FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)What is Stays@Friends?
Travel more, pay less.
That's the idea at Staysatfriends.com. It's a new network that connects you to your friends and their friends, and lets you see who's got accommodation available, where and when.
Drop them a line, sort out the details, and off you go - you avoid paying hotel bills, you don't need to eat out for every meal and you can save plenty of money.
And that means you can travel more often.
It's simple and reliable. Your network consists of your friends and their friends - no further than that. If you add ten friends, and they each add ten friends, that's 100 possible destinations straight away.
Click here to sign up, and start inviting your friends!
Who is it for?
Anyone! Whether you're a student, a family with children, a retired couple with time to travel, you can all benefit from your social network to save money on travel. For an explanation of the likely possibilities and benefits according to your situation, click here
What does it cost to join?
Stays@Friends has no cost, its use is completely free.
What does it cost to stay?
That's between you and your contacts.
Some people might just be happy to have someone looking after their place while they're away - it reduces the chance of burglary or makes sure the cat gets fed.
Other people might ask for some money to cover electricity and other bills. Some others might ask you to pay a bit more.
It's completely between you and them to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement. We don't dictate any kind of rates - we're just here to make the connection.
What friends should I add?
Our advice would be to pick people you trust, and choose those who live in places you might want to travel to. The broader the network, the better it will be for everyone.
By all means, invite local friends - they'll have friends elsewhere you'll then connect with â€“ but don't just limit it to the people you see every day!
It's better to add just a handful of people you trust than import the entire contents of your address book. Remember, you'll probably have to vouch for these people at some point!
How do I know someone is legit?
Anyone who contacts you is always going to be a friend or a friend of a friend - you'll either know them, or you'll have a friend in common you can contact to check them out.
What about security?
We take your security seriously and we don't ask you to provide any information that could identify you or your property specifically.
Do I need insurance?
We would always recommend anybody travelling to ensure that they have appropriate travel insurance. Likewise, all home owners should have a decent insurance policy that covers them should anything get broken or damaged while they have guests staying at their property. Best to check, but most home insurance policies cover friends and relations staying in your property - insurance companies know it's a good thing for a property to be occupied rather than empty.
What if I have a bad experience?
We expect bad experiences to be infrequent. The benefit of limiting your network to your friends and their friends means you plug into a group of like-minded people, of similar standards of living, outlook on life, and so on. However, if you do feel let down, use the feedback system to make sure that other users are aware of problematic guests or unsatisfactory accommodation. The more feedback you give, the more reliable the experience for all.
I can't find any availability for the dates I want!
Don't be shy - if it's holiday season, there's a fair chance someone's property will be available but they haven't updated the calendar yet. Send a short message to contacts in the destinations you're interested, stating your available dates - you might get lucky. Or, if you're travelling alone, or for business, they may have a spare room you can use even though they won't actually be away.
What if I want to "defriend" someone or bar them from seeing my properties or availability calendar?
That's easy - there's a default group called Blocked on the Contacts and Groups page. Just add that person to the Blocked Group, and they will no longer see your information, whether as a direct contact or via a friend you have in common.
What if I don't want people bringing children, pets, etc?
Your house, your space, your rules. It's entirely your decision who is able to use your property. Don't feel you have to allow anything you aren't comfortable with.
What about my valuables?
You might want to put anything easily breakable or of sentimental value away in a safe place, but that's probably all you need to do. People tend to take extra care of other people's property, and that, combined with your home insurance policy, will cover you for most eventualities.
Should I let people use my car?
Again, you make the rules. If you're comfortable doing so, why not? Just make sure you have the relevant insurance, and the guest does too.
What about cleaning?
The Golden Rule is clearly "Leave it as you find it". If the owner has a cleaning service and you can take advantage of it with his blessing, lucky you! If not, then make sure the place is left neat and tidy.
I rent my property rather than own it - is that a problem?
Check your rental agreement to be sure of your rights. If no money is changing hands, then having people to stay would not usually be seen as a sub-let, whereas if you are looking for a financial contribution from your guests, that may not be the case. To be safe, you may wish to get the owner's OK either way before proceeding.