Benefits Versus Risks in Home Sharing
A frequent traveler must have heard about home sharing and might have heard about home sharing sites such as Air BnB and considered booking a homestay. But the question arises on the benefits of these types of accommodations versus the risks involved.
While most of the travelers don't fancy the idea of spending the night in the home of a total stranger of vice-versa, most of those who have availed of these services say they are likely to do so again. The National Survey Research Center revealed that 92 percent of US travelers have booked a homestay.
Travel Pulse reports that among the 2,000 surveyed individuals, the overwhelming majority of these say that their experience with Air BnB and similar sites were favorable. 53 percent of these indicated their experience to be 'very good' while another 37 percent said that their experience was at least 'good.'
Not surprisingly saving money is the main reason why travelers opt for these types of services. The survey revealed that 70 percent of them agree with this statement. Compared with the upper scale chain hotels, homestays cost as much as 17 percent less according to a report from Morgan Stanley.
But leisure is one aspect of the entire travel industry. According to the industry group United States Travel Association, business travel accounts for roughly a third of all travel spending in America.
This facet is something that homestay services are still struggling to gain entry to. The Economist reported that Air BnB only gets less than 10 percent of business from business travelers. Most of these are probably due to the fact that these travels are sponsored by the companies themselves and not the individual.
There's also the factor of the amenities these services provide. With homestay services the traveler only gets a place of accommodation and not much else, no clean sheets, no gym, no pool, and no bar.
There's also the issue of safety which is why most Americans are turned off by these services. With traditional hotels, there is always round the clock security and being located in strategic locations, break-ins are hardly worth considering.
If short-term lodging is your main priority, home stay is definitely preferable. However if staying long term or traveling with family, traditional hotels still provide services that are crucial for both safety and comfort.