As if life for the vacation business wasn’t tough enough, what with services like airBNB and Couchsurfing, there’s a new kid on the block which wants to make things tougher for the hotels. Cosmopolit Home is a crowdsourced service which lets you swap vacation nights in your own home, for nights around the world. All you need is the airfare to get there.
It’s a fairly logical extension of the airbnb concept when you think about it, only instead of paying for the bedroom, you’re using nights you’ve accumulated from others to pay for your own stay. The idea was born in 2011 and now boasts of over 6000 locations in 54 countries to choose from.
If you’re not completely sure whether letting strangers into your home is a great idea, you can try out the service by paying for the stay, at varying rates depending on the quality of the accommodation on offer. We guess the idea is, once you’re happy that everything is above board, you can get involved in proper nightswapping and start building up your barter amount (what they call Travel Capital).
As a home owner (or tenant) you can list your whole place or just a guest room for free, and as with other similar services, you get the chance to chat with prospective visitors (or hosts if you’re the one traveling) using a secure internal chat system. Just to make sure everything is cool beforehand.
Because no money changes hands tenants can also offer their rooms for nightswapping, because it’s considered as a loan, not a sublet, and according to the site blurb it’s actually beneficial, because it acts as a sort of burglar deterrent if you’re having to leave your place empty a lot while working or traveling.
Judging by some of the properties on offer, this ain’t your old broken down squat type service by any stretch. The homes on offer in London at least appear to be really nice quality, and in great locations. We’re assuming that there are other cities where the quality on offer is more patchy, but that’s to be expected as the numbers ramp up.
There are no subscription fees, but the guest pays a $9.90 ‘connection fee’ when the deal is confirmed. The host pays nothing, and you can also buy additional services like insurance and certification tools (presumably to enhance the reputation system of the service) to make things even more secure.
Pretty cool idea, and well done by the looks of it. All new users get a starter number of nights to get them going with trying out the service, all they have to pay is the connection fee. Sounds like a deal.