“I’ve never taken the leap of renting a room with locals to spend my holidays. Although the experience is totally unknown to me, the idea that I have of it is well fixed. And it not dreaming. I always imagine somewhat low-end accommodation, an obvious lack of privacy, and sometimes even embarrassment in contact with the host who would welcome me. In short, apart from a reduced budget, staying with the inhabitant does not excite me under any pretext. Not even to taste the discovery”, confides to us Florent, 36 years old. A preconceived opinion therefore, which seems to be shared by many people. Does co-hosting suffer from some prejudices? Possible !

Sharing and immersion, at the heart of the co-hosting trend

And yet, renting a room with the locals has many advantages. First, obvious budgetary advantages, since renting a room is always less expensive than renting an entire accommodation, but also advantages that could be described as “experiential”.

Sleeping with locals is also an opportunity to meet new people. A size criterion for those who fear loneliness and who are attached to the notion of “sharing”. Being in contact with a local person also promotes the feeling of immersion in the city that one has come to visit. An excellent way to receive sound advice to better discover it, explains Catherine Powell, Director of the Accommodation division at Airbnb. And for some, it is also a guarantee of security.

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Sleep with locals and discover exceptional accommodation

Contrary to popular belief, renting a room with locals is also an opportunity to stay in (very) upscale accommodation. Because if reserving a room in exceptional accommodation can, of course, be expensive, it is always more affordable than renting the entire accommodation. Ideal, therefore, to taste an extraordinary experience but at a lower price – and with all the comforts. Just take a look at the catalogs offered by platforms like Booking, Abritel, or Airbnb: castles, historic houses, lofts, luxury villas… In short, the choice is wide!

It must be said that it is in co-hosting that Airbnb very precisely finds its origins. One day in 2007, while Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia are in San Francisco attending an event, they find that the hotels are full. They then decide to install mattresses on the floor in one of the rooms of their apparently and to offer them for rent to help out those who would not have had the chance to find an accommodation solution. The concept of “air bed and breakfast” was born, and Airbnb with it.

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Experience co-hosting as a host

If co-hosting has certain advantages for travelers, hosts also often benefit from it. According to a study commissioned by Airbnb, notably relayed by Le Parisien, in 2022, the median income of hosts was 5,900 euros, twice as much as in 2021. An excellent way to round off the end of the month !

And, here again, the notion of “sharing” holds an essential place. “Coming home, and finding someone to share your coffee with, have a chat, and maybe make a real connection… Sharing a trip. That’s also co-hosting”emphasizes Catherine Powell.

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But then how to ensure that the experience does not turn into a nightmare? By asking, of course. After a first experience well below her expectations, Camille, 32, seems rather reluctant to rent a room with locals again: “I think what I missed the most was the lack of privacy”. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is therefore essential to carefully study the accommodation in which you wish to stay.

In this regard, Airbnb recently added some well-thought-out new features: in the “Room” category of the platform, users can now rely on a whole bunch of filters, especially with regard to the respect for life private. It is thus possible to know, in advance, if the room is equipped with a lock, if the bathroom is private or shared, or even if people other than the guests are brought to be present within the accommodation during the stay.

Finally, checking that his personal expectations coincide with those of his host is, of course, highly recommended. “At regular intervals, the owners came to interrupt our aperitifs, our readings by the swimming pool or quite simply our languor in the deckchairs. We had the impression of being the objects of entertainment of the couple who welcomed us”, remembers Mégane, 27 years old. To avoid this kind of inconvenience, the Airbnb platform has therefore set up a “host passport” through which hosts can introduce themselves: job, passion, hometown, language(s), personal anecdotes, animals, favorite song … So many details allowing future tenants to learn as much as possible about their hosts, and to know if the “match” is possible!

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