Air B and B: How to Lodge for Cheap and Stay Safe

That sounds like a great idea! From personal experience, vacationing is usually far from cheap and safety, questionable. With that in mind, if you will allow me to share a mildly jocular picture of a young newlywed couple anticipating their first camping trip. They work with youthful dexterity to successfully erect and secure their tent, making sure all supplies are handy and sleeping bags ready to receive their exhausted bodies. Because they have a sunrise departure scheduled, they decide to retire early. Warm and snug and almost asleep, they begin to hear a plethora of noises, including raindrops.

Fast forwarding in our story, the young couple drives up to an unsuspecting house and, dripping wet, implores the man of the house as to the location of the nearest Bed and Breakfast. But alas, the man and his family take them in, and the rest is history. Though the man and his family did not have a B and B, they welcomed the newlyweds into their home. Because for this couple, that was the premier unforgettable “B and B” experience, camping received “we will call you” status. That story is only a little anecdote to introduce the evolving face of vacationing.

Air B and B

Home Exchanging vs Air B and B

Like our newlywed couple, many explorers and vacationers prefer spending their hard-earned money on actually seeing other parts of the globe instead of on frothy hotels, so, along with Bed and Breakfasts comes the idea of either house-swapping/home-exchange or the Air B and B plan. My personal preference is house-swapping/home-exchange, but some people find that a bit constricting and enjoy Air B and B arrangements.

In order for you to stay informed of the available options, a description of home exchanging includes the notes mentioned here taken from the enclosed website. Home exchange involves swapping your home with someone else’s for an agreed upon period of time. It’s free home exchange accommodation for both families, with each getting to enjoy the comforts of home. Whether it’s a weekend getaway, a short family vacation in your area, across your country or around the world escape from life as you know it [is possible].

Most travelers think of booking a hotel whenever they travel. There may be many reasons for this, but the biggest among them has to be that most people do not think they have any options. By swapping homes for a vacation [for example], families […] agree to exchange homes. Typically home swaps [occur] for 1 to 4 weeks with cars [being] an option…included in the arrangement. There is also the option of exchanging homes for a relaxing weekend getaway to a nearby location.

Some travelers use a home exchange as a means of affordable longer term free accommodation.  Since no money changes hands between the parties – you can have a first class vacation anywhere in the world and free home accommodation! On the other hand, with Air B and B, or other short term rentals, and for a much lower price than even a low cost hotel, you can rent someone’s furnished bungalow or apartment while they are away.

Whether entertaining this idea or any other adventure allow plenty of time to research all questions and options. Include talking with friends who have traveled by using short term rentals or Air B and B; explore various applicable websites and books devoted to travelling without spending a fortune.
Safety Thoughts

While you are researching how to save money, watch for hints on the best ways to keep you and your belongings safe. To avoid experiencing any unfortunate incidents, a few common sense safety precautions for both host and tenant are important to remember. For example, as a guest/tenant travel with a friend; always keep treasured belongings on your person; while doing your research, note the places to avoid, especially at night, and though your body is on vacation, make sure you are completely alert to your surroundings.

As a host, keep important items with you, such as all technological equipment; any prized knick-knacks; a television, after all guests can find a T.V. in other places; your best cookware, dishes, and linens.  A wise idea might be to clearly state in the contract the tenant will sign that they need to bring, or purchase locally, their own linens, and of course remind them of what will actually be included for their use.

In addition, since having tenants on your property constitutes sub-letting or sub-leasing, check with your insurance carrier as to the coverage you need, if it is possible to purchase at all. Other considerations include, doing background checks, and requiring picture identification, such as driver’s license. These are only a few thoughts, proving meticulous research is important.

See More On Less!

After interviewing a good friend, these are her suggestions from her pleasant excursion to Europe. Do as much prior planning in front of the computer to minimize surprises, mapping out where you are going, what to do and how much time it will take to do each activity, where you plan to stay, and any menu planning. Her motto is “the fewer the surprises, the more $$ you will save.”  And I love what another experienced traveler said: Get out of the hotel mindset! You can reduce your expenses, freeing up more money so you can do activities, and overall experience the destination you saved so long to enjoy. My sentiments exactly!

Anna Hall is a hotel concierge and freelance writer who works closely with luxury Bahamas resorts. She is an avid traveller and often gives advice to others on the best ways to travel on a budget.