Have you ever thought you could make gods you travel almost for free?
Traveling I like to experiment and why not save when I can, so I can travel more?
So I discovered (and personally tested) the Nightswapping.
Literally "night exchange", the Nightswapping is an online community of people who make their home or even just a room available for one or more nights. In exchange for each night you have hosted someone, you receive other nights that you can spend yourself somewhere in the world. Basically it is an exchange of hospitality: I host someone and then I get hosted by someone else who belongs to the community in some part of the world of my choice.
Clearly not all nights are rated with the same weight, but this is good news because you can participate even if you have a small house or even just a room to offer:
a night in Genoa (for example at my house) will not earn me a night in Manhattan, but the exchange is still possible.
The nights are calculated using an algorithm that defines the standard on a scale from 1 to 7 taking into consideration various criteria: from the tourist attraction of our city to the level of comfort of the apartment.
"A standard three accommodation, for example, is worth four nights in a standard 5 accommodation or ten nights in a standard 2".
The legitimate question, one of the first that arises, is whether Nightswapping or other similar types of hospitality (such as Couchsurfing for example) are dangerous or if by participating you can run into some scam.
Precisely to avoid false ads or sensational rip-offs, Nightswapping adopts a first stage of validation on the ads, verifying the consistency of the information and the quality of the photos before putting them online.
Furthermore, since there is nothing better than reading the comments on a structure of those who have been there before us, Nightswapping systematically asks hosts and guests to express their opinion on the exchanges made, this to guarantee the trust of the within the community.
The verification email
If you are wondering if it is safe to use nightswapping know that (directly from the nightswapping site):
After each validation of a NightSwap, the Customer Service asks the traveler as well as the host for a scanner of an identity document (driving license, identity card, passport).
Members who have the “certified” logo on their profile photo are people who have already taken a NightSwap and sent us the scanner of their ID.
In order for this logo to be added to your profile photo, you need to send us the following 3 data:
- First name & Last name
- Phone Number
- ID card scanner
And instead if we host someone or if we go to their house we have guarantees on any damage?
If you host someone with Nightswapping and are afraid of any damage, here are the guarantees that this community offers:
- Coverage of up to € 450 is guaranteed
- At no additional cost for members
- Worldwide coverage: regardless of nationality and destination: the insurance applies worldwide!
If instead we want to go to someone's house, these are the guarantees:
- the accommodation is unavailable, the host is not present to host you, the Nightswapping will take care of everything to find a solution. This type of guarantee is also applied if the accommodation is not compliant
- If something happens to you (but we hope not!), Repatriation is guaranteed at no additional cost!
My “home” on Nightswapping
Where does Nightswapping make money in all this? When the nightswap is confirmed you pay around 10 euros and, moreover, those who want can buy missing nights if they do not have enough in their Travel capital (and Nightswapping becomes bed & breakfast).
I tried Nightswapping before writing this post.
I spent two wonderful nights and three days in the Langhe, hosted by Davide in his b & b La Sosta di Bacchus and I had a great time. The strength of this method of choosing an accommodation is that, by going to someone's home instead of choosing a hotel, in addition to saving you will also have the opportunity to stay in contact with a "local": to see how and where a local lives, have a thousand useful suggestions on restaurants and things to do in the surroundings, but above all to make new friends that will last over time which is one of the things I love the most.
If you want to read my experience with the Nightswapping you find it in this article on the Langhe.