Is sharing changing the way we travel?

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 16 Aug 2013
at 12:49

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  • Anonymous

    Dear readers,

    We are researching a feature on the “sharing economy” and how it is changing the way we travel – the idea being that technology is enabling individuals to share commodities between themselves, be they apartments, cars, dinners, parking spaces or hotel rooms.

    It would be great to get some insights from you – have you ever used any of these services? If so, what was your experience like? Would you do it again? If not, why not?

    Airbnb (private accommodation rental):

    Parkatmyhouse (rent a parking space):

    Zipcar (car sharing):

    Cookening (eat with a local):

    Easynest (share a luxury hotel room with a stranger):

    Desksurfing (rent workspace):


    Come on BT, this is a business travel forum. You cant seriously believe or think anyone on here would seriously consider sharing a bedroom with a complete stranger……………..! (I am sure the jokers will come out of the closet with this one)…..


    I guess we old buffs won’t, but young people and the more open minded might. Isn’t it just a variation on the old B & B concept?


    Martyn – spot on. What is all this about??


    Met up with some people in Hanoi at a cookery course that sofa surfed although they hadn’t in Hanoi. They had mixed tales about the experience and said that mainly their male friends found it a suitable option. I was amazed as I had never heard of it, It sounded a risky option


    A friends son recently used a car sharing scheme to go from Munich to Berlin. They were five in a smallish car with one pregnant lady. One pax was in a hurry, another (a US tourist) wanted to sight-see en route and the lady needed a rest stop just about every half hour. It was by all accounts a rather fractious journey.

    I suppose the rent a desk could be a good idea for lone entrepreneurs who want some regularity and companionship but none of these for me I’m afraid!


    I’m young (ish) and done my fair share of travelling, backpacking, and the likes of living in Sydney with 4 people to one room and I’ve been to plenty of hostels. But that was a few years back and more for leisure. I’d never consider sharing a hotel room with a stranger now, especially not if on Business. If I wasn’t travelling with a young son I’d still be happy to stay at a hostel in some locations – but only if I had a single room to myself or double with my girlfriend as sometimes there can be a good atmosphere in these kind of places (not that I’d stay a whole week in a European hostel). That’s not to say I don’t like the comforts of staying somewhere like the Datai. Depends on the point of the trip.

    With regards to something like car shaing, again I don’t really see it applying to Business Travellers with the time pressure they are under. If your business is resorting to this it would say 1 of 2 things to me – the business is in serious trouble / jeopardy and I’d look to get out ASAP, or it is a very new business and things are still a bit unorganised with no budgets. It might be the next facebook – likelihood is it won’t be. The only time this would be taken by Business Travellers is under an Ash Cloud type scenario.

    For a lot of the others things listed the time to research, validate the options and so forth would be more than any costs savings made by using a normal hotel for example. For larger companies there must also be big questions marks over traveller security, health & safety and so forth.

    I think these are great for the intrepid traveller who has a free spirit and no doubt with technology it helps people do or consider things they wouldn’t normally have done. But in the Business Travel sphere in all my experience I have never been asked for such services and wouldn’t ever dream of suggesting them.

    Just a note about the car sharing – Zipcar is not about sharing a vehicle with other people at the same time. You sign up online, reserve a car, hold your Zipcard against a reader in the windscreen to unlock the doors, then drive off. You then return it much like any other car rental service. You can also pay by the hour (about £5).


    To answer the question – no – sharing has had no effect whatsoever about the way I travel.

    And in these trying times would it? No.

    Without wishing to appear like a pompous douche, I think everyone who travels at a ‘business class’ or above level does so both for comfort and privacy. A glance of these pages reveals a lot of posts about lack of privacy, having to climb over people, crowded lounges and so on. And that’s only BA! (Boom Boom!)

    To pay for business class travel and be expected to share with someone in the limo taking me to the airport, or to share a hotel? Wouldn’t consider it – unless it was Beyonce in the hotel then sure, I’m up for it.


    AllOverTheGaff – 16/08/2013 12:17 GMT

    …”unless it was Beyonce in the hotel”

    Kate Humble will be beside herself with disappointment..

    Of the websites listed above, only Airbnb and Cookening would be of interest. Sharing a luxury hotel room with a stranger may turn out to be the best decision of your life or, equally, your worst nightmare.


    @AOTG – I have shared limo’s / taxi’s. Mainly waiting in hotel foyers and seeing the frustration of someone’s face when their taxi doesn’t turn up. Met some really interesting people.


    BigDog. – 16/08/2013 12:24 GMT
    Kate Humble will be beside herself..

    She’d have to be with those errant jazz hands of hers, she’ll have someone’s eye out before long.


    Interesting Martyn – but did you book your limo/cab as a shared cab or simply offering to help people out?

    I’d imagine the latter, but I understand what you mean about helping out, I have also done this with a lovely Canadian lass in Singapore, but then I felt a right pompous douche as she told me of her horrific journey back to Winnipeg via 4 stops or so in economy whilst I was in EK’s 1st class…..

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