During the summer of 2009, I had the opportunity to intern in the beautiful town of Huntsville, AL. The internship was a great opportunity with only one drawback: I did not live in Huntsville and the job did not provide housing. Not wanting to forego the opportunity, I sought out to find a place to stay short-term within a reasonable price. I checked several hotels and they were all out of my price range. There were some furnished apartments available as well, but many of them were too expensive. I perused the internet until I finally went to Craigslist.com and checked for places to stay. I found an area of Craigslist called rooms/shared. There were people offering rooms in their homes for prices that were affordable to me. I reached out to one of the ads and long story short, I found a place to stay for the summer and made some friendships that I still have until this day.
Fast forward to 2013. By then, I was in a long distance relationship that involved regular travel between Los Angeles and Huntsville (Yeah, that internship turned into a full time job with great benefits!!). Although I could now afford a place of my own, I was spending almost $400 monthly on flights. Being the thrifty guy that I am, I wanted to find a way to get someone else to pay for the cost of my flights. Some time passed, and one day I heard of a site called AirBnB. I thought back to the room I shared during my first summer in Huntsville and wondered if I could repeat the process. The benefit of AirBnB was that it allowed regular people to rent out their entire home (or just a bedroom in their home), but with more security than Craigslist. On AirBnb, potential guests are required to provide official identification to the website for verification, and also personal information to the host regarding their stay. In addition, reviews and recommendations from previous hosts was connected to guest profiles so that background information was provided about the guest before I accept.
I thought about it for a while, then one day I set up my account and listed a guest bedroom in my home on the site. At the time, there were only 14 other people in the Huntsville area renting out their place, so I priced the place to be just a little less than the competition. My listing was an instant hit, and I was able to cover the cost of traveling back and forth to California with the extra money I was making.
I have met some great people from all over the world while hosting with AirBnB
. Many have shared their experiences and culture while I provide them with some good ol' southern hospitality. AirBnB has afforded me the opportunity to connect with people while also supplementing my income.
If you are interested in hosting on AirBnB use my link below: