Honestly, we’re not sure how we managed to travel anywhere beyond our beds before travel apps became a thing. From Hopper (cheap flights, plz!) to Google Trips (restaurant recs, thx!), we’re constantly consulting these techie treasure troves of travel planning, booking, and organizing to make our vacations as fun, effortless, and safe as possible. Of course, when it comes to where to stay, we’re super down with both Airbnb and those sweet new invisible service hotels. But we recently discovered Overnight’s home sharing platform Groups in partnership with Girls LOVE Travel, and we gotta say, it’s right up our alley — which means we’re pretty sure you’ll love it too! So if you’ve been looking for easier ways to travel more by making sure you stay safe and under budget, read on to learn what Overnight’s CEO Asher Hunt has to say about why their home-sharing service is so special.
what it is
It’s a friends-only home-sharing platform. Asher Hunt teamed up with Girls Love Travel CEO Haley Woods to launch the GLT group in an effort to connect like-minded women who are looking to both play host and stay in a safe home-sharing environment. The Airbnb-ish platform allows both hosts and guests access to homes based on their IRL connection by joining different groups based on their interests, preferences, and locations. It helps everyone involved feel safer and more confident and helps travelers score sweet deals (but more on that in a bit).
how it works
Join a group. Any woman can request to join GLT group. Once you’re accepted, Hunt explains, “You can ask questions, search existing posts, and chat with thousands of travel-loving women. And, of course, you can search for and list within the Girls LOVE Travel network on the Overnight Groups platform.” Hunt also mentions that the platform will soon offer “smart groups” which “consists of your friend group. We help you automatically connect with people like Facebook friends and other contacts to build your network of homes all over.”
Curate your connections. Depending on whether you’re the type to keep your friends close and your BFFs closer or you abide by a “the more, the merrier” mantra, Groups offers customizable visibility preferences to suit your privacy concerns. You can keep your listing open to anyone within the group or narrow the field so only actual friends get shown.
Host, stay — or both! Hunt encourages women to use the platform as both a guest and a host. He points out that home-sharing in general “is after all, a cool potential stream of extra money,” though many women have been hesitant to list their homes on other, more public platforms out of safety and privacy concerns (which is obvi totally legit!). By empowering women to host through a closed network of trusted people, Group is building a community of like-minded women who get to see the world, meet new people, make extra money — or save it!
why it’s awesome
Trust is built in. Whether you’re hosting or staying, knowing that you’re connected to this closed network of trusted friends is both empowering and comforting. Hunt reminds us, “Groups uses Overnight’s built-in vetting tools and, in the case of Girls LOVE Travel, Haley moderates the group just the same as she would her Facebook Group. But it’s important to realize that many of these communities are tight-knit and generally self-regulating.”
Friends and networks get sweet discounts. Not only does the platform give you peace of mind from a safety standpoint, but Groups also offers amazing discounts that make traveling so much more cost effective. Hunt explains that the platform “pre-fills a recommended 50 percent discount for Friends. Hosts can easily change this, but we’re setting a standard to de-stigmatize friends staying with friends for pay.” Similarly, they pre-fill “30 percent off for groups, but people tend to drop their prices even lower than that. Also, 99 percent of listings in Groups are discounted.” He goes on to point out that it’s a win-win, because currently, “your only two options are to stay at an Airbnb/Hotel (full price) or ask a friend to crash. Seems a little silly there’s nothing in-between.” We are so here for that!
Do you host or travel using a home-sharing service? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know your favorite travel tips!
(Photos via Getty and Overnight)