Pay for your vacation by renting your home while away

(BPT) - Traveling is part of the human experience. Whether you prefer meandering road trips to small towns, focused explorations of top tourist destinations or fast flights to energetic big city escapes, traveling is one of the things people missed most during the pandemic.

Now that travel is rebounding, people are eagerly planning trips and crunching the cost. The reality is vacations may be fun, but they can also be expensive. One potential solution is renting your home while out of town to help pay for your vacation costs.

Private rentals in demand

Private residential rentals are a hot commodity that has flourished in the last year. Not only do these places often provide a more unique, integrated experience compared to hotels and resorts, they also offer comfort and amenities that modern travelers desire. Additionally, during times of heightened health awareness, many people appreciate the space and solitude that private rentals provide.

You may have wondered about renting your home but stopped because you assume it requires a full-time commitment. However, people are finding flexibility in renting their spaces part time while they're out of town to add to their income.

As of April 2021, the average annual earnings per host who had welcomed at least one guest in the previous 12 months was $9,600, according to Airbnb, a travel community and vacation rental platform. Of those hosts, those new to hosting are experiencing early success, with half of new listings that were both activated and booked in early 2021 getting a reservation request within four days and new hosts with only one listing have earned more than $1.2 billion globally from March 2020 to March 2021 on Airbnb.

What does that equate to when covering your travel expenses? A host in Los Angeles can earn nearly $4,100 per month by sharing an entire home with four guests. A week-long stay at their place will pay for a three-night stay at a quiet Red Rock retreat. Another example: When hosts list their entire home in Philadelphia for four guests, they can earn over $2,600 per month. A week’s stay will cover a weekend at the Jersey Shore in an elegant Victorian suite in Cape May.

How to start sharing your space while on vacation

Rentals of all types in all locations are in demand, thanks to an increase in travel as well as remote work that can inspire a more nomadic lifestyle. If you want to start renting your property, consider these tips:

Evaluate your space: At a minimum, guests expect a clean, comfortable sleeping space and access to a restroom. Not all listings have access to a kitchen, but it’s important to indicate if guests will have access to a cooking space.

Define the rental: It may be a whole house, a condo or unique spaces like an RV or sailboat. Define your property and decide what guests can access, whether it's the entire space, a private room or shared with others.

Create a listing: Help travelers decide if your space meets their needs by providing attractive pictures, clear information and must-know details in the listing. Strive to provide good customer service by responding to inquiries within 24 hours.

Convey pros and cons: When listing your space and answering questions, convey the pros and cons clearly. For instance, a downtown condo might be conveniently located to attractions, but also be noisier.

Assess amenities: Travelers want to stay at places that align with their lifestyle and meet their needs. Budget-minded travelers might be OK with minimal extras, but others will want amenities like wireless internet and kitchen basics for cooking.

Price right: For new hosts, start with a price that's a bit lower than your goal. This will help you attract guests, and once you’ve received some great reviews, you can re-evaluate price increases.

Currently 4 million hosts have welcomed more than 900 million guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe on Airbnb. Learn more at Airbnb.com/Host.

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