Like many people, I relish the chance to break away, explore new destinations, and check new experiences off the bucket list. Such as weekends spent sipping wine in Fredericksburg and San Saba. Or hopping a train bound for NOLA. And perfecting crash landings at the base of snowy sledding hills.
And like many people, I’m continually balancing a busy (yet immensely fulfilling) home life with a desire to live out of a suitcase. Yes, I love to pack a bag and hop a plane bound for the horizon. But I equally enjoy walking our orchard with a glass of wine, examining the new growth on a quiet evening.
Exotic dishes from far off places with names I can’t pronounce leave me daydreaming. But I look forward to a sprawling dinner with my raucous, riotous family with just as much gusto.
So when real life keeps me rooted on the farm instead of jet-setting to the rainforests of Alaska or the urban jungle of Dallas, I can still soothe my everlasting wanderlust. How? By hosting our farm on Airbnb.
Why We Host
As I’ve said before, meeting incredible people along the road remains one of my favorite aspects of traveling. While there are apparent monetary benefits to hosting, sharing our farm with new people remains a favorite perk. Since we started hosting in January, we’ve welcomed a plethora of amazing people with fantastic stories of their own to share. First, a mother/daughter historian team delivering papers to the Texas Archives in Austin, then three generations of Aussies on a Great American Road Trip. We’ve also had organic farmers moving from California to Florida with all their worldly possessions in tow, college mates on a spring birding trip along the Gulf Coast, and a young German couple on a year-long jaunt around the world before their wedding this summer. The opportunity to learn their stories and share ours makes ambassadors of us all. What better way to dispel prejudices and build new friendships?
Is It Safe?
When people find out we host, we are usually met with incredulity and often asked if it’s safe. People just can’t believe we let complete strangers into our home. We’ve even been asked if we sleep with a gun under our pillow at night! Ugh. Obviously, if we felt the need to take such actions, we wouldn’t host. Fortunately, through a series of ID verifications, secure electronic payment exchange, and a free million dollar insurance policy, Airbnb makes hosting and earning easy and as close to risk-free as possible.
Airbnb requires travelers and hosts to submit clear and recognizable profile photos, a verified email address, and phone numbers. As a host, I require guests to provide a government ID to confirm. Conversations are held within the app/website, kept on file, and begin before a booking takes place and long before a guest shows up at my door. I know their name, what they look like, where they are coming from, their reason for visiting our area, and where they are going. They know that we are a working farm, have inside dogs that can’t wait to greet them, and precisely what amenities come with their stay. All payments are securely exchanged electronically through Airbnb’s app so no surprises there. Plus, both guests and hosts leave reviews after each checkout, creating a trackable history of hospitality and accountability. This allows both traveler and host to make informed decisions while minimizing risks.
Experience Airbnb for Yourself
If you haven’t stayed at an Airbnb in your travels, maybe a $40 off your first stay will help you take that first step. You’re welcome! Interested in staying with us on our farm? Check out our listing here. Want to become a host? I can help with that too! Just click here.