to make a decision; some hosts may never respond to your message.</p> <p>When you make a booking, the vacation rental website charges your credit card and retains the money until 24 hours after you check in. This system allows you to claim a refund from the website if you see a problem at check-in time.</p> <p><em>What are your best tips in scoring the best vacation rentals?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%20to%20Find%20and%20Book%20the%20Best%20Vacation%20Rentals.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Find%20and%20Book%20the%20Best%20Vacation%20Rentals" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Find%20and%20Book%20the%20Best%20Vacation%20Rentals.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel AirBnb micro-subletting vacation rentals Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:48:22 +0000 Deia B 1134467 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/travel-86518050.jpg" alt="travelers" title="travelers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Almost immediately after moving to New York City I had the brilliant idea to rent out our guest bedroom to tourists. My now-husband and I had a two-bedroom apartment, and we decided on getting the extra space so we could accommodate out-of-town friends and family that we were sure would visit all the time &mdash; except they didn't, and that empty room quickly turned into something that we were paying for but didn't necessarily need. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growin-home-how-much-house-do-you-really-need?ref=seealso">How Much House Do You Really Need?</a>)</p> <p>Until the light bulb went off, that is. I knew there had to be a market out there for people like me who enjoyed spending their travel dollars on fun things like eating out and exciting activities instead of wrapping all that cash up in expensive hotels. I was right. As soon as I listed our apartment on Craigslist, I started to receive inquiries that quickly turned into bookings. This was all pre-Airbnb and other micro-subletting (the fancy word for short-term rental) sites. (By the way, I don't recommend using Craigslist for micro-subletting nowadays.) Nonetheless, we started pulling in a good amount of money from the get-go, and it only increased when we started listing on the micro-subletting sites once they were introduced.</p> <p>I won't divulge exactly how much money we've made doing this, but I will tell you that as a direct result we now own a condo in Manhattan and a shore house in New Jersey. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-earn-extra-cash-when-money-is-tight?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Earn Extra Cash</a>)</p> <p>You can find success in micro-subletting, too. Granted, it's much easier to fill our space in New York City than other places, but you might be surprised at the number of inquiries you might receive where you live.</p> <p>If you haven't thought about micro-subletting before, start. If you've been hesitant to try it, take a chance. This is a very easy and honest way to supplement your income and perhaps even save more money than you thought possible &mdash; and it's using what you already have.</p> <p>We've been renting out our home for nearly six years now; I'm considered a &quot;Super Host&quot; on the <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> website. We've hosted hundreds of people from all over the world, and we have more than 150 positive reviews about our accommodations and hosting style. Thus, I consider myself an expert in this field, and I'm happy to divulge my tips, tricks, and advice so you can be successful at micro-subletting, too. Take a look.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-yellow-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>1. Make Your Listing Stand Out From the Crowd</h2> <p>The number one reason that people choose to stay with us over other hosts &mdash; in my opinion, at least &mdash; is the description we've provided of ourselves and the accommodations in<a href="https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5135"> our listing</a>. I know this because many times the potential guest reaching out for the first time specifically mentions something positive about the description. There's a reason for that. I took the time to write a description that was charismatic, conversational, humorous, and detailed. I wanted to capture the strangers' attention enough so they'd want to be our friends in just a few paragraphs. Whereas other listings are straightforward and to the point (and, frankly, boring), ours draws the potential guest in and makes them feel at home and comfortable instantly &mdash; and that's exactly what you want if you're choosing to stay in the home of someone you've never met before.