Photo: Adam Fagen
The sharing economy has made world travel a lot easier and cheaper. Sharing economy or “collaborative consumption” has been such a trend recently with the popularity of apps such as AirBnb and Uber that people all starting to see it as the future of travel economy. Shared transactions are particularly ideal for expats and world travellers. Why rent a serviced apartment or book a hotel when you can share one with a local for a much cheaper price? Why wait for a cab when you can Uber it before you even walk out the door?
Aside from offering services and goods at a cheaper cost, another thing that makes sharing economy more charming for people is the personalized experience that it offers. As travellers or expats abroad, experiencing the local way of eating, living and getting around the city is a special way to enjoy your host city or country. So without further ado, here are the best sharing economy apps out there for the main services you’ll need while living abroad.
Airbnb is an app and a website that offers local accommodations for rent in over 190 countries all over the world. Airbnb allows people to rent out their free space for tourists or basically anyone who need a place to stay for a short or long period of time. It can be as big as an entire house or as small as an empty couch for backpackers to crash into while waiting for a flight or a train. All you need to do is sign up, pick a city and pick a property. Airbnb mediates the transactions between the property owners and the renters, making the service very personal. Sharing a local’s home lets you experience the city in a very personal and cultural way that no serviced apartment or hotel can provide, and that’s exactly what fuels airbnb’s 10 billion dollar sharing economy.
CasaVersa offers a different kind of home sharing. This app and website is a home exchange service, so it allows you to swap houses, cars and property with anyone you approve of. You just need to register, put your own house and property up for exchange and choose the candidates for swapping. This app allows you to be completely spontaneous when travelling. You’re presented with different kinds of offers to basically trade lives with someone else in a different part of the world. If you feel like living someone else’s life when you travel, then this is the best experience for you.
Uber is a sharing carpool service that arranges ridesharing between a driver and a passenger and it’s available in more than 50 countries around the world. What makes this different from just hailing a cab? First of all, you get to ride something other than a standard public transport vehicle, second, you can share the ride with other people heading the same direction making the cost lower, and third, the app allows you to book a ride and just wait inside until your car arrives. If you’re looking for ways to have a more exciting way to get around a city, Uber is your go-to app.
If Uber is letting you share a ride, Getaround allows you to rent personal vehicles close to your location. The app allows you to check if there’s a car available for rent nearby for booking. The app also provides the renter with a kit to locate the car faster and lock and unlock the car from smartphones. The fees are paid on an hourly rate and the car owners are provided with insurance. Getaround provides a faster, more efficient and cool option for car renting and getting around a city.
Eatwithme is an app and a website that allows people to host or attend dinner parties. This service offers a more personal way to dine in a city than just going to a restaurant. Eatwithme allows you to share a meal with fellow tourists, expats or locals, so it’s also a very good way to meet new people. If you’re looking for a better way to experience local cuisine in your new host city, then eatwithme provides the best options for you.
As the name suggests, mealsharing allows you to share meals with locals in over 425 cities around the world. It can be as simple as a closed group dinner date or as big as a full blown cook out and dinner party. Mealsharing offers the delights of home cooked local meals to expats, travellers or even locals who are just looking for a new place to try out. It’s also a good way for aspiring chefs to test their culinary and hosting skills. This is a fun way to meet new people and have a completely different and exciting dining experience in you new host city.
Yes, even tour guides can be shared. Vayable allows locals and tourists to interact and schedule a special tour in a particular city, museum, historical centre or local hotspots for a unique experience. Vayable tour guides are not the cookie cutter cliché tour guides that you often encounter when you’re booking a tour at a tourist destination. These tour guides offer expertise experience that is completely original and localized that you can’t really get from a normal tour service. They offer different kinds of ways to experience the city or place that they’re in. It could be a bike tour, a food trip, a photography tour or an art tour, vayable lets you experience cities, places and countries in a very non-tourist way.
Knok is a full family travel sharing network. It allows you to book home exchange or apartment rental services that are specifically family and child friendly. It also lets you book a personalized family friendly travel guide on the city you’re moving or travelling to. If you’re a bit anxious to travel or move to a new city with your family and you’re looking for ways to have a more exciting trip but still be on a budget, Knok is the perfect fit for you.
Travel Apps, Living Abroad, Sharing Economy, Expat Lifestyle, Sharing Services