Airbnb is a very good side income opportunity. Especially, if you have the time and desire to make your service better and better. The question as to why some people prefer to pay more for someone’s private room or apartment than for a hotel room has a simple answer. The personal touch.
In hotels we are all clients. In Airbnb homes we are somehow friends. It is not a very easy decision to open your special place to unknown travellers from all parts of the big wide world. But if you do it, you want to show these people that they are special. Because they are. They are coming very close to knowing your deep inside “Me”. And very often you want to show them something more. Your hobbies, your dreams, to share some memories or knowledge…
The personal touch
My husband and I started an Airbnb business very recently – wonderful place, we called The Beachy Beauty. I think we are warm friendly people with very strong “home” feelings. And because we are sharing our own apartment, we also want to show people coming there that they are special to us. So, we decided to work on some special details of the service.
The survival kit map
A month ago I found a wonderful article about the survival kit idea based on a hand drawn map in Pinterest and absolutely fell in love. As a serious world traveller I know how difficult it sometimes is to find important places when staying somewhere new and how important is to have starting information about the place from someone who is living there and knows the locality and the people.
So as I said, I loved the idea about a hand drawn map, but it is not very easy. So I found an easier way to make it hand drawn with a little bit of cheating.
In our case, it is a small town but with very strange layout. The older part of the village is built around a very compact square, but in the last 15 years lots of different hotels, restaurants and homes have grown up around this area. So, visitors and especially foreigners definitely need some support on how to find “this” or “that”.
The way to make a “handmade” map
Yes, it is actually a handmade map. Drawn by hand and then scanned for easy of distribution.
First I opened a google map of the village and copied from the screen the shapes of the village, the roads and the area around. Of course, the result was ugly lines, looking like worms after a summer rain.
But after that with pencil and eraser all the details were fixed, all the street names were checked twice and the skeleton of the map was ready
After this step the time for colouring came. Using a not very thick watercolour paper I decided to work with watercolour markers and a watercolour brush together with fine nib markers.
First I started with the watercolours markers and brush and when the paper was fully dry, used the fine markers to contour the streets and to colour the important things like medical centres, the road to the apartment, convenience stores and the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops s which we like.
I decided the most important things should be written in red, and the next most important in orange and all the other information in black. I used grey for the shapes of the streets and houses.
And, of course, to make the map really real, I added a small key with definitions of the symbols:
After that the map was scanned and I decided to make the edges a little bit curly.
And the Survival kit map was ready. Actually, it makes a funny and very nice little souvenir from this small village on a Black sea, called Lozenets…