</p> <h2>2. Increase Your Success With Lots of Amenities</h2> <p>Another reason we receive more bookings than a lot of listings in our area is because we offer great amenities. In the private guest bedroom, there's a mini fridge, flat screen TV with HD cable, DVD player, iron and ironing board, and lots of books and maps of the city. Our guests also have full use of our home while they're here, whether it's cooking their meals, hopping on the computer to print tickets or vouchers, playing our video game system or board games, washing and drying clothes, or borrowing a book or DVD. And it's all included in their stay. Also included is free coffee, tea, and cereal. Our guests get a lot of bang for their buck, and these amenities are our way of giving that extra value that other listings are not.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-bathroom-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>3. Respond to Inquiries Quickly and Politely</h2> <p>I respond to my inquiries within minutes usually &mdash; thanks to the micro-subletting services' mobile apps &mdash; and I never let them go for more than a few hours. Not responding promptly to inquiries gives the potential guest time to browse other listings, and I don't want that. I want to be the first and the best so the choice is easy for them. My response time is largely what keeps us booked consistently throughout the year.</p> <p>The way you respond also plays a part in potential guest's decision on where to stay. Be polite and charming, and you've won them over. Be curt and short, and you'll lose them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Communicate Better</a>)</p> <h2>4. Vet Your Potential Guests Thoroughly</h2> <p>The way a guest reaches out to me initially impacts whether or not I'll accept their reservation request. I consider myself a very good judge of character &mdash; even online &mdash; so if they don't offer up details about themselves, where they're coming from, and what the purpose of their visit is, I'll inquire. If they continue to be standoffish, it's probably a good sign that I don't want this guest in my home.</p> <p>However, going back to my listing, it's written in a way that invites the potential guests to provide information and details about themselves, so I rarely have to dig for more. Also, Airbnb in particular has verifications for members, including Facebook, Twitter, phone numbers, and more. If the potential guest isn't verified on social media, I generally won't accept the request.</p> <h2>5. Never Accept Locals Under Any Circumstance</h2> <p>I can't stress this point enough. The only guests you should accept are travelers from out of town. Why? Because locals who want to stay with you often come with baggage &mdash; and not just the kind they're carrying in their hands. They've broken up with their significant other; they were evicted; or they're planning something far more nefarious, like making copies of your keys during their stay, then robbing you blind while you're not home a few weeks later. Trust me, it happens.</p> <p>Locals also may be difficult to get out, problems that arise could annoy your neighbors, and you're putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation with someone nearby who now knows where you live. Feeling unsafe in your own home is not a feeling you want, especially when you could have avoided it. Do not accept locals under any circumstance.</p> <h2>6. Keep Your Calendar Up to Date Online and Offline</h2> <p>A big part of this business &mdash; and I do consider it a business &mdash; is maintaining the reservation calendar online and offline. The micro-subletting sites keep track of your reserved dates for you in an easy-to-access manner, but I also put all reservations on the calendar on my phone, so I can see what's happening at a glance and what I need to do to prepare in advance.</p> <p>Failing to keep you calendar organized <em>will</em> result in double bookings eventually, especially if you're using multiple micro-subletting sites. That would be a nightmare for you, and it's not pleasant for the guest either. Can you imagine being told you have nowhere to stay when you arrive at your vacation destination because the host couldn't keep track? You'd be very upset, and your potential guests will, too.</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-laundry-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>7. Provide Exactly What Is Offered in Your Listing</h2> <p>If you're listing certain amenities that appeal to potential guests, it's imperative that you provide them during their stay. These included items and services are likely part of the reason why they choose you over many other available listings, and it's your duty to be the best host you can be. The downside to not offering what you're advertising in your listing is that the guests may leave you a poor review, and that could turn future guests away when they browse the reviews on your profile.</p> <h2>8. Research Comparable Listings in Your Area</h2> <p>When setting the nightly fee for your listing, research other properties in your area. I live in Manhattan, so I did a search for properties within a 10-block radius in all directions, found the listings that closely resembled my own, and made an informed decision on what fee to set the listing &mdash; which is directly related to my next point.