Vacation Options in a Bad Economy

The concept gained popularity on Craigslist, came even further into the public eye with the movie “The Holiday” (Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and of course let’s not forget Jude Law), and now has websites dedicated to it: house swapping. “Hometel” is their term for it. Hotel + Home = Hometel. In other words, renting out your home for people vacationing or on business, or when you vacation or go on business, renting out someone else’s home.

For homeowners looking to make money, iStopOver offers a service to post your accommodations with details and pictures. The website handles the money similar to Paypal- the guest pays the website, and then the website pays you- with a 9% service fee, of course.

For travelers, you can search the site, look at pictures of the accommodations, and read reviews from other travelers. You pay the site dependent upon the host’s fee- but no extra charge from the website. Also, if you show up at your accommodations and they are not suitable, you are able to leave without paying.

iStopOver is the facilitator to connect Guests to Hosts. The interaction and rental process takes place directly between the Host and the Guest – in Internet terms, a peer-to-peer process. There are no agencies, no pressure – you deal directly with each other.

What a great website! In a tough economy, this is a unique concept that has a practical use for both the host and the traveler. Just travel with caution!

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