Holidays are the perfect opportunity to dabble, purr, gallop, twitter, …

18 Jul 2012

It’s been a hard day’s night and you’ve been working like a dog, but when you go home guess who’s been waiting for you. All day long. Quiet or loud, they never fail to show their affection – no matter what mood you’re in. You have probably guessed by now who we are talking about – bingo, we are talking about this lovely pet of yours! And if you happen to own more than one, lucky you: the more the merrier. Those furry loved ones are unique and it may –sometimes, often, always – be difficult to let them go even for a short break.

 

Never mind that – why not just simply take them on vacation with you? After all, a lot of responsibilities come with looking after a pet and finding a sitter might not be as easy as bringing the fluffies along with you. It’s barely a matter of making the hard things simple.

 

Be careful about a few things though. An animal should not be locked up in car, even for a short while – minutes are enough for a pet left in a vehicle on a warm day to die of heatstroke. Similarly, it is advisable not to walk them during peak sun hours. When travelling in Europe, make sure their vaccinations and passport are up to date. For more info, please consult the authorities of the country you intend to go to.

 

Few hotels will accommodate our little friends. Self-catering rentals can be the ideal way around this problem.

 

With enough luck, as on this social networking website, your companions will meet new friends, for instance in this lodge here.

 

Towns are a possibility too like in this holiday rental in Edinburgh.

 

Can your pets speak a foreign language? Let’s put this to the test in Mexico in this nice B&B!

 

No need to find a friend willing to sit them, everybody now has a chance to enjoy holidays.

Indeed, it requires a bit of organisation but it’s worth it, isn’t it?

Natacha.

The outlandish and the exotic are just waiting next door.

26 Jun 2012

Have you ever gone on holiday in the spur of the moment? The rush, the indecision and absolutely no organisation whatsoever – just the thought of it can either make you weak at the knees or lift your spirits.

Pic of our last holiday in terra incognita (1969)

Once you are ready, only one thing’s for certain, it is high time to take this step out of your comfort zone and into the wild! Never mind if you forgot the toothpaste or half of the clothes you need, have you ever heard of the word ‘serendipity’? Looking back, all these whimsical bits are what gives life to travel tales and pictures.

I can almost hear you say that encounters matter too! Immersion with a local – if you pick one of the holiday rentals listed here – is the best way to go. They can provide you with a list of precious tips and you will get a taste of the local culture right off the train, car, spaceship, bike, caravel…

Never mind the surprises – for a week-end or just a bit more – you will feel like a modern-day conquistador.

A trip to the other end of the world sure takes time. Wheretosleep is very down-to-earth and places both the unusual and unexpected for you to reach with one click.

Do you have sea legs? Cast off the mooring and go for a night rocked to sleep by the soft rolling of the water flowing under this canal boat or even that one.

Were you rather the kind to run wild in the forest and build tree houses? Why not try that log cabin out? Or a comfier option like that riverside lodge?

Indulge in delusions of grandeur in this Victorian house or that converted chapel.

Quite the opposite, your home is your castle and yet you have the wandering soul of a gipsy? Rent a mobile home.

If you already live on a foreign remote exotic island, settle for reef barrier, rainforest, tropical sanctuary.

Expect the unexpected in places you would not expect.

 

Natacha.

A guide to hosting with Wheretosleep

13 Jun 2012

 

There you go, ready to rent your accommodation. You did just the right move by listing your property on Wheretosleep!

Congratulations. It’s great, awesome, even grand but what to do next?

 

1. Before the confirmation

First things first, keep in mind that our guests are not looking for a cold professional approach to hosting.

Try to make your ad attractive and give it as personal a touch as possible.

For instance, feel free to pepper it with humour or to give it a distinctive turn.

Quality shots of your holiday rental will make a difference. Don’t forget to complete your profile and to add a picture of yourself with your best smile on.

When a user contacts you, don’t be too pithy. Try and get to know more about your guest and tell a bit more about you.

Furthermore, a quick answer will help you win you the guest’s trust.

Be clear about whether or not you are staying at the rented place during the stay.

You may ask for a deposit on arrival or a cleaning fee, but remember it has to be clearly highlighted in your listing’s description.

 

2. Confirmation

The guest has completed their payment and their booking is now confirmed (you may check this on ‘My bookings’ on your account).

Action-stations! Cleaning, getting everything ready, … – good organisational skills won’t hurt a bit.

Are you providing sheets and towels? What about meals? Printed guide?

List the things left to do before their arrival. Tick off every time you complete one.

Make sure the time and place to hand out the keys are well understood. Exchange as many details as possible prior to the check-in date.

The main thing to remember is not to wait until right before their arrival to get critical information.

Everything is more difficult to handle when done in a hurry.

