Have you traditionally looked forward to a home filled with family, friends, and festivities during the holidays? The more the merrier, right? But if your children have grown and are now visiting or hosting in-laws, your house may be quieter this time of year than you’re accustomed to. Or maybe you don’t have kids but still, enjoy the happy chaos of a full house for the season.
The holidays can be a festive time of year to reconnect with family and friends. For many, it’s also an expensive time of year. Holiday gift and food shopping can put a real strain on your budget. But you may be able to ease the financial burden by becoming an Airbnb host, where you provide space for guests who pay to stay.
If hosting others is a joy you’re missing and you have an extra room, detached unit, or even a vacation home available, consider renting your space on Airbnb. Lots of people travel for the holidays and need places to stay. As an Airbnb host, you may be able to provide a comfortable, even festive, experience for out-of-town visitors, while earning some extra money on the side.
Your first question is probably how much could you make hosting on Airbnb. They provide a tool that helps estimate what you might earn based on other listings in your area. Airbnb makes the payment process simple, too. Guests are charged when a reservation is made, and funds are typically released to hosts 24 hours after check-in. How you’re paid is up to you: You can set up direct deposit, PayPal, or a number of other options. Creating a listing is always free.
The holidays can be busy, but hosting on Airbnb doesn’t have to be a full-time job. The online process to create a listing is straightforward—you write descriptions of your space, upload photos, and mark dates your space is available to travelers. You can also access your account, and communicate with your guests, via the mobile app.
As a host, you can be as hands-on, or as hands-off, as you want, ranging from meeting guests at the airport to directing them to your hide-a-key to check themselves in. Whatever style you’re comfortable with is up to you. Many hosts charge a cleaning fee to cover the cost of a cleaning service, so they don’t have to launder the linens and mop the floors after each guest’s stay.
If you want to rent your space but just don’t feel like you have any time at all, consider a co-host, which is a fellow host on Airbnb who will take care of hosting duties on your behalf, in exchange for about 10 %–20% of booking earnings.
Allowing strangers into your home might feel a little strange or scary. You can get a sense of what to expect by visiting Airbnb’s Community Center where experienced, successful hosts share their own stories and can answer your questions. Also, visit the Airbnb blog for insights on getting the most from your available space.
If you’re nervous about the safety of your home and belongings, Airbnb’s got your back: In the rare event an accident happens, their host guarantee may cover your property up to a million dollars per stay—it’s peace of mind for you at no extra charge. And as for the folks staying at your place, everyone who travels on Airbnb needs to submit a profile photo and confirmed phone number and email address. For extra assurance, you can also require your guests to submit a government-issued ID.
Visit the Airbnb host site to explore resources, learn about host expectations, and create your listing. Start hosting now and earn some extra cash to give your holidays some extra jingle & dreidel!