Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Travel Freedom may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
When travelers consider making use of Airbnb to save money, it’s typically with respect to finding affordable accommodation options. Indeed, as noted in ‘6 Ways to Save Money on Travel’, the service is typically very easy to use, and can often be cheaper than other rental or booking options.
Flipping things around though, Airbnb can also help travelers save money as renters. Some who travel regularly have realized that by listing their own homes while away, they can build up Airbnb businesses of their own, thus offsetting the costs of trips — and more, in some cases. Below, we’ll look at some of the reasons that this can actually work, and become a good, strategic way to fund your travel ambitions.
Airbnb Renters Make Real Money
A lot of apps and online services that claim to be able to make you money tend to wind down to lots of work with little reward. But Airbnb renters tend to be able to make fairly respectable earnings. In The Balance’s assessment of Airbnb returns, or instance, it’s suggested that renters in a big city like Seattle can make roughly $150 per night posting their own properties on the service. That’s on the higher end of things, given that Seattle is both a big city and a popular destination. But even a third of that rate for several nights while you’re on a trip abroad can add up to a meaningful chunk of income. Even if it doesn’t totally offset your vacation cost, it will make a big difference. And if you do happen to live in a big city or sought-after destination, you’ll be in even better shape.
Starting an Airbnb Business is Easy
While some travelers might disregard an idea like this simply because it can seem like more hassle than it’s worth, there’s actually not that much involved with getting started with this kind of effort. Per ZenBusiness’s outline of Airbnb businesses, all you really need to do is define your business plan and structure, register the business, and manage costs and property needs. Once you get the early processes taken care of, you’ll be ready to rent out your property, and listed on Airbnb. Yes, there are some management and upkeep efforts involved. But part of the idea of Airbnb is that once you’re up and running the platform does a lot of the work for you.
You Can Market to Gain Visibility
Some may also opt out of the Airbnb idea out of concern that they don’t have desirable properties, or aren’t in popular locations. Of course these factors can affect your earning potential, and a high-end Seattle condo is going to perform better than a low-cost studio apartment in a small town. That said, your visibility and appeal are at least partly up to you. As the aforementioned outline of Airbnb businesses points out, it’s up to you to “paint a picture” of your property, convey what’s interesting or appealing about it, and then do a bit of external advertising to draw attention to it. You won’t have full control over rental potential, but if you make a bit of an effort you’ll already be ahead of a lot of other Airbnb renters who rely entirely on the platform.
There’s No Effort While Traveling
Another major perk to the idea of funding travel through Airbnb is that it doesn’t require effort of you while you’re traveling. So many suggestions related to this topic — such as teaching a language, taking on odd jobs, or running a travel blog — effectively involve taking time to work during your trips. Even among Travel & Leisure’s travel work suggestions, which are by and large more laid back (ideas like selling videos, or taking on courier work), there is some level of distraction that can take away from your time abroad. With Airbnb though, all the work you need to put in is done before and after you’re away. You can make money to offset travel costs without worrying about the effort at all while you’re actually traveling.
Because of these factors, Airbnb is a legitimately interesting avenue to consider if you’re looking for a way to help fund your travel.