Photo Credit: This photo taken on April 25, 2016 guidebooks on Japan and Tokyo subway maps being put at the entrance of an Airbnb host's house in central Tokyo. Airbnb hosts in Japan are learning the hard way that the home-sharing site's fastest-growing market is also becoming the next flashpoint in a global battle over the sharing economy. Calls for change have reached the highest levels of government, which is mulling a revision to the rules, as Japan's tourist numbers hit fresh records and Tokyo scrambles to build enough accommodation to host the 2020 Olympics. / AFP / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / TO GO WITH AFP STORY JAPAN-US-ECONOMY-INTERNET-TOURISM-HOTELS-AIRBNB,FOCUS BY DANIEL LEUSSINK (Photo credit should read TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images)
Online Homesharing Service Charges $20 Flat Rate No Matter What
As travelers, we’re always looking for ways to see the world and save money while we’re doing it. What if we told you of a service that was Couchsurfing meets Airbnb, but you used your social network to find a place to book for just $20. Meet Guest-rm, a service that uses your Facebook network to find accommodations for your next trip.
Founder John Angotti was inspired to create this service because of the difficulties he experienced hosting his friends and family in his 450 square feet apartment, and he had no affordable options to recommend to his out-of-town guests. As a result, he greenlit Guest-rm as an answer to the problem.
The sign-up process is easy. You link your Facebook profile, create a listing, and you’ll be well on your way to reconnecting with your Facebook friends as a host or a guest. The service allows you to decide who you’d like to share your listing with — if you only want to stay with close friends in your circle, there is a setting for that. But, if you’d like to open your search to your friends and their network, that’s also an option too.
Prices are always $20 per night, and never fluctuate based on variables like the holidays, peak travel times, or outside competition.
Guest-rm doesn’t want just to give travelers the opportunity to save a few bucks —the goal is always to use technology and travel to build community. When family and friends open their home to you, it is always proper etiquette to leave a thank you note or small gift. The same applies here. The website recommends that you leave your host(s) a thank you gift to show your appreciation for them opening their home to you. The gift can be a bottle of wine, a gift card, or anything your heart desires.