</p> <h2>9. Undercut the Competition to Increase Bookings</h2> <p>As I've detailed, the engaging description on my listing along with the amenities offered, the photos, and the reviews, play a large part in a potential guest's decision to stay in my home. Just as large a part, however, is the nightly fee they're paying for what they're getting.</p> <p>They want a great place to stay, and they want to save while they're at it.</p> <p>From day one, I've been very savvy about the nightly fee: I simply undercut the competition so I can appeal to more people. Oldest trick in the book, sure, but it amazes me how many people in my area are asking for nightly fees that exceed what they're offering, and their calendars are perpetually empty as a result. Because of our marketing savvy, we're booked most nights from the beginning of April to the end of the year. The winter is a bit slow for business, so as a further tactic during these months I generally lower the nightly fee about 10%, making my listing even more appealing. I'm also more open to longer-term stays in the first three months of the year than I would be the rest of the year. The big money comes in turning over guests every three to five days. More work, of course, but more money, too.</p> <h2>10. Provide an Experience Your Guests Will Remember &mdash; and Refer</h2> <p>If you've decided to be a host, it's your responsibility to provide your <em>paying</em> guests with topnotch hospitality. They won't expect you to make them meals (unless you're offering that in your listing; some hosts do), but they will expect the house and especially their bedroom to be clean, for you to provide local intel, and to just generally be nice and approachable. After all, nobody wants to stay in a strange place in which they feel uncomfortable. Commit yourself to consistently great hospitality, and you'll receive the positive reviews you need to procure more and more bookings &mdash; and you also may be referred by that guest to their own friends and family. Past guests have referred our listing many times, and we view that as a testament to the service and accommodations we've provided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-houseguests-how-to-be-the-host-with-the-most?ref=seealso">How to Be the Host With the Most</a>)</p> <p><img width="605" height="303" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/rox-sublet-living-ggnoads.jpg" /></p> <h2>11. Ask Your Guests for Constructive Criticism on How You Can Be a Better Host</h2> <p>I'm always trying to improve what we're offering to guests so often I'll ask for feedback on certain things. Was the bed comfortable enough? Are more pillows needed? Did you enjoy the coffee? This not only shows that you genuinely care about the guests that you're hosting, but it will help you improve your hospitality skills. This also is a good way to let the guests tell you what was wrong in person &mdash; if anything &mdash; which may prevent them from leaving a poor review on your listing after the fact. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-and-give-honest-feedback?ref=seealso">How to Get and Give Honest Feedback</a>)</p> <h2>12. Prepare for Taxes, Because You Have to Pay Them</h2> <p>Now for the bad news. You have to pay taxes on every dollar you make from micro-subletting. All of the micro-subletting sites with which you're listed and making money will send you 1099s at the beginning of the year. This is an important detail to remember because it's very easy to spend that additional income without considering the tax repercussions. You definitely don't want to find yourself in a situation where you owe $8K and you don't have the money in the bank. My suggestion to handle this situation wisely is to put 50% of every booking in your savings account (or more if you'd like), and spend a small portion smartly. By saving and spending our micro-subletting income smartly, we were able to turn one home into two, which means that now we have the means to double the income we were making before. Not a bad deal at all &mdash; and you can do it, too.</p> <p><em>Have questions or advice to add about micro-subletting? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-plan-for-saving-up-a-2000-fun-fund">A Simple Plan for Saving Up a $2000 Fun Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income General Tips AirBnb micro-subletting vacation rentals Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:36:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1134182 at http://www.wisebread.com When Should You Get a Vacation Rental Instead of a Hotel? http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/luggage-167232528.jpg" alt="woman with luggage" title="woman with luggage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Vacation rentals &mdash; that is, rooms, apartments, and houses that can be rented in lieu of hotels&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 1.5;">&mdash;&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">started out as a little secret that only hardcore travelers shared. But since Airbnb's inception in 2007, the use of vacation rentals has grown a lot and become quite mainstream. In 2013 alone, travelers booked </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/12/19/airbnb-10m/">6 