With great pleasure, I'm delighted to introduce you to one of our talented female writers, Claire Burgess, an interiors blogger over at Happy Little Places. Today, Claire is going to be discussing 'The Rise of The Sharing Traveller'. Over the last 5 years, opting to rent residential properties or participate in holiday swaps has seen a huge increase, however the reason is not entirely economically related.
I've personally been an avid user of Air BnB, the worldwide accommodation site that allows you to live like a local and rent unique and interesting homes. My first experience was 3 years ago, on my third trip to my favourite European city, Copenhagen and it's been my first choice of travel ever since. Call me nosey but I really enjoy looking at the photography and art works that adorn the walls of people's apartments. I like seeing what festivals they've been to, what hobbies they enjoy and what tea they like to drink. I like helping myself to a book from their collection and eating my breakfast whenever I want. Best of all, I really love the personal recommendations for what to see, eat, do, you get to find out first hand from people who live and work in the area. Oh and renting from a local is a damn sight cheaper than booking a hotel room!
Since launching in San Francisco in 2008, Air BnB has been the instigator in encouraging shared travel and making it more accessible for people to visit more places and see more things. 'Pioneers of handmade hospitality', One Fine Stay followed in Air BnB's footsteps in 2009,offering luxury residential homes to rent in London, New York, Los Angelas and Paris. Think Georgian town houses in Mayfair, eliquently finished in Farrow and Ball's 'Palivion Gray'. The type of properties to have those huge, heavy lion-head door knockers that raw with every thump and a Waitrose home delivery service. Whilst I can't argue these properties are breath-takingly beautiful, I feel they are only showing one side of the cities they are located. The luxury price point of £755 a night is on par, if not more expensive than the 5 star hotels that can also be found in these areas.
So this brings to me to the latest company to offer a home-from-home Swap service, Behomm. Claire has been in touch with travel site's co-founding couple to find out more. Claire, over to you...
Behomm is the first home-swap website exclusively designed for creative and artistic professionals. A concept brought to life by dedicated home-swapping couple Agust Juste and Eva Calduch. The well-thought out site is steadily building a community of like-minded, style-savvy individuals, couples and families.
Having partaken in house-swaps for several years; the creative couple from Barcelona were tiring at the prospect of sifting through the overcrowded exchange sites advertising the same, soul-less properties. HONING IN ON DESIGNERS AND VISUAL ARTISTS, THE COUPLe CAREFULLY CURATED A SELECTION OF HOMES OWNED BY those working in creative sectors FROM ACROSS THE WORLD and in 2013 Behomm was formed. Adopting an The invitation-only policy that works by existing member RECOMMENDATIONS, Behomm promotes a new and growing way of thinking; that of the shared economy.
The permitted job titles span from animator to window dresser and hair stylist to architect. There is an abundance of opportunity but only for creative professionals. With aesthetics and design at the centre of the Behomm members worlds an immediate shared understanding is created. Behomm member Lori says 'The feeling of belonging. That’s how I feel about being a Behommer...We’re all on the same page… we take pride in our living spaces, and we are respectful of the other peoples homes because we feel the same way.' With 1400 listed residences, the Behomm community is on the increase. People are opening up their homes to other like-minded families all over the world. There are now home-swap options in locations as far flung as Bali to Brazil, Holland to Japan and Israel to South Africa. UNSURPRISINGLY THE SELECTION OF HOMES ON OFFER IS EXQUISITE. EACH HOME PERFECTLY BLENDS HIGH QUALITY DESIGN WITH PASSION AND PERSONALITY.
The internet and social media has made it easier for like-minded people to come together and form communities that span countries and continents. The feeling of community and belonging can be found at the click of a mouse. Behomm member Shelley comments 'Through the act of sharing, we make friends. it’s an exchange with extra benefits, a true metamorphosis. it is special and magical… And difficult to explain, but once you try it, you’ll be hooked.' Sharing an appreciation for aesthetics, and an understanding for choosing a creative lifestyle, allows the Behommers to confidently open up their homes.
The exclusive Behomm clientèle would not look out of place enjoying 5* luxury hotels; and yet they choose to swap their homes with strangers from across the world. To many this may seem slightly crazy, but to a select few they see opportunity. This is because they're after something more than just a holiday, they are looking for an experience. The site allows members to sample a new culture, country and way of life; all enjoyed with home comforts and beautiful surroundings. Members may arrive at their destination to find freshly baked bread, restaurant tips, the perfect run-around car and a cat that expects to be fed. Each destination is unique. The Behommers are not looking to pay for luxury; they are looking to share an experience.
Home-swapping will not be the death of the package holiday. Behomm demonstrates that different demographics have different priorities when it comes to their home and their holidays. Not everyone puts so much love, thought and time into the design of their home, they believe this is closely linked to what profression you work in. Whilst Behomm is an exclusive, members only club that properties vary in style and size but are united for being unique.
Words: Claire Burgess
LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? HIT THE SHARE BUTTON AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS! REALLY LIKE WHAT YOU JUST READ? POST YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENT BOX.