 

3. Check-in.

Host your guest as you would like to be hosted.

Upon their arrival, small presents (i.e. a list of your favourite places in town, a snack, a drink, anything really) and a friendly welcome will help them feel comfortable.

In a nutshell, just be considerate.

You may leave a reminder of house rules to avoid unpleasant surprises.

All those tips will help you – or at least we hope so – to have the best hosting experience possible.

Don’t forget to suggest that your guests leave a review on Wheretosleep and do the same for them.

You can also browse through our FAQ.

 

Natacha.

Wheretosleep, way to go!

07 Jun 2012

No doubt you have already noticed the slideshow displaying on our homepage – listing a few of our personal favourites on Wheretosleep.

Just picture us, staring into the distance with our hand wandering off towards the travel bag and the sudden impulse to head off, fly off, run off, right now, to those distant horizons.

We never quite agree though exactly on… where to sleep.

But there is absolutely no need to rule out anything as a whole range of holiday lettings are just one click away.

We all have very different sets of mind when it comes to travel. Everyone has a fairly unique travelling profile, don’t you think? That’s where we come in.

Time flies as you are desperately trying to catch up with it, on edge, putting yourself out all the time. And without you even noticing, holidays are here at last. It is high time to chill out, lie down for a while and enjoy!

Just think about it: a beach in the sun (better put some sunscreen on), your feet up stretching out those tense toes. And absolutely nothing planned, idleness pure and simple.

Barcelona awaits you.

If the beach is not for you and you are more of a nature person, why not go to the countryside and enjoy its delightful local products? Fauna, flora, voilà!

Charming cottage in Kington.

Quite the opposite, you are all shopping, clubbing, happenings and you have already listed out all the boutiques you want to go to along with places where to see and be seen.

What you need is … a capital! Whether a fashion, gastronomy or party capital, you’ll find them all on Wheretosleep with hosts just waiting to welcome you.

Notting Hill is just for you.

Exploring the past captivates you, old stones make your day, antiques fill you with joy and wonder, and you only stop to sleep. Why not check the oldest of them all?

Let’s go to Stonehenge.

Last but not least, if you are still short of inspiration, just randomly pick a place and choose among the holiday lets listed on Wheretosleep.

Natacha.

10 things to prepare before your holidays

04 May 2012

Before the start of our holidays and once you book your accommodation, there’s always a mad rush to prepare and plan everything on time. However, here are our top ten tips to prepare for the perfect, stress-free holiday:

1. Passport: don´t forget to check the expiry date. If it´s expired or about to, best to renew it ahead of your holidays. Remember that it can take up to two weeks if you do it by post. Always useful to take a photo copy of your passport with you on your holiday.

2. Travel insurance: you’ll more than likely not need it, but it is always recommended. Hunt around online to get the best deals.

3. Luggage: ensure that you are within your luggage weight limit. Always worth taking less so that you have space in your suitcases to bring home souvenirs. Remember airline carriers charge extra for any additional weight.

4. Hand luggage: for liquids being carried in hand luggage; ensure firstly the bottles are no bigger than 100ml and secondly that they are concealed within a small transparent plastic bag. Do not carry sharp objects unless you want them thrown away!

5. Luggage tags: to prevent loss of luggage, add a name tag on all your suitcases clearly stating your name, address and contacts details.

6. Currency: don’t leave home without any of your holiday destination’s local currency. Hunt around online or at your local shopping centre for the best rates.

7. Printed copies: always worth having spare print outs of your flight tickets, passport, accommodation address and relevant contact details etc. Separate where these copies are carried, so that if you lose one bag you still have the details kept in another.

8. Electricity: don’t forget to bring the appropriate adaptor plug if you are carrying mobile phones and electronic goods.

9. Travel guides: having the latest edition travel guide will help you to explore the destination independently and provide you with maps, local advice, what to expect and tips on how to make the most out of your stay.

10. Language: to gain a good insight into the local customs and culture, learning some of the local language really helps. People always appreciate the effort and it’s a great way of making local friends during your trip. Top things to learn include: greetings, ordering food and drink and thank you.

Have a safe and enjoyable trip!


WhereToSleep Updates: Making Browsing Simple

04 May 2012

Over the past few days, we’ve made a few changes to improve the booking process and your experience on the site.

You may have already seen the slight change to the site’s pages, in case you haven’t spotted it, we’ve incorporated a dashboard at the top of the page, which will give you better browsing control. It includes shortcuts to your account and help pages, making your experience easier, quicker and simpler.

From now on, we´ve made it easier and quicker for hosts to answer traveller booking requests by introducing the option to “accept”, “reject” or “contact” travellers. You´ll find the options in “my messages” and “my bookings”.

