Scott Wood of OneFineStay.com recently contacted me about writing a guest column for McCool Travel. It sure is nice to have others share their travel tips; it helps us all learn techniques and strategies for saving money, time, and stress on every trip. Anyone else want to do a guest column? Contact me at CharlesMcCool -at- gmail -dot- com.
onefinestay offers boutique vacation rentals in London. Travelers can rent local resident’s homes for a more authentic vacation experience. Here is Scott’s submission.
In recent years there has been a huge rise in the number of travellers who are looking for an alternative to staying in a hotel whilst on holiday. This has been caused by many factors, the main ones being the increasing number of soulless hotels along with the trend of visitors wishing to explore the “real” city.
This is where home swap/stays become a very viable option, these allow tourists to stay in a real person’s home and sample the life of a real local.
There are three main ways in which home swapping works.
The first is a direct swap. This is when two homes owners from different cities or counties both agree to swap homes for a set period of time. This is a great option for those on a tight budget as no money changes hand but it’s very reliant on the timings and desired locations of both parties matching up. The other main main issue with home swapping is the fear that the quality of the homes do not match and therefore one set of guests would feel hard done by.
The second alterative to staying in a hotel is to rent a spare room in a local’s home. This trend of “couchsurfing” has becoming increasing popular among young travellers as it provides an easy and cheap alternative to hostel rooms, which are often unsecure. Couchsurfing works by home owners posting information of their spare room on a website, travellers can then book and pay for the room online. The homeowner is then responsible for arranging the comings and goings of the guest during the stay. Some people have found this to be great way to travel as they get to meet the homeowner and get their tips on the local area. The fact that you are moving to a person’s home while they are still there can sometimes lead to a lack of privacy for both parties.
If you like the idea of staying in someone’s home but don’t want to have them there or if you’re travelling as a family then an entire home rental is the best option. A home rental allows travellers to live in a real home but the owner is away. Guests have access to the entire home, this means that you get things that you don’t get a in a hotel, such as a kitchen and a fully equipped living room. A onefinestay rental allows guest to stay in an upscale London home and also receive all the services which you would expect from a hotel.
All three of these options allow travellers to see parts of any city that tourists don’t see without having to pay over the odds for a boring hotel room.
Thank you, Scott!
Charles McCool is an independent consumer travel advocate.
© 2012, Charles McCool