An Australian couple who were hammered by interest rate rises and stressed about affording their dream European summer holiday have managed to make thousands of dollars while traveling.
Simon Jackson, who works in marketing, and Ruby Logan, a elementary school teacher, started booking their trip to Canada, the UK, Portugal and the south of France early last year.
But with 12 interest rate rises, Jackson told news.com.au it quickly turned from “a sense of excitement like ‘Oh my god, we’re going on this holiday’ to ‘Oh my god, how are we going to afford this holiday?’”
Jackson said the Sydney couple’s last big Europe trip was about 10 years ago when they backpacked and stayed in hostels.
Now in their early thirties, they had a dedicated savings account with hopes to travel with a bigger budget and swap the hostels for hotels.
Jackson said they anticipated the cost of living would increase, but they were unaware of just how tough it would get.
“The mortgage went up massively very quickly … I think it was just over $1000 [more a month] compared to when we started booking the trip,” he said.
It wasn’t until a friend mentioned they had put their place up on Airbnb while going away for long weekends that Jackson and Logan thought they might have found a way to afford the holiday they had planned.
They listed their own two-bedroom apartment and were shocked to get a request for 43 nights, which is about six weeks.
“We had zero expectations that anyone would rent it for even longer than a week,” Jackson said.
“When we saw the notification that someone had requested to stay there for 43 nights … we didn’t think it could be real.”
Jackson said they really had no idea what to expect and weren’t even sure how they would arrange to get the place cleaned in between stays if they got multiple short-term bookings.
They had offered a big discount on a longer stay and ended up making about $3,287.
Jackson said it was “an overnight game-changer.”
“When you get sent the thing to say someone’s requested it, it shows you how much money you’re going to earn and just seeing that felt like a lifeline for our holiday,” he said.
The booking, which they understand was someone visiting the city for work, was actually longer than their holiday, so they moved back in with Jackson’s parents for the remainder of the time.
He explained they had only had one guest so far and it took a bit of work setting up their home to be suitable for Airbnb, including removing photos and other personal items, and creating dedicated locked cupboards with their belongings.
But they have already listed their home again for some long weekends.
According to new data by banking giant NAB, as many as two in three Australians have either cancelled or postponed their travel recently.
A further 40% of Australians – or four in 10 travelers – have scaled back their travel plans or decided to instead travel domestically.
The big reason for those travel plans being canned is the cost.