Are you familiar with Airbnb? We were introduced to it by friends of ours who use it. The Airbnb site has the best description of it:
Airbnb is a social website that connects people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Through their experiences on Airbnb, guests and hosts build real connections with real people from all over the globe.
Guests gain access to unique and distinctive spaces and immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations. We call that traveling like a human! Hosts can effortlessly showcase their spaces to an audience of millions, whether they have an urban apartment or countryside castle.
Our friends rent a room in their flat and they have used Airbnb to find rooms in various American and European cities. They told us about it and suggested that we offer the guest house.
So we did.
Ant it's been great so far! The cool thing is that you can find just about any kind of place to rent from a $10/night futon to a private tree house and everything in between. It works just like other internet-based sites with active feedback so that you can see if it's going to be a place you like.
We listed out guest house in September and are getting a couple of rentals a month. We're making a little mney but we are also meeting some really interesting people. We didn't know what kind of people would want to come stay "way out here" but it turns out there are 2 basic groups. We have the people from DC who want to get out of the city for a quiet weekend and we get people who are driving long distances on I95 and need a place to stay overnight. We are 8 miles off the interstate and about 2 hours south of Washington, DC and it seems to work out to be a pretty good half-way point for a lot of people. Because the guest house is separate people can arrive as late as they want and not worry about disturbing anyone.
Airbnb does a great job with communications and managing the fees and payments. You do have to check with your local authorities to determine any licensing you would need and taxes that you need to pay. Here we have local transient occupancy and federal sales taxes that I pay monthly. The sales taxes are file with my business taxes. But even that is pretty straight forward.
Recently I've started using it to try to find places to stay. With my food allergies I have to stay in places where I can prepare all of my own food and where people do not use fragrances. I was able to have some nice conversations back and forth with people and found a great place to stay for my next trip! Check it out for your next trip.
I don't want to leave a post without any photos or fiber content so I'll share this postcard.
I decided that I would give our guests welcome postcards. This is the design that all of our winter guests are receiving!