NightSwapping: Living Like a Local for Free
Swap Nights with a Local!
Host Members in your Home to Recieve Free Night
By Danielle Aihini
Are you getting sick of booking impersonal hotel rooms and costly rentals? Are you looking for a more authentic, cultural experience? Forget about staying at a pricey hotel or sleeping on your mother’s sofa to save money. NightSwapping is the answer. It’s a new idea that lets people host and be hosted by new friends they make on line around the world.
With NightSwapping you can swap nights with locals in over 100 countries. Take a trip to Berlin and stay in Paul’s contemporary and beautiful flat in Schoneberg. Explore Amsterdam in the comfort of Frans’ renovated, cozy studio.
Three travellers enjoy their time together using NightSwapping .
The idea for NightSwapping blossomed one night when Serge Duriavig, CEO and Founder of the company, attended a dinner party with friends.
“It was at a dinner party with a couple of friends that the subject of home exchange was brought up: no need to pay for accommodation, same comfort as home and instant cultural immersion. Immediately won over, I experienced it three times.
“But finding the suitable swap, at the convenient dates and in a home of the same standard is actually a complicated and lengthy process. I therefore thought up a new concept based on the already existing ones that would break down their constraints, and this is how NightSwapping was born!” said Duriavig.
“From sign up to your NightSwap, the platform is completely free. No subscription, no binding. Our system is quite innovated versus other hospitality websites because it rewards the hosts directly with credit to sleep for free. So for instance if you have a spare room and decide to host other members, you will receive a credit of one free night to use elsewhere in the world for every night you host,” said Clara Costam a press office team member.
Guests who have previously earned free credits from hosting only have to pay a booking fee of $10 once the NightSwap has been confirmed by the host.
For those who haven’t hosted yet and want to test the concept as a guest first, NightSwapping gives you the opportunity to buy nights.
“If your travel capital is too low, NightSwapping allows you to buy the missing nights to make your NightSwap happen. People who can’t host can still use the platform by buying the Nights they need,” said Costa.
Choose a destination and travel for less at a local’s place.
The prices range from 7 euro to 49 euro per night depending on the house/guest room. The prices are a fixed amount per night, not per person making it a very affordable option for groups.
To become a host, an email and phone number must be confirmed along with a profile including an easily identified picture of yourself and a description of you and your hobbies. You can also expect to find photos of the host’s house or guest room with a title, description, and available dates to host.
All profiles and listings are moderated by the NightSwap Couches, the active Customer Service check. Each profile and description is read in order to ensure the safety and legitimacy of each member, according to Costa.
The platform is open to all: homeowner or tenant, young or retired, single or with family. NightSwapping aspires to become a worldwide reference in peer-to-peer travelling with over 150,000 accommodations.
Member Ernesto Saba is in the tourism business and has helped to develop the NightSwapping concept in Peru.
“I know the feeling of travelling around and sometimes we can’t do it because there is not enough money to spend. For me the best part is giving travelers the opportunity to at least save in accommodation and to not worry about that (because it is important to know where to sleep), also to show them my country, help them to know more about other life styles and customs, and have fun and enjoy their visit.”Stay at Paul’s sunny NightSwapping in Schoneberg, Berlin.
Launched in 2013, the company is based in Lyon and Paris, France and has a community of over 90,000 members in 160 countries. NightSwapping holds a strong presence in Europe, 85%, 10% in the US and 5% all around the world in places like Australia, Mexico, and Thailand.
The typical NightSwappers range from about 28 to over 60 years of age and book their stay 15 days to a month in advance in order to give the host enough time to prepare.
Duriavig invested 500,000 euros back in 2013 to start the adventure, a risk that paid off last summer after raising two million euros. The platform hopes to reach financial stability and one million users between now and 2018 and place among other names in the industry like Airbnb, HomeAway and CouchSurfing.
“Me and my partner went first to Berlin in March 2015. We chose NightSwapping to find accommodation and it was the best thing we did. Paul received us in his beautiful apartment, with all the sympathy that can be imagined. We recommend the website and also Paul’s apartment! Thank you!” said member Cristovao.
Danielle Aihini is an editorial assistant at GoNOMAD Travel. She is currently studying Journalism and Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She enjoys exploring the outdoors whenever she can and trying new, exotic foods. When she is not writing, she is either singing, making music, dancing, or all three.
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