The sharing economy is growing rapidly, as it provides a way for people to monetize their assets while others save money on things they need. It’s a great model that allows us all to benefit, and when you’re travelling, it can be especially useful.

Here are seven tips for making the sharing economy work for you during your next trip!

Use it to save money on everything


The sharing economy is fantastic when it comes to offering you lower prices on the things you need. You can get a house stay for much less than you’d pay at a hotel, and this will also give you access to amenities like a kitchen that you wouldn’t get otherwise. You can even get a cheap long-term parking spot near the airport on a sharing community site, in order to save a lot of money on those high airport parking fees.

Get the local touch


One of the best things about the sharing economy is that it’s powered by real people. This means that if you want the insider’s track on what to do, where to go and how to experience a particular place properly, the locals can help you out. Use your sharing economy contacts to get that local flavour.

Check reviews


Before you book anything, you can usually look at reviews left by others who’ve used the same service before. Make sure the person you’re booking with has a good reputation within the sharing community and that you can trust them to provide what they’re promising.

Keep all documentation handy


Don’t take Wi-Fi for granted. While it’s a good idea to keep everything saved on your phone, you should also consider printing paper copies of all of your documentation before you travel. Include your booking confirmation, the name and address of every location and a map of how to get to each one (if relevant to your situation).

Ask questions if you’re not sure


If you’re not sure about something, just send the owner of the listing you’re looking at a message to ask! Since it’s going to be a real person on the other end, instead of just a robot or a corporate head office that’s hundreds of kilometres from your destination, you should be able to get a decent answer. Don’t feel stupid—sometimes, the answer really isn’t obvious when you’re from out of town.

Don’t just visit—live!


Use the sharing economy as a way to really experience a place when you stay there. Don’t just be a tourist-style visitor who only sees things from an outsider’s perspective. Really try living there, and enjoy the experience in the same way a local would (Well, a local who didn’t have to go to work every day, at least!).

Extend your travels


Old camera, map and snapshot photos - Cost-effective travel

The great thing about saving money by using the sharing economy is that this can allow you to travel for longer on the same budget. Ask about booking a longer stay if you want to, or consider travelling to a second location within the same trip. The possibilities are endless, as you can continue to book your accommodation and travel through the sharing economy rather than paying premium prices to larger businesses.

It’s the travel style of the future


You can make your travels a lot more exciting, more cost-effective and more authentic by making use of the sharing economy. When there’s a great option like this just waiting for you to use it, and all you need is a bit of common sense in order to be sure you’re getting the best possible deal, it makes no sense to go the traditional route any longer. Embrace the travel style of the future!

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image 1: Pixabay; image 2: Pixabay