Interesting new ways to subsidize travel!

Ok, as the next travel adventure is coming up, I was getting stressed out about how much money everything costs. I was also stressing about getting someone to feed my cat and water the plants. Last year, we let a friend of a friend stay here for the cost of a cleaner. The years before we had the sister of a friend. The friend of a friend was terrible, and made our emergency contacts pretty irritated. I thought this year maybe it would be best to rent it out… for a reasonable price. Paying might make people more aware of what they’re spending. We’ll see.

I put an ad on elynx.nl for the whole period, and got a lecturer from Istanbul who would need it only half the time while she finishes a followup course here in town, then her husband joins her for a couple of days. Fine, good. Arranged. She sounds a bit like me, anxiety-wise, so that should be fine. πŸ™‚

Then I put it up on AirB&B.com for the remainder of the dates. Got someone right away, a stage hand from Toronto, who is coming with his fiance and their 2 friends, who have a farm; all are animal-lovers, and are happy to care for the cat and plants. They sound perfect, but he needed to confirm some details before they could make a formal bid for the place, and could I hold off on accepting another one for one day? Ok, because they sounded good.

Right I was! The next bid was a family of 4, driving through on an antique-collection trip. 2 teenage boys (ack!) and a station wagon w/ trailer that they would need parking for. No mention of my cat or plants. Hmmm… I think not. The one after that was in French, requesting the house for dates that are not available. Nope. The one after that was in English, but a young student and his pals from Spain, also for unavailable dates. The first line of my property description reads:

This is a one-time offer while we are on vacation 17-22 August.

Is there something unclear about this? Anyway, we’re all set now. The 2 Canadian couples are reserved, and the next step was to sort out how to get the place cleaned in between renters. I can clean it before and after, but I no longer have a cleaner, so I’d have to ask around.

The neighbor’s cleaner is available, but she’s a bit weird, and the neighbors don’t recommend her. A friend’s cleaner was just fired, and they thought maybe an unemployed friend might be interested. No answer there. Then, lucky lucky… I thought to put it up on Facebook. Now I’ve got 2 friends taking responsibility for it. Fantastic. I trust them, whether they’re less efficient at it or not.

So, is this helping our travel plans? YES. Together they subsidize both the car rental and the brief hotel stay in Seattle (actually a home also booked through AirB&B), plus a good amount of gas. Yay! If it goes well, I think we will do this every time we’ll be out of town a few days. Or even a long weekend. We live in the center of Amsterdam. There are always tourists!!

This is all very good. πŸ™‚

Here we come, Colorado (Matt only), Seattle, Centralia, Shelton, Portland, Seattle, and Olympia! πŸ™‚

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2 comments

  1. W00T! S.’s old friend came to town, preceded by her son, who’s basically a good kid, if a bit spoiled. He’s in college and came over to S.’s place with friends in tow. As it turns out, they were staying in a hostel and he was angling for me to put them up (a bit cheeky). The kids madea good impression, so I did put them up, for what they were paying at the hostel. Free WiFi & cable, privacy and a comfortable bed–an upgrade! And I got 5 x €50,- out of it!

    S’s advice was perfect. Charge at least a nominal price so trhe people staying appreciate it.

    Have fun in Seattle!

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