Many of us have been there: after enduring the stress of traveling during the peak holiday season, you’re then faced with the discomfort of packing into an already full relative’s house, or the expense of a season-rate hotel room. This scenario can be even more difficult for out-of-town families with young children.
If you’re lucky enough to stay put for the holidays and have some extra space in your home, or even a vacation home available, considering renting it out on Airbnb. As an Airbnb host, you may be able to provide a more comfortable experience for travelers visiting relatives, while also earning some extra money for the holidays.
You can even exercise a little hometown pride by introducing guests to all that makes your neighborhood great—and drive more business to your favorite local mom-and-pop shops
Airbnb provides a tool that helps estimate what you might earn based on other listings in your area. Airbnb makes the payment process simple, too. Guests are charged when a reservation is made, and funds are typically released to hosts 24 hours after check-in. How you’re paid is up to you: You can set up direct deposit, PayPal, or a number of other options. Creating a listing is always free.
The online process to create a listing is straightforward—you write descriptions of your space, upload photos, and mark dates your space is available to travelers. You can also access your account via the mobile app, so if you’re out running around, you can still easily stay in touch with your guests.
As a host, you can be as hands-on, or as hands-off, as you want, ranging from meeting guests at the airport to directing them to your hide-a-key to check themselves in. Whatever style you’re comfortable with is up to you.
Allowing strangers into your home might feel a little strange or scary. You can get a sense of what to expect by visiting the Airbnb Community Center where experienced, successful hosts tell their own stories and can answer your questions. Also visit the Airbnb blog for insights on getting the most from your listing.
If you’re nervous about the safety of your home and belongings, Airbnb’s got your back: In the rare event an accident happens, our host guarantee may cover your property up to a million dollars per stay—it’s peace of mind for you at no extra charge. And as for the folks staying at your place, everyone who travels on Airbnb needs to submit a profile photo and confirmed phone number and email address. For extra assurance, you can also require your guests to submit a government-issued ID.
Visit the Airbnb host site to explore resources, learn about host expectations, and create your listing. Start hosting now, and help create a warm and festive holiday experience for others, while maybe earning some extra cash for yourself.