Do you have a wanderlust and like the idea of staying in someone’s house rather than a hotel chain? Or would you like to earn extra cash by hosting visitors in your home. If so, Airbnb could be right for you.

In just nine years, Airbnb has gone from being a sofa-surfing website popular amongst young travellers to a viable holiday and income generating opportunity for all generations. In fact, one of the biggest growth areas according to Airbnb research is amongst senior hosts, in particular women aged 60 or more.

What is Airbnb?

Put simply, Airbnb is an online marketplace which lets people rent out their properties or spare rooms to guests. Airbnb takes 3{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41} commission of every booking from hosts, and between 6{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41}-12{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41} from guests.

There are plenty of criteria to list or search a property: from a shared room to an entire house, to having wheelchair access to a lock on the bedroom door. There are photos of the property, and the hosts/guests, with full map listing.

Why use Airbnb for a holiday?

By connecting guests to properties and hosts in 191 countries worldwide, Airbnb certainly has scale on its side. Whilst the variety of options is staggering, it’s the finer details that seem to make it so popular. Unlike staying in what often feel like generic hotel rooms, with Airbnb you stay in someone’s house – and if you opt to rent a private room, not an entire property, the owner will often be around for advice on local attractions and things to do.

Why become an Airbnb host?

If you have a spare room in your property you might like to consider becoming an Airbnb host. Airbnb estimates the average earning for renting a bedroom, to one guest for a week in Islington to be £263. When you register as a host you can specify house rules (i.e. no children, smokers etc.), the availability of your property, rental durations etc. Airbnb handles all the payments and deposits direct into your account via PayPal. The systems are all based on the internet, so you will need to be confident using the internet and email. If you need assistance getting online Age UK Islington can offer you advice. 


Here are some fascinating facts about the positive effect Airbnb is having on the lives of its older hosts:

  • Seniors are the fastest-growing demographic of Airbnb hosts in Europe. The number of senior hosts has nearly doubled in the past year.

  • Hosts 60 and older are consistently the best Airbnb hosts. Hosts 60 and older receive a higher percentage of five star reviews than any other age group, with 70{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41} of senior-hosted trips resulting in a five star review.

  • 45{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41} of senior hosts say that hosting on Airbnb has helped them afford to stay in their home, and 25{99f86ddbfda07ac83ac2f2c640d119bb7a4fb9279bd38fffc938e81711e7be41} say that hosting has directly helped them to avoid mortgage problems or eviction. The typical senior host will have on average, guests for roughly 23 nights per year, and makes just under £2,700 annually.

For more information visit www.airbnb.co.uk

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