With iStopover, you can even stay in Bali. Photo: istopover.com
iStopover Matches Events with Local Accommodations
A short-term rental website known as iStopover.com simplifies accommodations for travelers, saving them the hassle of sorting through non-vacant hotels while simultaneously saving them money.
The website unites homeowners or renters with travelers following sporting, film, music, food and political events to assist them in finding nearby lodging with ease. Travelers are brought into contact with those who are renting out spare rooms, apartments, condos and entire houses for inexpensive and short-term housing.
iStopover’s social interaction allows travelers to safely search for rooms based on a “home away from home philosophy,” including amenities that hosts offer. These could include a favorite beer already stocked in the refrigerator, snacks previously placed in the pantry and rides to the event of the traveler’s choice. This feature allows hosts to make the arrangements with their guests, prior to their arrival.
Through the website’s easy to use search features, guests have the ability to search the city or event of their choice, identify the accommodation they desire and interact with the host to work out the details for the reservation. The social media feature creates a sense of trust and security between the host and guest before the lodging is booked. iStopover also allows hosts to review their guests and gives guests the ability to rate their hosts.
Those with a little extra space hoping to make some cash can list their space for free. In doing this, hosts have the ability to make money while making international friends. Once the guest arrives to stay in the host’s space, the money is transferred to the host’s bank account.
Whether debating to use iStopover as a guest or a host, it is a unique experience for all. It is in expensive and gives travelers a better sense of the culture in the place that they are visiting. Switch up the regular travel routine and stay somewhere new with iStopover.
Guest Frank Seglenieks used iStopover to travel to New York City, NY and Chicago, IL. He “heard about [the website] somewhere on the web” and decided to book through it because it “seemed like a cheap way to stay in New York and Chicago.”
His arrangements in Chicago allowed him to use a bicycle during his stay.
“That was pretty cool,” Seglenieks said.
Seglenieks said that using iStopover helped him save money, rather than staying in a hotel.
“In both cases I probably saved at least $50-100 a night on accommodations,” Seglenieks said.
Seglenieks decided to book through the website again after having a good experience, has stayed in three different locations total and has recommended the site to others.
“[It is] easy to find a cheap place to stay that is usually in a cool neighborhood,” Seglenieks said about the iStopover experience.
As for advice for his fellow travelers on a budget, Seglenieks said, “Look for a place where you can use the kitchen so you can make your own meals.”
Another iStopoveruser, Rigo Martin, was satisfied with his experience during his stay in Johannesburg and Durban in South Africa.
“Yes it did save us money, because it gave us the opportunity to split the cost for the homes between our group,” Martin said.
“We were able to secure great places to stay in at very reasonable prices, our group experienced meeting the nicest people on our trip because the renters actually became our friends, they were super hospitable and were able to provide us with a more intimate or personal experience,” said Martin.
"Awesome and Safe"
You can take in Edinburgh's Fringe Festival with iStopover.
Martin recommended the website to his friends and also said, “iStopover is awesome and safe.”
The website allows users to choose from an extensive list of events and destinations in order to find an appropriate accommodation.iStopover allows travelers to narrow down their search to pin point exactly what they are looking for in their accommodation. The payment is held until the guest arrives to ensure that the customer is satisfied and they have everything that they requested.
In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, another guest weighed in on his experience using iStopover. “For others, the alternatives offer a chance to forge new relationships and access a window into a foreign culture without having to rely on volunteer organizations or serendipitous roadside encounters.
“When I’ve travelled before — staying in hostels and stuff — yes, you meet people from other countries,” said Ed Cavin of Vancouver BC. “But when you meet local people those are the memorable connections.”
In 1990, Cavin stayed with locals throughout Japan using a service very similar to CouchSurfing called Servas, but at that time finding a bed meant long hours of mailing postcards and making long-distance phone calls to prospective hosts. iStopover is much easier, the article stated.
Founded in 2004, CouchSurfing.org connects more than 3.1 million users in almost every city in the world.
So far this year, more than 17,000 new recruits have signed up on iStopover.com each week according to site statistics, up from about 4,000 per week in 2007.
Malea Ritz is an editorial assistant at GoNOMAD and a student at UMass.She writes the Travel News Notes blog.
Visit iStopover.com and see what it's all about.
Read another GoNOMAD article about a similar website that provides lodging called Airbnb.