Sometimes you just need a place to crash

A few months ago, we talked about the usefulness of vacation rentals as lodging alternatives, offering many of the same amenities as hotels at closer-to-hostel prices. While the two biggest names in homestays are VRBO and HomeAway (the former now owned by the latter), a small grass-roots community has sprung up across the pond.

Instead of renting whole properties, specializes in the underutilized space in peoples’ homes. “We like to think that this makes our proposition not only more friendly but also opens it up to the wider hosting community (assuming the average Joe probably doesn’t have their own holiday home),” says Josie Anderson, the self-designated ‘Chatty Ninja’, who shares their Brixton office in the south of London with her two colleagues, Stephen Rapoport and Dan Hill. More than a business, they look at Crashpaddding as building a community, connecting people together and creating friendships between ‘Padders’ and ‘Crashers’.

Their Britain-based location mirrors the distribution of their offered rooms with 1457 in the United Kingdom, compared to their next biggest countries of Australia and South Africa, with about 70 rooms each. However, they do boast at least one room available in 777 cities across 54 countries. They strive to make the process of offering and reserving rooms as painless and low-overhead as possible. Their model means that hosts don’t pay anything to list their rooms, and instead simply take 10% off the top at the time of booking.

With a depressed economy in many parts of the US and Europe, companies such as these, as well as US-based Airbnb, CouchSurfing, and even Craigslist provide today’s traveler with ways to make their lodging money go just a little bit farther, and maybe even meet some interesting people along the way. If you’re looking for a Nice Futon in Brixton, Josie will be happy to let you crash at her pad.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 29, 2010
Category: Europe, Hospitality

2 Responses to “Sometimes you just need a place to crash”

  1. Rebecca Says:

    Thanks for the information. Travelers are always on the lookout for alternative housing at a reasonable rate. Hopefully, Crashpadder puts people through some sort of “check and balances” before they allow them to register and you hand over the money to “crash” at a pad.

  2. Josie Says:

    Hi Rebecca (Chatty Ninja here) – glad you asked about that.

    In terms of security for the host, all our guests are required to pay for bookings (or the deposit at the very least) on their debit or credit cards. As such their identity and home address are both verified – making it substantially more secure than say, Couchsurfing.

    For both the guest and the host, the fact that there is a record of the stay on the dates arranged, should deter both from any misbehaviour. Beyond that our advice to both guests and hosts is to take a look at profiles before accepting/requesting a booking. They also have the option to message other members directly to ask any other questions they may have.

    Realistically there is always a risk in meeting new people, we suggest our members take all the usual precautions. Rest assured we’ve never had anyone have a bad experience with Crashpadder.