How the Sharing Economy is Making Travel More Accessible and Affordable

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

Do you want to travel more without having to dip into your savings? Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, even without a full-time job, it’s becoming increasingly affordable to travel the world due to the rise of travel trends and sharing economies. The rise in these sharing economies is thanks in no small part to technology. With the ease of booking a car or a room online or through an app, it’s easier than ever to arrange peer-to-peer rentals. Here are a few ways on how sharing economies are making travel a lot more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Alternative Accommodations

If you want to save a bit of money while on the road, or even make money, making the most of sharing economy platforms is an ideal way to do so, especially in the accommodation industry. If you own an apartment or house, this is one of the simplest ways you can make money while you travel. With a little preparation, you can have your trip paying for itself through your short-term home rental. Companies like Airbnb have paved the way for home-sharing, making it easier than ever to rent out your home. If you’re lucky enough to live in Singapore or Japan, you can list your home with MetroResidences, and bring in consistent money while you travel! Both locations cater especially to business travelers which is great for those looking for something a bit more consistent that the regular tourist crowd that Airbnb attracts. Loosely dubbed as the “Airbnb for Business Travelers”, Metro Residences has changed the game for business travelers allowing them to find affordable long term places to stay without any hassles.

Expert Travel Tip: If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, renting from home-sharing companies is also a great way to save money while you travel since they are usually less expensive (and often nicer!) than traditional hotels. It allows you the opportunity to stay somewhere local without compromising basic amenities. Why stay in hotels when you can stay in a local apartment which gives you all the amenities of “home” instead of a generic atmosphere that most hotels tend to give off?

Accommodation Platforms:

  • Airbnb
  • MetroResidences (in Japan)
  • Wimdu
  • Accommable (apartment rentals for disabilities)
  • RoomFilla

sg residences

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Alternative Transport

Coming from someone who travels a lot, platforms that help make public transportation easier and more affordable is a heaven sent. Nowadays, thanks to companies like Uber, Grab, or even Lyft, you are no longer at the mercy of taxis who tend to inflate their prices. Not only has this made travel a lot simpler, the fact that you can arrange for your transportation through a few clicks of your thumb is amazing. If you’re on the road often but prefer to have your own transportation, you can also look at platforms like Getaround which allows you to rent cars in a peer to peer system. Currently, Getaround is making use of GPS, WIFI, and Keyless remote technology to allow renters and owners to access the car without physical keys. How cool is that? If you own your own car and want to make additional money, you can also look into platforms like Uber or Bla Bla car to help supplement your income.

Transportation Platforms:

  • Liftshare
  • OpenRide (ride-sharing)
  • Scoot (scooter sharing)
  • RdVouz (offer/find real-time rides)
  • Turo
  • Car Next Door (Australia)

Travel for Free

A couple of years back, if someone told me that I could travel for free, I would have laughed at the thought of it. As one of the largest expenses while traveling is accommodation, sharing economy platforms like Trusted House Sitters or Pet Sitters allow you to stretch your budget for longer. I had friends who went to the Caribbean for 4 months every year to watch this villa by the sea and take care of the families’ furry friend. Not only are you able to travel slowly and see the place as how a local would, you are also able to save a ton on accommodations. While some of these platforms have annual memberships, it is still worth it for people who travel long term.

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Free Accommodation Platforms

  • Hospitality Club (similar to couchsurfing)
  • Couchsurfing
  • Nomador
  • House Carers
  • Luxury Housesitting
  • Home Exchange
  • Home for Exchange

Related: How Technology is Changing the Way We Travel
pet sitting sharing economy

Meaningful Travel Experiences

Apart from making accommodation and transport a lot easier, sharing economy platforms have also changed the way we experience things as we travel. Now, through websites like Airbnb Experiences or WithLocals, you are able to connect with local experts and have them show you around/teach you a skill. Platforms like Meetup also allow you to connect with like-minded people while you’re on the road. While it is easy to join a tour group, I’ve found that local experiences make things a lot more meaningful. Whether if it’s through the knowledge of someone local to tour you around their neighborhood or through the sharing of useful skills and interests. Together with the rise of travel apps, people are now able to connect, experience, and find things to do within a few clicks.

In fact, together with my partner and our rockstar developer, we’ve taken a crack at developing our own travel app called Get Stoked which we are testing out in Thailand. While it took us almost a year to develop and get off the ground, we are thrilled to be able to contribute to the value of tech in the travel space. Shameless plug: If you are heading to Thailand, check out our app to help you find awesome things to do while in the country.

Read: Get Stoked App: Changing the Way You Travel Southeast Asia

Sharing Economy Benefits for Travel

While the immediate benefits are obvious, the best thing about sharing economies and why it will continue to be on the rise is the fact that it provides simple solutions for seemingly difficult and expensive tasks. The convenience of being able to do everything through your phone (order food, order groceries, arrange for transport and accommodations) is simply incredible! Not only are sharing economies making it easier and a lot more affordable to travel but it is also connecting the world in a way that only peer-to-peer businesses can. So whether it’s finding a free room to stay in via platforms like Couchsurfing, finding longterm apartment, or even something as simple as renting a car from another person, technology is slowly bridging the gap allowing us to travel more efficiently and cost effectively.

P.S. In case you haven’t tried Airbnb yet, here is a FREE $27 coupon code on us!

metro residences apartment

Take a look at our other articles for more inspiration on tech and travel

Inspired? Pin it! Travel Apps | Ever wondered how the sharing economy has changed the way we travel? Through platforms like uber, airbnb, and loads of other sharing platforms have made travel cheaper and more accessible to many

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