For millennials on a budget the sharing economy offers the opportunity to reduce the cost of international travel. Why not stay for free by house and pet sitting or choose a vehicle relocation deal instead of paying full price for a rental to save on the price of your next vacation?
As a frequent traveler I’m constantly looking for ways to make my money go further in order to help me travel farther, and since I first discovered the financial benefits of the sharing economy I’ve been searching for opportunities to use it when I travel.
My first experience came when I joined a house and pet sitting platform that offered me the chance to visit Costa Rica and stay for free in a seaside town where I spent three months training to become a PADI Divemaster.
If I’d had to book the training, pay for the relevant courses, and finance accommodation I would have spent almost $5,000. Thanks to the fact that I found free accommodation and could therefore volunteer at the dive shop to write-off the cost of my training the experience cost me little more than $2,000.
Want to find out how you could benefit from the sharing economy when you travel? Here’s my guide.
What is the Sharing Economy?
Sharing Economy is an umbrella term for businesses that facilitate the sharing of assets and services between private individuals. The ethos of the sharing economy is essentially ‘what’s mine is yours, for a fee,’ and generally this fee is less than that of the commercially available alternative or takes the form of a mutually beneficial exchange.
Why Should You Use It?
Admittedly the sharing economy doesn’t appeal to everyone, and isn’t suited to every situation. However, if you’re willing to consider an alternative way to achieve your travel goals within budget, it could make all the difference to your experience. Not only that, but you’ll likely save money, meet likeminded people, and have a much more immersive adventure in the destinations you visit.
Sharing Economy Business that Could Help Reduce Your Travel Costs
If you want to try traveling with the sharing economy, but aren’t sure how, these businesses are a good start. I’ve used some myself, while others have been recommended to me.
TrustedHousesitters – A platform that connects home and pet owners with likeminded travelers seeking rent free accommodation, TrustedHousesitters has helped me reduce the cost of my trips to over 10 different countries in the last seven years. As a house and pet sitter I am able to travel to off-beat, and often high-priced destinations such as the Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand, and subsidize the cost of my trip by negating the cost of accommodation. Essentially the home and pet owners offer me free accommodation in exchange for looking after their home and pets whilst they’re on holiday themselves. It’s a win-win.
Top Tip: If you’re planning to house and pet sit overseas don’t forget to pack a good quality worldwide travel adaptor with USB port in order to keep your electronics charged on the road.
Roomer – If taking on the responsibility of someone else’s pad and pets doesn’t appeal, have a look at Roomer. This platform serves up hotel deals that have been booked by people who can’t use them and are offering them to other travelers in need of a good price for a place to stay.
Jump On Airways – A quirky option for travelers who are happy to ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ and book travel last minute, Jump On Airways is a platform that allows you to bid on unsold airline seats essentially offering as much or as little as you can afford. Successful bids become bookings up to 48 hours before the flight leaving you with more money to spend during your stay.
Top Tip: You can save on the cost of baggage by reducing the number of items you check, or choosing to travel with carry-on luggage only. For this reason, consider a compartmentalized luggage option that enables you to either pack with a partner, or access whatever you need, wherever you are, and however you’re carrying the bag.
Auto Driveway – If you’re planning a road trip and don’t mind having your schedule dictated in order to be paid to drive from one location to the next, securing a relocation rental could save you a fortune. North American relocation platform Auto Driveway offers the first full tank of gasoline, a certain number of days, and an appropriate number of miles to complete your trip.
Top Tip: If you’re planning to travel long distances by car keep your luggage to a minimum and ensure you’re always organized with the help of handy packing aids designed for two like this stow-away toiletry kit.
There are a growing number of sharing economy businesses helping travelers reduce the cost of their vacations, and a handful that could help you earn money for travel by renting out your own stuff!
If you’d like to make the most of your travel budget in 2018 why give one of my suggestions a try?
Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):
7 “Must Download” Travel Apps for 2018
House Sit and Stay For Free When You Travel in 2018
10 Must Have Items To Pack In Your Personal Item