By Ken Hegan for MSN
Would you share a hotel room with a total stranger?
That’s the concept behind Easynest.com, a startup that connects solo travellers looking to save cash on hotel stays.
Here’s the thing: hotel rates are based on double occupancy. Which is a win for couples but if you’re flying solo, you pay a premium. That’s where Easynest comes in. Instead of spending $40 on a stained bunk bed in some ratbag hostel (and instead of paying $80 for a whole hotel room to yourself), you can pay 40 bucks to get 1 of 2 beds in the $80 hotel room.
So you’ll pay hostel prices but get more room and comfort (in theory). Easynest’s slogan: “Share cost. Make friends.”
Just pray you don’t spend the night with, say, Heisenberg or Swimfan.
Here’s how Easynest works:
1) Register & create your profile. I signed up using Facebook because I’m remarkably lazy.
2) Let’s say you’re backpacking, filthy from the jungle leeches, and need a hotel to clean up and feel human again. You do some research and find a great hotel that you can’t afford on your own. So you post details on the hotel, the room cost, when you want to check in, and how long you want to stay. Then you simply wait for prey, I mean new friends to contact you. Or…
3) …search Easynest to find rooms that other travellers want to share.
4) If you find someone you’re willing to share a room with (assuming they want to team up with you), the two of you arrange to meet / exchange money and one of you goes ahead and books that awesome room. Easynest just hooks you up, it doesn’t book your room (yet).
5) The hotel isn’t involved in the transaction either. It’s absolutely none of their business unless one of you pulls out a knife that’s longer than the other guy’s knife.
6) Once the room is booked, congratulations. You’re about to make a new friend and get a deal on a hotel room in one of the world’s greatest cities!
What could possibly go wrong? Sounds like a winning use of social media to me.
Naturally, before sharing a room with a stranger you should take precautions. I recommend you prepare as if you’re going on a sexy date with some stranger you met on Craiglist’s Casual Encounter:
1) Take a photo of your hotel buddy as they hold up their passport and driver’s license.
2) Email that photo to your two closest friends.
3) Turn the lights off, close your eyes, and fall into a sweet, peaceful sleep.
What do you think? Would you share a dark hotel room with a complete stranger?
— Ken Hegan
Read all Ken’s travel stories here
Thanks to D Dormer. I would share a room with him if there were security cameras and I was wearing a wire. And I have.