million stays on Airbn</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">b. Other vacation rental companies have appeared in the past few years, although they're not nearly as popular as Airbnb. (See also: </span><a style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental?ref=seealso">Marketing Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a><span style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.7em;">)</span></p> <p>No doubt some of Airbnb's success is due to its clever marketing campaigns. During the 2014 Winter Olympics, Airbnb used Twitter to reach out to high-profile <a href="http://mashable.com/2014/02/07/airbnb-sochi-problems/">journalists who complained about their hotels</a>. During the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, Airbnb again used Twitter <a href="http://digiday.com/brands/dstilleryes-airbnb-sxsw/">to reward festival-goers with gifts</a> like Whole Foods gift cards and Airbnb credit.</p> <p>For me, the notion of sharing a space with a local individual is appealing. It's definitely a different experience compared to the usual dealings with nameless, faceless hotel chains.</p> <p>But even I will admit that vacation rentals are not for everyone. While staying at a vacation rental has its advantages, it also involves a lot more work than a hotel stay.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Pros</h2> <p>Before we look at the cons, however, let's look at several reasons why vacation rentals are so popular.</p> <h3>Variety</h3> <p>AirBnB has everything from spare rooms in downtown Montreal to sprawling villas with private swimming pools in Bali. There are even castles, boathouses, and treehouses. No matter what your budget is, there is a vacation rental for you.</p> <h3>Nightly Rates</h3> <p>Speaking of budget, the rates of vacation rentals are often dramatically lower than hotel rates. These rates vary depending on the location and the type of accommodation you rent, though, so do check hotel rates as well before you book.</p> <h3>Long-Term Stays</h3> <p>If your stay will be longer than just a couple of nights, you could enjoy even cheaper accommodation. Some hosts have competitive weekly and monthly rates that could help lower the cost of your long trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-landing-the-perfect-house-sitting-gig?ref=seealso">How to Land the Perfect House-Sitting Gig</a>)</p> <h3>Use of a Kitchen</h3> <p>Unlike hotels, many vacation rentals have kitchens, which should save you some money if you don't mind cooking during your trip. I once rented a spare room in a house where the kitchen even had a free-for-all shelf full of unopened cans of tomato sauce, pancake mix, bananas, and other random foodstuff left behind by previous guests.</p> <h3>Local Experience</h3> <p>When you stay at a vacation rental, you live in a local home and have local neighbors. It's a different experience from staying at a hotel, where you're always aware that you're just a visitor. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-a-local-how-to-tap-into-the-local-scene-while-traveling?ref=seealso">How to Live Like a Local While Traveling</a>)</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>The best vacation rental hosts are friendly, generous, and knowledgeable. They give you valuable local advice that often enriches the itinerary, ask you to come along on their weekend outings, and even offer to cook you dinner. When you're alone in a strange city, great hosts can make you feel like you belong there.</p> <h2>Vacation Rental Cons</h2> <p>Before you book a room in someone else's house, consider some of the downsides of the vacation rental experience.</p> <h3>The Host</h3> <p>You may not wind up staying with the nice people described above who are happy to cook a meal for you. You could end up with a grumpy host who just wants to make an easy buck. This would be quite annoying if you were to rent a bedroom and share the house with him, but shouldn't be a big problem if you rent a standalone property like an entire apartment unit or house.</p> <h3>Booking</h3> <p>In theory, it's easy to make a vacation rental booking. You're supposed to check for the property's availability on the website, contact the host, and book once you get a positive reply.</p> <p>In practice, it's not always that simple. Maybe the host doesn't update the online availability and his family happens to be visiting on the same weekend as your trip? Or maybe the host is not active enough on the website to reply promptly to your message, leaving you hanging for two whole weeks?</p> <p>To improve your chances, you can start looking well in advance, choose experienced hosts with lots of good reviews, and contact multiple hosts at once. But even if you do everything right, this whole process might take more time than you like.</p> <h3>Amenities</h3> <p>Some things are always available even at the humblest motel. A coffee maker, for example, or a hair dryer.</p> <p>With a vacation rental, you can't assume that such amenities will be available. You're renting someone else's home, after all, and that person may not be a coffee person.