This idyllic image courtesy of http://www.coolhunting.com/travel/cool-caravans.php

It seems like businesses have been popping up overnight in Singapore based on an old concept of the CouchSurfing project.

If you haven't heard, its a web platform where ordinary travelers can connect. A guest visiting a new place seeks a host who is able to provide a couch for him to spend the night, thereby saving him the cost of accommodation. But more importantly, this is a way of seeking out local company, local advice, and perhaps even local cuisine– ensuring you experience the place like a local and don't

fall for the usual tourist traps. (And we all know that businesses always try to take advantage no matter where you travel)

At any rate, new web sites like AirBnb, Roomorama and Wimdu have suddenly appeared out of the woodwork, offering the same concept– but for a fee. A host in the country, state or city you travel to offers their spare bedroom for you to rent. This would seem to provide a welcome alternative to a run-of-the-mill hotel, but to what degree can a traveler expect their preferred level of comfort?   And to what rules do these private persons adhere? In a well established industry of hotels there are a number of checks and balances to protect the consumer… Its an interesting concept worth keeping a look out for.
Would you travel with your family, your kids and stay at someone's private home? And at what cost would this make sense?
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