A Free Airbnb For Traveling Around The World
Just when you thought the travel industry was turned on its ear with short-term rentals such as AirBnB, along comes an app where you can actually stay at other people’s places for free.
It’s called Nightswapping and it involves “trading” nights in your place for your staying in other people’s places around the world. Sign up and there’s no money exchanged, other than a transaction fee of a few dollars and a cleaning fee (and watch out for those cleaning fees, folks, many on Airbnb are $30 a visit and sometimes reach or even exceed $100).
You can also pay for extra nights beyond what credit you’ve earned, or you can try the service before hosting for between $7-49 a night.
Basically, you host people for free and then can stay at other people’s places (not the same people unless you want to visit them or their location). If you host people for, say, five days, then you’ve earned five nights for yourself.
Just like AirBnB, properties include shared houses and apartments to having the entire place to yourself.
Because no money is exchanged, it potentially sidesteps cities which are voting like crazy all over the USA to “shut down” short-term rentals. Tho the effectiveness of those “shut downs” is questionable as people continue to rent in those cities. Nightswapping certainly gives local lawmakers something else to think about at tense city council meetings.
Nightswapping has more than 150,000 users worldwide, so it’s got a pretty good number of hosts and properties. By contrast, Airbnb has approximately 650,000 hosts and, as of January of this year, two million listings.
Basically, it’s glorified couch surfing. Except with strangers. It’s obviously best for those who want to do a lot of traveling as opposed to many who are short-term rental hosts looking to make a few bucks to offset escalating rent prices or big profits by renting out entire houses.
And if you’re worried about your place while you’re hosting strangers, Nightswapping has insurance to protect hosts from theft and damage.