Ryan and Bec Kennedy are fans of Airbnb, a website which connects tourists with private home owners.
Ryan and Bec Kennedy are fans of Airbnb, a website which connects tourists with private home owners. Warren Lynam

Take a tourist home - it could be good for both of you

THERE'S no place like home - except perhaps someone else's.

An increasing number of Sunshine Coast visitors are paying to stay in private homes rather than book into traditional accommodation.

About 180 Coast properties are listed on the international private accommodation website, Airbnb.com.

The listings range from bedrooms in homes, to backyard beach shacks and cabins, to full apartments and entire properties, as well as traditional bed and breakfasts.

For as little as $25 a night, some of the rooms are cheaper than a night in a dormitory at a hostel.

Mountain Creek couple Ryan and Bec Kennedy are Airbnb converts after discovering the website while planning a six-week overseas trip last year.

"We were averaging $80 a night between us and in most of the places, we were sharing the whole house either with the householder or other people, which was good because you got to sponge so much information out of them - local advice on the subway, transport, or where to go for dinner," Mr Kennedy said.

Upon their return, the couple decided to register their home on the Airbnb website to offer a bedroom for $35 a night.

Their page has received 1600 views, although inquiries and the frequency and length of bookings have varied.

"A couple have been for a week," Mr Kennedy said.

"A couple of people were moving here and they wanted a place cheap while they were looking for a place to rent."

Mr Kennedy said the flexibility of Airbnb suited them because they could decide when they wanted to take bookings and who they wanted to accept.

Mr Kennedy said renting a room was something they did for the social aspect rather than financial reasons.

"If you did it just for the money, you'd be disappointed," he said.


Do you have what it takes to be an Airbnb host?

  • Do you enjoy having friends and family over for meals or events?
  • Do you enjoy telling people about hometown and all its insider secrets?
  • Do you take pride in getting small details right in your life and at work?
  • Are you a neat freak?
  • Do you value sharing and generosity over material possessions?