</p> <p>Before you book, read the online listing carefully to check if the host mentions the amenities you need. If not, ask the host through the website's messaging system, being as specific as possible with your question.</p> <h3>Safety</h3> <p>Staying at a vacation rental means that you'll be sharing the space with a stranger or at least living in a space to which a stranger has easy access. Vacation rental websites try to verify identities and make it as safe as possible for everyone involved, but there could be one bad host who slips through the cracks.</p> <p>Always check the host's reviews before you book. It won't guarantee a good stay, but a host with 10 positive reviews is a safer bet than a new host with no review. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/vacation-safe-11-tips-for-hotel-safety?ref=seealso">11 Tips for Hotel Safety</a>)</p> <h2>Bottom Line</h2> <p>Rent a vacation rental instead of a room in a hotel if the following apply to you and your vacation plans:</p> <ul> <li>You don't mind spending more time on the booking process.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like the idea of living like a local.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You want to spend less on accommodations &mdash; compare the vacation rental prices with hotel prices before you book.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You need a bigger, private space &mdash; book an entire apartment or house.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You like to meet locals and get their insight into ways to explore their city.</li> </ul> <p><em>Have you stayed at a vacation rental? What was your experience like?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhen-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhen%20Should%20You%20Get%20a%20Vacation%20Rental%20Instead%20of%20a%20Hotel-.jpg&amp;description=When%20Should%20You%20Get%20a%20Vacation%20Rental%20Instead%20of%20a%20Hotel%3F" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/When%20Should%20You%20Get%20a%20Vacation%20Rental%20Instead%20of%20a%20Hotel-.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deia-b">Deia B</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-should-you-get-a-vacation-rental-instead-of-a-hotel">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-and-book-the-best-vacation-rentals">How to Find and Book the Best Vacation Rentals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb — and Succeed</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodation AirBnb hotel micro-subletting vacation rental Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Deia B 1133958 at http://www.wisebread.com Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3545552472_f47cb1c5c9_z.jpg" alt="women eating breakfast" title="women eating breakfast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have a penchant for meeting new people and playing host, have you considered short-term rentals to travelers?</p> <p>You can rent out anything from a spare couch to a spare room to a full apartment or house, and you can be as hands-on with your guests (or not) as you wish. Your guests will get a local living experience, and they'll probably save some money over cookie-cutter-hotel alternatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a>)</p> <h2>Sites That Connect Travelers and Rentals</h2> <p>Below are a variety of services that will help you with the logistics of renting out your nook. Most of them are free to use; they'll market your listing, handle payment processing, and provide a secure platform for communication and privacy protection. Some will even send out a photographer and help you create a professional listing to maximize your rental potential.</p> <p><strong>Roomorama</strong></p> <p>With <a href="http://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>, you can list anything from a spare bedroom to your entire house or apartment. There are no fees at all for the host (guests are charged an additional booking fee that covers Roomorama's expenses).</p> <p><strong>Wimdu</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.wimdu.com/">Wimdu</a> boasts a wide range of accommodations from apartments and houses to couch space, tents, and boats. Hosts are charged 3% of the booking fee to cover processing and handling.</p> <p><strong>9flats</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.9flats.com/">9flats</a> allows you to rent out a variety of accommodations. It's free for hosts to use (they tack on an additional percentage to your price to cover their costs).</p> <p>9flats just acquired iStopover, which I wrote about a few years ago here &mdash; <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/istopover-earn-extra-income-or-travel-on-the-cheap-and-a-special-promotion-for-wise-bread-readers">iStopover: Earn Extra Income or Travel on the Cheap</a>.</p> <p><strong>Airbnb</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> is free to list, but you pay 3% of the guest charges on successful bookings to cover fees. The sky is the limit in terms of what you can rent out; you can list anything from a parking space to an igloo to shared rooms, full houses, lighthouses, caves, and even trains, tipis, and tree houses.