Easy Trips with Friends, Plus an Innovative Hotel Idea

by Rebecca on January 13, 2011

in Behind the Scenes,Vacation Rental News

One of my favorite things about my job is that I have to stay current on all the cool things other people are doing. Inhabit is constantly evolving, and getting inspiration from our peers is one of the ways we stay fresh.

In the course of my digging, I sometimes come across ideas so great that I just have to share them with the world. Here are two that have struck my fancy of late.

1. WePay

Vacation rentals are simply perfect for group travel. Comparing the price of multiple hotel rooms to a multi-bedroom house, even the ickiest of hotels is almost always pricier. Plus, it’s so fun to cook group meals in decked-out kitchens, rather than uncomfortably split the bill at a restaurant.

The only downside to sharing a vacation rental home with a big group is collecting money from everyone. Inevitably, one poor sap gets stuck acting as group treasurer, footing the bill on his credit card and hounding his friends to cough up their share. Talk about a vacation buzz kill!

Pay up, buddy!

A company I recently disovered called WePay helps ease the pain of collecting money for group events. In a nutshell, WePay makes it super simple to collect money from your friends–you simply enter your friends’ email addresses and the amount to be collected from each person. WePay takes care of the correspondence and the payment processing (50 cents if they pay with bank transfer, or you can offer a credit card option with a fee of 3.5%).

I’m very much a fan of group travel, and very much against shaking down friends for money, so I am thrilled that WePay is there to ease the process! Book your next bachelorette party or family reunion in a vacation rental and collect money with zen-like composure.

2. One Fine Stay (the “Unhotel”)

Say you’re the owner of a posh London flat who travels frequently. What a shame that your flat sits empty…and hey, wouldn’t it be nice to make some extra cash while you’re away by renting it to tourists? But you’re far too busy to market and manage a full-out vacation rental. Well sir, One Fine Stay has your number!

This wonky British company basically turns people’s homes into little hotels while the owners are out of town. They offer white-glove service, carefully catalogue each item in the flat, and promise to put it back just the way the owner left it.

My new thing: houseboat unhotels.

I had a million questions swimming my head within 5 seconds of finding this site. Luckily, co-founder Greg Marsh and Evan Frank obliged me and answered all million. Yes, the concept is basically to set up a hotel with rooms scattered across the city. Yes, they know it’s a logistics nightmare. That’s why they consider themselves to be a logistics company. Yes, it’s ambitious. And yes, I will so use them next time I’m in London.

Don’t you just love it when people have good ideas?

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  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ GlobalButterfly

    Very cool!!!

  • Planetbarbados

    Yes, it is very cool when someone comes up with a great idea .. and it’s great when someone finds them and shares them. Thanks! I also will use One Fine Stay next time I’m in London. I’m all about vacation rentals instead of hotels and this takes the concept to a homey next step. Thx!

    • http://www.realsavvyrealestate.com Rebecca

      Let us know how you like it!

  • Florencia Lista

    I think it is just awesome how so many good ideas can come up and make possible some dreamed holidays that you thought were going to be just fantasies in your head. Happened to me once – I actually booked an apartment on http://www.magicrentals.com/ and it was just fantastic – buy hey, I’ll give One Fine Stay a chance this time and decide what is best!