Heading on holiday, looking for a place to stay, but aren't keen on the usual hotel experience? Thanks to Airbnb and a growing array of similar platforms, finding somewhere different to bunk down is now easier than ever. Whether it's an apartment, a campervan or an architecturally significant home, there's a service for it — and now there's a site that specialises in letting you kip in the luxe digs owned by your friends, or friends of friends.
If you've ever visited a pal's place and thought that you'd like to holiday there, or heard stories about a mate of a mate's gorgeous pad in a far-flung spot, Stay One Degree is here to help. It operates like other house-sharing platforms, but puts trust, recommendations from those you know and good ol' fashioned vouching for others at the centre of its transactions. As such, users can only rent from people they already know — such as family, friends or work colleagues — or people who know someone they know.
The idea came to founders and friends Thomas Bennett and Jorge Munoz during their own frequent travels. The duo realised something that everyone does at some point during a trip — that, even though there's no place like home, actually staying somewhere that feels like home comes close. After testing out the concept themselves and discovering that only renting from people they were already connected to still took a lot of planning, they decided to start a service that simplified the process, and that anyone could use.
After launching at the beginning of 2018, Stay One Degree now boasts hundreds of properties all around the world — including two in Australia and 19 in New Zealand at the time of writing, should you be looking to stay close to home.
And, as well as offering travellers the chance to hang out in a friend's ace digs, it obviously also works the other way around — helping folks fill their empty house with someone they know (or someone that someone they know knows) while they're away.