We are Elisa and Dominic and we live with some of our grown up kids in West London. I am a yoga instructor, teaching private and group classes mainly in Kensington and Notting Hill. Dominic is a professional sailor who also does renovation work when not at sea and we have 5 children aged between 18 and 25 who are beginning to fly the nest.
We enjoy people, sunshine, sailing and family. We also run yoga and sailing holidays around the world and this year we are running yoga trips to Kerala in India, and Kabak in Turkey and a sailing holiday in the UK.
As a family we have been hosting guests in the spare bedroom in our home since 2010 and it has proved to be a really enjoyable experience. We have loved meeting new people from all over the globe and getting to know them a little during their stay with us.
We have done home stays ourselves as guests in a number of Airbnb places in Iceland, Wales, France and Spain. Our kids have enjoyed their own Airbnb experiences around the world so we are all ambassadors for this personalised way of travelling.
We hope that as a family we have found the right balance as hosts and we would recommend Airbnb to anyone looking for an informal unique form of travel experience.
There is something rather special about staying in a less touristy location and experiencing a place with the personal touch of staying in a home with local people as their guests rather than a generic hotel room. However we also understand the importance of retaining that sense of privacy we all appreciate.
For many years we have also undertaken home swaps as a family and we and our exchange partners were always very respectful of each other's property. So in the summer of 2012 when London hosted the Olympics and Airbnb were encouraging their hosts to rent their homes we decided to give it a try.
Our experience of having strangers renting our home while we were on holiday was as positive as the home exchanges, despite the financial exchange, we were able to build up a good trusting relationship via email with our guests who understood that this is our family home and not an investment rental property. They not only looked after our home beautifully but also reported to us that they had thoroughly enjoyed their stay in our home and our local less touristy London neighbourhood.
This has encouraged us to make our home available again for occasional holiday periods this year.