In addition, you´ll be able to check the location of all the available properties on Google Maps, making it easier to search for what you´re looking for. Just go to the search page, select your chosen city, followed by “map” found on the left hand side of the page:

You´ll instantly see 15 properties appear on the map. You´ll also see a more detailed list of these properties on the left hand side:

 Previous changes

 

 

Fallas de Valencia

14 Feb 2012

During the spring, some of the most popular Spanish events will be taking place. The season starts with Las Fallas in Valencia, between the 15th and 19th March. The event is organised in honour of St Joseph, patron of the carpenter. It is part of International Tourist Interest.

Valencians will be working during the whole year to build “Las Fallas”. Las Fallas is a giant papier-mâché figure over 20 feet tall. Caricatures include politicians, celebrities and those involved with current affairs. Las Fallas will be held in the centre of the city beginning in the evening of 15th March. The Fallas will then be burned on 19th March, the last day of the event.

Following the Las Fallas event, daily fireworks (mascletás) will be held in the city centre. The event will come to an end with parades, verbena, bullfights and competitions throughout the week.

 

If you interested in taking part in this event, have a look at our Valencia properties. We have rooms from £12 per person per night!

 

New way to book with WhereToSleep step by step

13 Feb 2012

Whichever Payment method the host’s selected, the booking steps are the same for all.

WhereToSleep has now 3 steps to book, with 3 different statuses :

STEP ONE:

———————————————————- GUEST ——————————————————–

Guests can send as many booking requests they wish to different hosts by selecting the dates on the calendar, and by clicking on Make booking enquiry

STEP TWO:

———————————————————-  HOST———————————————————- 

Hosts will receive a pending booking. Hosts need to click on My bookings > View booking

to accept or reject the request.

STEP THREE:

———————————————————-  GUEST———————————————————- 

The traveller will see ACCEPTED in his dashboard. He still needs to confirm the booking by making the payment. To do so, the traveller needs to click on My Bookings > Make payment.

★★★ GOOD TO KNOW ★★★

HOSTS:

Guests will send many requests to hosts. The quicker the host replies, the more chances

the Guest will book their place.

GUESTS:

Hosts will receive booking requests from different travellers for the same period. Once the booking is accepted, the quickest guest to make the payment will get the place.

When you write to a host don’t forget to introduce yourself, and ask as many questions about the accommodation.

When entering your payment details, do not put any spaces between digits,

When entering your contact details select the right country code, do not enter the first ‘zero’ when you enter your phone number.

 

New Features for Guest: Pay with Cash and Payment once Booking is Accepted

01 Feb 2012

 

Since we launched WhereToSleep. , we’ve received your feedback and suggestions. We’ve listened to you and so are introducing changes to make the Booking process simpler and more effective.

Add payment details once the Booking is accepted

From now on, when you send a Booking enquiry, you won’t be asked to submit your Card or PayPal details up front. You can send as many enquiries as you want to different listings. Once you get one or more positive responses, you have up to three days to choose one and confirm the Booking by making the required payment. This will make the process more convenient.

Paying with cash

Also, Hosts can now opt to use a “Pay on Arrival” payment method for their Listings. Using the method, to confirm a Booking, you pay the Booking fees online through WhereToSleep and then pay the Host the Booking amount when you arrive on the Check-in date. This option is voluntary and depends on the Host, as the Cancellation Policy is different for these cases.

Learn more about new payment method “Pay on Arrival”

New Feature for Hosts: “Pay on Arrival”

31 Jan 2012

Since we launched WhereToSleep. , we’ve received your feedback and suggestions. We’ve listened to you and so are introducing changes to make the Booking process simpler and more effective to help increase the number of Bookings received.

Receive payment on Arrival

We’ve introduced the “Pay on Arrival” payment method. You can choose it as your default Payment method so that Guests will pay the Booking amount directly to you upon arrival on the Check-in date. Guests confirm their bookings by paying their Booking fees online through WhereToSleep. .
The option is voluntary. You should keep in mind that there are changes to the Cancellation Policy and you won´t receive payment should you make a last minute cancellation.



Change to the traveller

Also, we’ve changed the way Guests can send Booking enquiries. From now on, Guests won´t be required to provide their Card or PayPal details when sending a Booking enquiry. They can make as many enquiries as they like. Once one or more Bookings are accepted by Hosts, the Guest has three days to choose one and then confirm the Booking by making the required payment online through WhereToSleep.

You can accept more than one enquiry for given dates; the first Guest to make payment confirms the Booking with you. When a Booking has been confirmed, other enquiries for the same dates are deleted automatically and the Guests involved are informed that the dates are no longer available. Now more than ever, it’s very important that you answer any Booking enquiries quickly.

 

Learn more about the changes on the booking process