</p> <p><strong>Go With Oh</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.gowithoh.com/">Go With Oh</a> is currently only in major European cities, and each city is separately managed with its own subsidiary website and management team. The whole process is free for hosts, but hosting possibilities are limited to full apartment rentals.</p> <h2>Tips and Etiquette</h2> <p>Although short-term rental services for travelers are becoming increasingly popular, there are still a few grey areas to navigate. Here are some general tips and etiquette to get the most out of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-host-a-traveler-13-tips-to-keep-it-safe-easy-and-cheap">hosting</a>/rental experience.</p> <p><strong>Being the Host With the Most</strong></p> <p>Even if you are just renting out your space and are unable (or unwilling) to spend time with travelers, in most cases you (or a designated representative) are required as the point-person to greet your guests, give them keys, and orient them to the place.</p> <p>From there its up to you to work out with the guests how hands-on your relationship will be during their stay. If you are renting out a room and sharing common space with your guests, it's good to set the stage right away, so there are no problems or misplaced expectations.</p> <p>There is no obligation to play host to travelers, but many owners enjoy the cultural exchange and ability to provide an enriched travel experience.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning</strong></p> <p>You're responsible for providing a clean, presentable space, and cleaning up after guests leave. Some sites allow you to offer cleaning services (you can usually specify the terms) as an additional service for which you can charge.</p> <p><strong>Legal and Tax Implications</strong></p> <p>In most places, income received from short-term rentals is taxable, but you will be responsible for paying those taxes (the services above don't withhold tax). Consult your accountant to get the scoop, and find out what expenses you can use as deductions to reduce or eliminate the tax liability.</p> <p>I'd also recommend setting aside a percentage of rental income received as you receive it to cover any anticipated tax bite.</p> <p>Also, if you don't own the place you're renting out, be sure to check with your landlord to see if they approve of sublets.</p> <p><strong>Rental Damage</strong></p> <p>Some of the sites listed above allow owners to use a security deposit process (either in the form of cash or a credit card authorization). However, they're hands-off when it comes to collecting/holding and reimbursing the deposit &mdash; that's your domain.</p> <p>Some of the sites offer insurance (either for an additional fee or included in the agreement), but it's often specific to certain countries due to various regulations.</p> <p>Also check your home insurance policy to see if there is coverage for short-term (paying) guests.</p> <p><strong>Make Even More Money Serving as a Tour Guide</strong></p> <p>If you like the idea of making a little extra money and meeting people from all over the world, you might want to show off your backyard and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-money-in-your-hometown-become-a-tour-guide">make even more extra money as a tour guide</a>!</p> <p><em>Do any Wise Bread readers have experience using any of the above short-term rental services &mdash; either as a traveler or host/owner? Please let us know what it was like in the comments! </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-get-college-kids-home-for-the-holidays-for-cheap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FGot%20Extra%20Space-%20Make%20Money%20and%20Meet%20Travelers%20With%20Short-Term%20Rentals_0.jpg&amp;description=Got%20Extra%20Space%3F%20Make%20Money%20and%20Meet%20Travelers%20With%20Short-Term%20Rentals" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Got%20Extra%20Space-%20Make%20Money%20and%20Meet%20Travelers%20With%20Short-Term%20Rentals_0.jpg" alt="Got Extra Space? Make Money and Meet Travelers With Short-Term Rentals" width="250" height="374" />&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/got-extra-space-make-money-and-meet-travelers-with-short-term-rentals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-easy-ways-retirees-can-earn-extra-income">9 Easy Ways Retirees Can Earn Extra Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/turn-your-home-into-a-rental-in-9-easy-steps">Turn Your Home Into a Rental in 9 Easy Steps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-it-make-sense-to-stay-in-a-hotel-anymore">Does It Make Sense to Stay in a Hotel Anymore?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-steps-to-market-your-extra-space-as-a-vacation-rental">7 Steps to Market Your Extra Space as a Vacation Rental</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Extra Income Real Estate and Housing Travel AirBnb frugal vacations renting Fri, 21 Sep 2012 10:24:41 +0000 Nora Dunn 954607 at http://www.wisebread.com