Fund Your Travels By Hosting In Your City - SeekSherpa

Fund Your Travels By Hosting In Your City


(SeekSherpa — March 3, 2015)

 

With countries and cultures now opening up more to tourists, travellers and locals are interacting in new ways, sharing their couches and kitchens. Here are a few ways that you can host people from around the world, share some of your culture, indulge in some armchair-travelling, and maybe even make enough to pad your own way around the world. All the companies mentioned below allow hosts to list their services for a price, and take a small cut before transferring the payment to the host.

STAY
Listing an extra room or empty apartment is a nifty way to earn some extra cash. Photo: Manu/Airbnb
Listing an extra room or empty apartment is a nifty way to earn some extra cash. Photo: Manu/Airbnbclick me

Renting out a spare room or an empty house to travellers is one of the easiest ways to host. Of course, you have to make sure your guests aren’t axe-wielding murderers. You can have a house guest for as long as you decide, and indulge in a little armchair travelling as you learn from each other. The most obvious service to sign up for is Airbnb, the online room-sharing giant that has taken over the world. The site lets you create a free account and create easy listings for whatever space you want to rent out, including igloos and lighthouses. The success of the site led to other similar companies like RoomLion, MeshTrip.com, Roomorama, VRBO and HomeAway. Read our guide to Airbnb here.

Mohan Kumar, an Airbnb host in Mumbai, said the idea to rent out the spare room in his house came after he used the service while travelling abroad. “It’s a great way to meet new people,” he said, “You exchange stories, you teach them things. You can learn a lot from them too.”

EAT
Companies like Traveling Spoon let tourists immerse themselves in local cuisines, to the extent of shopping for ingredients. Photo courtesy Traveling Spoon
Companies like Traveling Spoon let tourists immerse themselves in local cuisines, to the extent of shopping for ingredients. Photo courtesy Traveling Spoonclick me

If you don’t want to welcome travellers into your homes for extended periods of time, how about for just a meal? It’s a great way to share your cultural heritage, and offer an experience that most tourists wouldn’t normally have access to. With websites like Traveling Spoon and Bookalokal, you can offer to cook up a traditional meal. Traveling Spoon lets you pick between just a meal ($25-60/₹1,547-₹3,700), a cooking class plus the meal ($60-100/INR 3,700-INR 6,100), or a visit to the marketplace for ingredients along with cooking and serving the meal ($100-150/INR 6,100-INR 9,280). The concept of dining with locals is popular abroad but many sites, such as EatWith and Cookening, still don’t have listings from India.

This is what Geeta Batra, a host with Traveling Spoon, had to say about her first experience: “Our first guest was an English food writer, who participated in a demonstration session and made her first puffed roti. It was exciting for both her and us. Upon her return she was to host a lunch for her extended family and used some of the dishes from the menu that we served her.”

EXPLORE
Guided tours through markets are a great way to explore a new city.

Another way to host is to walk travellers through your culture and city. Services like SeekSherpa and Padhaaro let you sign up and offer local tours and insights in your city. You can choose what experience you’d like to share and how much you will charge, although there usually is an upper limit. Tours can be anything from a walk through a certain neighbourhood to a food trail or even a pub crawl. While these two websites cater specifically to travellers, you can also post your services on online marketplaces like Tushky and TripBod.

 

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