We recently started advertising our room on Airbnb. Of course, Dublin is a popular tourist destination but we were surprised by the response. The morning after posting it on their website, we had 8 requests – and since then it’s been constant. Which is nice! But, like my two kids playing nicely, we know it won’t last. We are only a grumbling landlord, unexpected tax bill or governmental regulation away from game over. But it’ll be fun while it lasts.
However, it’s not for everyone, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the three main benefits and disadvantages.
Benefit 1: Money.
I’ll be honest; Dublin is not cheap. Those spare Euros coming in means we can justify the odd meal out.
Benefit 2: Education.
So far, we’ve had Germans, Italians, Australians, Canadians, Koreans, French and Italians stay with us. Our eldest has taken a real interest in them: where they are from, what their flag is like, how do you say “hello” and “welcome” in their language. We now have a world map permanently up on our wall, and he enjoys drawing their flag as a welcome gift. These places have become real and solid to our children now, and it’s satisfying that his world is widening without (importantly!) us spending a penny.
Benefit 3: Cleaning
Hands down, the best way to keep your house clean is to open it up to Airbnb! Inspired by the book “Nudge”, nothing motivates you more to scrub the shower than the imminent arrival of strangers! Before, I’d spend Sunday sitting on the sofa surrounded by crap. Now, I’m grouting the bathroom.
Disadvantage 1: Noise
Not from the guests but the kids. We have a two-year old and paddies are quite common. As experienced parents know, temper tantrums and meltdowns are a perfect time to catch up on Facebook until the rage has subsided. Not any more. Now I have to pretend to do something to calm him down, otherwise I look like a terrible parent.
Disadvantage 2: Privacy
In honesty, there has been mutual respect between us and hosts, and privacy hasn’t been a problem. But I’m talking about perceived privacy. It means I can’t enjoy my weekends like I used to. Sitting on the sofa in my underpants, drinking beer, eating pizza and watching WWE wrestling kind of makes me look bad in the eyes of the strangers.
Disadvantage 3: Sex life
I now spend more nights alone on the sofa than Tiger Woods did. Still, being married with two small children … let’s be honest, it’s no big loss!
If you’re interested in hosting too, let me know. I’m happy to answer any questions for you.