As we wrote in this post, renting our primary (and only!) home out on Airbnb is one of the ways we are funding our travel sabbatical. We have had almost three months worth of rentals now, so I wanted to give you an update on how it's going with some real numbers that might inspire you to look into renting your own home out in order to travel more!
First of all, I believe that teachers are perfect candidates for Airbnb hosts and here's why:
1. The times that families are looking to travel are the exact times teachers have off work! You can rent out your home while getting to travel on your breaks!
2. Teachers are boss at creating procedures and giving directions (My welcome book is on point!); this skill easily transfers to organizing the rental of your home!
3. Teachers interact with a huge variety of little (or big!) people every day. We know how to communicate well and make people feel comfortable and welcome. 😊
Do I already have you convinced? If so, I would love for you to use this link to sign up! If not, keep reading!
|Our home in Tennessee
Now for the numbers. For reference, we live in a tiny one bedroom cabin in Tennessee. It has a cute-factor, but it's not near any major attractions or anything like that. We are about one hour from Ashville, NC and an hour and a half from Gatlinburg. If we were to rent out our cabin as a long-term rental, we would get about $500 or $600 a month for it based on the market in our area.
So here we go:
Cost of our accommodations while traveling- $0 because Aaron got a housing stipend for his summer institute, so we lived the dorm life for a month for FREE in NYC.
Rental income from Airbnb while we were traveling- 1,015
Total- positive 1,015
Here's what our booking calendar looked like:
As you can see, we weren't totally booked up. Airbnb actually lets you block off the day before and day after a booking with an automatic setting so that you can be sure to get your house cleaned before the next arrivals. Since we were in NYC, we hired my mom and grandmother do to our cleaning. If we had hired a company to do it, we would not have blocked off those days because, in theory, cleaning companies should have more staff to get it done at the specific times you need. You can build in the cleaning fee into rental cost so that it doesn't take away from your earnings. I recommend putting in a cleaning fee even if you plan on doing the cleaning yourself. You are going to be doing a lot of extra cleaning that you wouldn't do otherwise, so make it worth your time!
|One of my favorite pictures from NYC!
We had no renters or rental income for August because Aaron had to have an unplanned, last-minute hernia surgery thus causing us to have to rearrange our European travel plans and cancel a week-long rental. 😓This was awful... in more ways than one. Airbnb STRONGLY discourages canceling on your guests. However, one of the benefits of renting through Airbnb is that you still have control over your property. If you have a guest that books who you don't feel comfortable with, you have every right to cancel. Or, if an emergency comes up as did with our situation, you can cancel.
Cost of our accommodations while traveling- 2,326.98 (in American money...I choose not to think of this number in pounds, ha!)
|I really enjoyed thinking about this exchanges we made like the one pictured. You can follow us on Instagram @teachertravelsabbatical
Rental income from Airbnb while traveling- 1,295.20
Total- negative 1,031. 78 (While it's never good to see a negative number, this actually means that our accommodations in Europe evened out to around $35 a day this month!)
Here's what our calendar looked like:
Cost of our accommodations while traveling- 1,775.99 (in American money, but only two weeks of this amount were in Euros)
|At the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Rental income from Airbnb while traveling- 1,551
Total- negative $224.99
October was a little hard to calculate, and here's why: we first planned our sabbatical, we were going to take our dog and find a home base in Europe to live. Once Hank got used to our flat over there, we were going to find weekend dog sitters and travel places from that home base. However, due to the surgery mentioned above as well as Hank's utter hatred of NYC, these plans also had to change last minute. Since we had planned on being gone for much longer, we had our cabin available through December. However, due to Hank not being able to come along with us, we didn't make it that long. So, we blocked off as many dates as possible that weren't already booked, and we are using the rest of the dates to travel around the U.S. in our dog-friendly camper. We will book another trip aboard after Christmas while he stays with his grandparents. ;)
Campgrounds are significantly less money than staying in hotels and apartments, so we are back to making money like we did in July! I put in that exclamation mark to trick myself into being excited about this, but the truth is that we feel somewhat defeated by not being able to fulfill our original plan. However, those reflections are for a different post. This post is about Airbnb!
Other than the money Airbnb has provided us for travel, the second biggest blessing has been the flexibility of this type of rental income. Had we rented our house out with a long-term rental for the planned 6 months, I don't know what we would have done when Aaron's unexpected surgery came up and our plans to bring our 10-year-old fur baby fell through.
Here's what the calendar looked like:
So, when you add all these numbers up, we only spent $241.77 on EXTRA housing costs while traveling aboard for six weeks. Admittedly, this number wouldn't have been nearly so low if our July housing wasn't already paid for, but this type of teacher perk is easy to come by with just a little research! I tried really hard to find accommodations that were in the same price range as what we are renting our cabin out for ($79-$125 per night), but I did end up splurging in Paris because...it's PARIS... and in Stratford-Upon-Avon, because we booked last minute and everything cheap was taken. 😑
|Getting to see Shakespeare's birthplace in person was an English teacher's dream!
Not only did we use Airbnb for rental income while traveling, but we also booked most of our rooms using them as well. We made sure to find an apartment with a washing machine every week and cooked when we had a kitchen. Having those small conveniences went a long way in making us less homesick and also saved us money! If you have never used Airbnb for travel, I would love for you to use this link to sign up! You can save $40 on your first booking which will come close to paying for a whole night in some places! Link to save $40 on your first booking
|An Airbnb barn conversion exchange for our one bedroom cabin
Now that I've told you the details about our numbers, I'm going to tell you about the experiences we have had with renters. As I hope it shows through the pictures of our cabin, we love our little place and care for it deeply. If someone were to trash it, we would be heartbroken. Luckily, this hasn't happened, and we hope that it never does. As you can tell from our reviews, all of our renters so far have been very gracious and kind.
However, to put our minds at ease about bad renter scenarios, Airbnb has a few policies in place such as their blind and mutual review system. Hosts can leave guests reviews (and vice versa) without the other party seeing what they wrote. So, when you see reviews of guests, you know that their former hosts were truthful because they weren't just writing that review in hopes of getting a good one in return. If you see someone with a bad review, you can say no to his/her request to book.
Secondly, Airbnb gives all hosts Host Protection Insurance and a Host Guarantee for up to 1,000,000. Luckily, we've never had to use either of these, but I like knowing that they are there if we need them. I also found home-owners insurance that covers our primary home being used as a rental property. We went with Proper Insurance for this type of coverage since our former insurance provider only covered primary residences OR rental properties, not both.
For practical purposes, we have a lock on our office storage as well as a small fire-safe box full of important documents that we keep at my parents' house while we are traveling. Other than that, the only truly valuable items in our house are us and our dog--all of whom will be out experiencing the world.
Overall, we feel that the benefits of providing a cozy and homey place for travelers while getting to travel yourself far outweigh the potential risks. We are extremely grateful for the funds it has given us to travel because we have finally gotten to see some of the places that we have taught about for so many years!
|Aaron in front of Westminster Abbey
If you find yourself wanting to give Airbnb hosting a try, we would love for you to use our link here: Earn travel money by renting out your home. It doesn't cost anything to sign up, and Airbnb doesn't earn a commission until your first rental!
Airbnd did not sponsor this post in any way. However, we will get an Airbnb bonus if you sign up using our links, so thank you for supporting our blog!
Happy Teacher Travels,
Aaron and Ashley
|In front of our camping pod in the Highlands of Scotland
You can ask us questions via our Instagram page @TeacherTravelSabbatical , email Ashley.Bible@teachertravelsabbatical.com, or leave a comment on this blog post!
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