Heading out on vacation but want to save a little cash on your accommodations? Back in the day, you had only two options for traveling on a budget: either stay at a friend or relative’s house in the area or check into a less-than-stellar bargain motel. While these choices were perfectly fine for cutting down on costs, neither could guarantee comfort or convenience during your stay. Thanks to a little disruptive innovation we know as Airbnb, those days of having to sacrifice comfort and luxury in the name of keeping costs to a minimum are behind us! Airbnb and other hospitality exchange services such as FlipKey, HomeAway, and VRBO are bridging the gap between upscale accommodations and rock-bottom prices. Here’s what you need to know before you book your first trip using a hospitality exchange service.


It’s a Home, Not a Hotel

While some hospitality-exchange property owners employ cleaning services to provide housekeeping before and after your stay, many others expect you to do your fair share and leave the house exactly as you found it when you arrived. This means wiping down countertops, running the dishwasher, and stripping the beds before you depart. If you aren’t the type to like a little housework on your vacation, home-sharing may not be for you. Then again, the savings you pocket from foregoing the daily maid service of a hotel may be well worth the extra effort!


You May Literally Be Home-Sharing

If you’re new to the home-share scene, you may not realize at first that most of the properties that are rented out to vacationers on hospitality exchange websites and apps are actual private homes owned by actual people. While a number of people tend to own a second home which is used solely for renting out by the night to travelers, others actually inhabit a portion of the space they are renting full-time. This could mean that you are booking a detached guest cottage, a walk-in basement, or even just one bedroom in a privately owned home! If privacy is an issue for you and you don’t prefer to stay with people you’ve never met, be sure to filter your options to only include entire homes or condos. This way you can avoid that awkward moment when you run into each other in the bathroom hall!


You Get Reviews, Too

Once you’ve completed your stay, it is always encouraged to visit the app or website where you booked your accommodations and rate your experience. This gives prospective guests the ability to weigh their options and book their stays according to the property’s star rating and accompanying reviews. However, some home-share guests don’t realize that they are being rated and reviewed too- you get points off for excessive noise, violation of clearly-posted house rules, failing to clean up behind you, and other hospitality exchange no-nos. This negative rating can follow you and make it difficult to get your reservation accepted at future home-share properties, so make sure to stay on your best behavior!


By choosing a hospitality exchange service like Airbnb over a traditional hotel or motel, you are not only saving a pretty good chunk of change, but you are also opening yourself up to a more relaxed and comfortable travel experience. Having a whole house or condo to yourself instead of just a cramped little hotel room gives you the chance to prepare meals, do laundry, and travel with small children with ease.


Wherever you’re traveling from SeaTac Airport, you can rest easy knowing that your car is safe and sound with Ajax Parking R Us. Contact us today to secure your reservation at our conveniently-located airport parking lot.