Travelling in a sharing economy has changed significantly since the advent of the internet. Almost all businesses and practices that have been influenced by the internet get better. Processes are improved, and services conducted efficiently.
Although the internet has not changed everything for the better, it has transformed how people travel and book for accommodation around the world.
Today more than ever, people can share, connect and collaborate in surprising ways that allow them to travel in a shared economy.
For budget travellers, among other culture enthusiasts, travelling in a sharing economy has been a boon and a run to for many who wish to travel the world and save the world.
Through a shared economy today, it is possible for people to connect with local and international travellers with a promise of cheaper and fun travel experience.
Using a shared economy to travel sets you aside from the touristic travel. It allows you to meet locals and have intimate connections with the local environment.
Ideally, a shared economy makes your travelling ideal since you end up saving on money and having a better experience all the same.
Since the demand for a shared economy travelling experience is on the rise, many startups have been investing in that sector.
We are going to review some of the most popular and reliable sites that allow you to connect with people and travel on a shared economy.
These sites use the same concept of allowing people to connect and travel cheaply by sharing the costs. Some will enable you to share accommodation costs, travelling expense and so much more.
Ideally, any budget that can be split by among people is shared among the travellers. Here are some of the popular shared economy websites on the internet.
These networks have been around for quite some time, but since Couchsurfing was founded in 2004, it became a game-changer for the other hospitality networks.
As the name suggests, the site allows travellers to connect with local people who will be willing to accommodate them for a fraction of a price.
To put it into perspective, you get people willing to allow you to spend a night on their couch, their floor or their rooms at a very affordable price.
This allows you to get a local perspective of the destination you are visiting. People of all ages can use Couchsurfing. Its creators like to see it as a platform that allows for cultural exchange.
Related: Easy steps for planning your next trip.
Just when you thought that this is not popular, Couchsurfing alone has a membership of over 7million members.
Ideally, these are people who appreciate the virtue of a shared economy. With that many members, Couchsurfing is easily the biggest shared economy site.
Other sites that offer similar services as Couchsurfing include; Hospitality club, be welcome, Global Freeloaders
Hotels and lounges are unarguably expensive places to spend your time while travelling. The most significant budget of a traveller is dedicated to accommodation.
Any traveller will tell you that Hotels consume a generous budget. While travelling on a budget, one of the best alternatives is an apartment.
However, in an apartment, you will take care of all your needs, but the experience is good to trust me. Websites like Airbnb allow travellers to book shared apartments and share the cost of the apartment.
Ideally, you can book a whole room, a couch or a specific place of the apartment at a much cheaper rate compared to what you would pay for a hotel room.
Related: The six best cheap hotels in Mombasa.
The beauty of sharing an apartment, I believe, is being able to share duties around the residence.
You can take turns to prepare meals, do dishes and go grocery shopping. This offers you a chance to explore local markets and the local cuisine as well.
Airbnb is probably one of the biggest if not the biggest since it offers a vast inventory of finding spots around the world.
Camping in someone’s Garden
What gets better than camping in a foreign land and enjoying the company of other pals who share the same interests as you? Shared economy allows you to even rent someone’s backyard to camp in during your vacation.
You may also be interested in reading about: Go Travel: The best way for soul searching.
One of the popular websites that allows you to do the same is camp in my garden. This is a UK based website that will enable people to rent other people’s premises.
However, with this type of shared economy, you often have to carry your camping gear and mobile tents.
You could still find families that offer camping gear. I would recommend personal equipment for hygiene and avoiding expensive fines in case the gear got damaged under you.
This form of shared economy in travelling is common in Europe and is quickly becoming famous in other parts of the world.
Save on cost by eating with Locals
One of the newest ways you could save on costs during your travel is by eating with locals. Ideally, these websites allow locals to post their dinner meals and other meals. Travellers, on the other hand, link with them and enjoy a meal together.
This has become common, especially when locals have dinner parties and want to invite visitors to the table.
As a traveller, this allows you to explore the local cuisine well by consuming home-cooked food of the locals. Some websites do charge a small fee for this service while some are free.
Sites that allow you to share a meal with the locals include; colunching, Mealsharing and eat with locals.
This is somewhat similar to car booming in someone’s car or getting a lift. The difference with this one is that you pay a small price for the taxi.
While travelling away from home, you are likely to be overcharged by taxi drivers who realise you are new to the area.
One of the most popular cheap taxis is Lyft. This service allows locals to pick you up and drop you off whenever you need to go.
Compared to other taxi services, Lyft is 30% cheaper, which will enable you to commute at a lower price. If lyft is not your thing, you can also rent someone’s car and pay less than renting a car from a company.
The most significant limitation of saving through this method is that sites that offer the services are limited to specific cities around developed countries. Other websites that provide similar services include Drivy, CarHopper, Trailer Made, share a ride and RV share