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How The Sharing Economy Helps You Travel

Twenty years ago, if someone came up to you and offered to take care of your pets while you went on vacation, what would you have said? Most likely the answer would have been no. There was no proper way of checking if this stranger was a reliable and upstanding individual. Now that technology has caught up to us, we can do exactly that.

Fast-forward to present day 2017 and we now hear concepts such as house-sitting, ridesharing and crowdfunding. These are services offered by some of today’s most renowned companies such as Nomador, Airbnb, Grabr, BlaBlaCar and Couchsurfing.

And what ties them together? They are part of the sharing economy.

Himashal Pradesh - Co-Working Area in Manali

What Is The Sharing Economy?

Although you may never have heard the term before today, chances are you’ve already benefited from companies and organisations that are part of the sharing economy (such as the ones listed above). The term refers to any organization that is peer-to-peer based, rather than supplier-to-consumer based.

So instead of buying something for access to a specific benefit, you skip the buying part and gain direct access to that benefit. For example, rather than buying a car for weekend getaways, why not use a local ridesharing platform?

This concept of exchanging goods and services with one another enables people to travel on a low budget. Give it a try yourself by using some of the following sharing economy services.

Let’s Look at House-Sitting

House Sitting in Brussels

Companies like Nomador offer homeowners the opportunity to go on vacation without having to worry about their pets or empty home.

In exchange for keeping the house safe, secured and maintained, house-sitters get a place to stay without having to pay rent. It’s a win-win situation that has only recently become feasible. Some of these sharing economy platforms allow you to use their services for free, like Nomador, while others charge a yearly subscription fee.

Why is this beneficial for homeowners?

Let’s say you are a homeowner and you have pets. How can you go on vacation and make sure your beloved animal will be in safe hands? What is feasible? Would you rather hire a pet sitter or pay thousands of dollars to place your pet in a care center?

Do you find the idea of offering your home to reliable house-sitters that will take care of both your pet and home more appealing? More and more people are choosing the option of housesitters, as it’s cost effective and easier than arranging everything themselves.

Taking care of Moka for a few weeks

Let’s say you are a homeowner and you have pets. How can you go on vacation and make sure your beloved animal will be in safe hands? What is feasible? Would you rather hire a pet sitter or pay thousands of dollars to place your pet in a care center?

Do you find the idea of offering your home to reliable house-sitters that will take care of both your pet and home more appealing? More and more people are choosing the option of housesitters, as it’s cost effective and easier than arranging everything themselves

For House Sitters

Rather than sleeping at a hotel, why not stay in someone else’s comfortable home? As long as you love pets and are a reliable, trustworthy individual, you will have no trouble finding house sitting opportunities. While building your reputation on the platform, it may take a while to get your first house sit. Once you get the hang of it you will experience things you could never pay for, such as living on a cinnamon plantation in Sri Lanka like I did!

What is Ridesharing?

One of the best ways to travel long-distance and on a budget is by using ridesharing platforms. These websites connect drivers with empty seats with those looking for rides. Using ridesharing platforms allowed me to meet all types of people, from former Olympians in Quebec to policemen on vacation in France.

Ridesharing in France

One of the best ways to travel long-distance and on a budget is by using ridesharing platforms. These websites connect drivers with empty seats with those looking for rides. Using ridesharing platforms allowed me to meet all types of people, from former Olympians in Quebec to policemen on vacation in France.

Here are some of the best platforms to use for ridesharing:

Work Exchange

The concept of work exchange platforms has been around for over a decade. Websites like Helpx, WorkAway, and WWOOF allow for millions of people to offer a few hours of work every week in return for a place to stay. Sometimes food and activities are also included!

For instance, I was able to stay and eat for free for a month with a great family in the jungles of northern Laos, in exchange for building a website for a trekking company!

If you want to live a similar experience, here is a list of great travel resources that can help.

There’s also a new co-working concept that recently sprung within the sharing economy. Companies like WeWork offer startups and freelancers the opportunity to share professional work offices around the world. This allows people to gain access to a wealth of tools and networks at a much lower cost. These types of companies allow for an exciting cross-industry cooperation that was never possible before!

Crowdfunding & Crowdlending

Another popular pillar of the sharing economy is crowdfunding and crowdlending. Feel like helping a community in Zambia but don’t have access to funds? You could start a crowdfunding campaign through websites like Kickstarter and Ulule. These platforms allow you to launch a project and gain funds from people around the world. You can also lend money for projects through websites like Kiva and ECrowd, creating a positive impact while traveling.

A Blossoming Opportunity

To summarize, the sharing economy allows for anyone like you or me to become a micro-entrepreneur. It also gives you a chance to exchange the assets and services you have for others you want. The sharing economy has become an intricate web of companies that bring us closer to one another, allowing us to interact with local communities while traveling.

If you have ever benefited from any of the above services and would like to share your experience with others, don’t hesitate to comment below!


Joaquim Miro
thealternativeways.com

Joaquim Miro from The Alternative Ways is a passionate travel blogger, paraglider, digital marketer and cryptocurrency enthusiast, I always felt the urge to travel the world but stopped myself because of my career. So I took a leap of faith to prove that it is possible to grow your career through travel. And it worked! Now my goal to help you do the same at The Alternative Ways.

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