Did you know there’s a site where you can book free stays around the world? GuesttoGuest is a site that allows you to book free home exchanges through the use of points instead of money. It’s brilliant! I have been using so many other home exchange/rental sites and this fills some voids. I hear many people say I can’t rent my place not allowed. Well, it’s not renting with this site. I’m going to give it a try, here’s how it works:
- Sign up and complete profile
- Find a place
- Contact hosts & organize exchange
- Firm up all travel plans
GuesttoGuest claims over 300,000 homes in 187 countries. That’s quite a portfolio for such a new site. The best part is that it’s legal for renters because your not subletting. Each place to stay is based on “Guest Points” per night. There are no fees for membership – you only pay for optional services if you want them.
They offer optional insurance, which is not only on the property but also trip cancellation insurance in case of a last minute emergency where the property owner or traveler is unable to follow through with the exchange. As a host you can demand insurance or make it optional for the guest. Check the website for more information about insurance.
The site also offers security deposits and the company takes 3.5% as a commission for facilitating the transaction. The homeowner decides how much of a deposit, if any, is required. The company then acts as an intermediary in case of any incidents. I have been doing home and hospitality exchange for years and the worst I had was a broken (cheap) vase and a hole in an outside chair cushion. I believe most people are considerate but if an accident happens you are covered.
One other thing I really like about the site is the verification process. You make a one time 25€ payment and submit a valid ID and proof of home occupancy/ownership such as electric bill. I know I really feel comfortable doing such an exchange when there is some verification process.
So, in summary I would say that this GuesttoGuest is a good site for travel. It allows you to travel and explore the world, while saving money and feeling comfortable about it. So what are you waiting for, pack a bag and travel!