Vancouverites don’t have to wait until the Olympics to make some extra cash renting out their spare bedroom or the pullout couch in their den.
Sharon Dinur has opened the private basement suite in her Vancouver home to travellers looking for a middle ground between expensive hotels and bed-and-breakfasts and low-budget hostels.
She says the experience has been “wonderful” for her family because they’ve been able to meet new people and make some money.
“We’re in a neighbourhood where it’s easy to take public transit, (the house is) accessible, safe, and (we can) answer questions (about the city),” Dinur said.
She signed on with iStopOver, a Toronto-based company that conveniently hooks travellers up with temporary accommodations in homes all around the world.
Karen Anderson, who is from Prince George, stayed with the Dinurs for eight days when she was in town to take a course, and paid $58 a night for the fully-equipped downstairs suite — which has a private entrance.
“I didn’t know such a thing (as iStopOver) existed,” Anderson said. “There’s a map that shows you where the accommodations are and the whole idea appealed to me so much. It was way more affordable than a hotel.”
Anderson said it was more personal than a hotel, more flexible than a bed and breakfast and more private and safer than a hostel.
“It was awesome,” she said.