What if you could travel for less and better? That’s what GuestToGuest offers. In exchange for you offering that opportunity to somebody else. Or an apartment. Rented or not.
But is as good as it sounds? If you are really looking for a way to travel better and cheaper, read this review. GuestToGuest is fantastic, but you need to know a few things.
How It Works
It’s always good to know how services work when it comes to travel.
There are 3 important aspects to a home exchange with GuestToGuest. Insurance. GuestPoints. Deposit.
Those are the 3 costs of a home exchange if you choose to stay in the home of somebody without them going to your home as there are two options on GuestToGuest, you can exchange homes, or you can stay in someone’s home by paying with Guestpoints.
It’s important to know how it works before you get started because otherwise you might be frightened. For instance, deposits are incredibly high. Generally, they start at €500 which seems insane, especially due to the fact most people using this service are using it to save money on travel.
But what it seems is not reality. You actually only pay 3.5% of the deposit. 500 turns into €17.50 just like that. That 3.5% goes the company and you don’t get that back while the rest of the deposit is not taken. It’s merely used to covered expenses in case something is to happen.
Apart from that, you also pay insurance although sometimes it’s optional. It starts at €4 per day. If you stay somewhere for 10 days, that’s €40.
Insurance in the case there is some cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances. With the €4 per day package, you can get up to €50 per day. With insurance for €15, up to €200. In case you break something, the insurance should cover it too. The great thing is that if you or the host ever have any problems, you can easily be reached.
Insurance and deposits are there to cover damages and protect you. GuestPoints is the actual currency used for paying for your stays. You pay 100 GuestPoints. That user that gets them can then use them to stay in somebodies home. Exchanges give you GuestPoints. Referring gives you GuestPoints too.
The Booking Process
It’s relatively simple. You contact. State your needs. If somebody is available, they approve. If not, they won’t.
You Need to Be Flexible
You know how it works, now, there’s a very important aspect you should consider. Can you be flexible? As if not, it’s not going to work.
Here’s the reality of GuestToGuest. You need to be flexible. If you are not, it won’t work. You going to Paris only works if somebody that lives there is going somewhere else for the same amount of days or such. Otherwise, it just doesn’t work unless you are staying in somebodies secondary residence.
You need to find somebody that is willing to go for the same amount of days as you or you need to be flexible with somebodies movement. That’s the only way to get this to work.
While you need to be flexible, sometimes it works out anyway if you are lucky. Me in Lisbon for instance. I got my place one week before I stayed there. Not for a day or two. For two weeks. During Web Summit where there were over 60,000 people coming to Lisbon.
A Way to Save Thousands on Travel
That’s the great thing about GuestToGuest. Not everybody wants to rent their home. Some people simply want to travel. As a result, sometimes you can get very lucky and get absolute dimes. In Paris, I got a place that normally costs €300 per night for a full week and I paid under €70. That’s the power of home exchanges.
You don’t need a great home. You simply need to get points. People are looking for places to stay in. THey stay in your place. You get points. You can then use them in incredible locations, and often it’s not even the place that matters but the location. Being in the center generally costs extra. GuestToGuest often provides places in the center.
You know why I hate staying in places when using services like Airbnb? Most of the time, you will have the cheapest tools possible. GuestToGuest is real. People actually live most of these houses full time, and therefore they have, okay not necessarily the best things, but at least you know you can expect some sort of standard and that everything you need in the kitchen will be there.
Things like oil or pepper. Will I buy everything I need in the kitchen when I’m staying somewhere for 5 days? Nope. The chances are that GuestToGuest will provide you with homes that have everything you need.
You Need to Live in a Good Place for This to Work Though
John, you hardly thought that somebody wants to visit your village with 1,000 people, did you? Would you travel to such a place? Probably not. Most people won’t. If you live in a bad place, the chances of you making an exchange are a lot lower, that’s just common sense. People will prefer to go to a big city. It’s not impossible but it’s hard to make it work in the long term.
How to Make It Work
First, you need your points of course, but the best way to make it work is by being open to traveling anywhere. That way, the chances of getting a swap increase. Message everybody that interests you. If that doesn’t work, message everybody that has an available home to see if your dates work and perhaps if a different date works otherwise.
And remember, some people plan early, some late. If you message to early, you might not get a response. If you message too late, it might not work.
People I exchanged with say that finding an exchange is the biggest problem. If you do, GuestToGuest is an incredible way to save money. It’s not perfect. Some people charge too many points. Some stay in the home without stating it. It happened to me in Lyon for instance. Nice people luckily, but it’s better to know.
Other than that, it’s an incredible service that is getting more homes every day that are allowing for more exchanges, and it’s a service that allows you to stay in homes that you might not have been able to afford otherwise.
People differ. Experiences will differ based on that. But thus far, I had no bad experiences at all. And I sure saved a lot of money.
Don’t out our recent post about why you should visit Lisbon!