Culture

How the sharing economy is changing the way we travel

Reading time: 3 minutes

When we were young, many of us were instructed to be wary of strangers – never get into their car, accept food from them or enter their home. But what do we do today? We summon strangers to our homes to get into their cars or bring us take-out, and we stay in their houses when we’re on holiday.

The convenience of the sharing economy can’t be beaten – especially for active travellers.

If you love travelling, but haven’t jumped aboard the sharing economy bandwagon yet, be sure to check out some of the benefits we’ve listed here today.

Meet the local people

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Hotels are nice to stay in, but sometimes they can be a little removed from reality. Services like Airbnb aren’t just about providing cheap places to stay, they’re also a unique platform that can introduce you to locals of the new country you’re staying in. People who open up their homes to travellers are usually more than willing to give you some recommendations of what to do in the area – however, they might have some ideas that are off the beaten path of highly-hyped tourist destinations.

No one knows the area better than the locals!

Save (or make) some money

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Airbnb is one of the more popular home-sharing services in the world (the site reports that since its founding in 2008, 140 million guests have used an Airbnb listing), though there are other places like HomeAway or Home Exchange that essentially do the same thing. These sites are awesome for travellers who are looking to save some money while travelling as they give you a wider range of accommodation options. Instead of paying high amounts for a hotel in the city centre, you can now stay in a comfortable home in the local area for less.

Of course, you can also rent your home out to travellers who are interested in visiting your area even when you aren’t going away on holiday, allowing you to make some extra cash for your next getaway!

Explore the country

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Have you ever found yourself lost while exploring a new country? Not speaking the local language poses an even greater challenge as you try to suss out some directions. That is, unless you have an app that pin-points your exact location and let’s you order a car right to where you’re standing! Ride-sharing app Uber makes for an easy way to get around town. You can schedule rides and never worry about a cabbie taking you for a bit of a ride because you can track the route from your phone.

Uber is essentially a local, private tour chauffeur. It’s often a safer option than hiring a car in a country that doesn’t drive on the same side of the road as yours, and for areas with unfamiliar roads.

Taste the local cuisine

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Here’s a scenario for you: Say you’re hanging out in the hotel (or your Airbnb) of the new country you’re exploring, when suddenly you feel your stomach rumble. You need to grab food, but where do you go? Well, you probably don’t know where to go since you’re just a visitor. But you also might run into the issue of disagreeing on where to eat with those you’re travelling with. All the while, you’re getting hungrier and hungrier.

Fear not! Uber’s new offshoot of its regular ride-sharing app Uber Eats is here to help you decide on what delicious cuisine to try first. Flicking through the app, you can see all the eateries that are close to you, as well as what their menus look like. This also provides an easy solution for those who can’t compromise on where/ what to eat. Now, you can have tasty local foods from different restaurants brought right to your door.


Author

TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.

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