ST. LOUIS - As the excitement builds for the August 21 a total solar eclipse in the St. Louis area, some local people are finding ways to cash in while offering their homes to out-of-towners.
As many as 1.5 million people are expected to flock to the St. Louis area to view the event. But with hotels booked solid for months, finding a place to stay is getting tough.
Travelers and homeowners alike are turning to sites like Airbnb.com.
Five on Your Side checked and found a slew of options still available in many price ranges, like this home near Arnold for just shy of $1,500 per night. Or maybe you're looking for a treehouse getaway near Grubville for $7,000 per night.
We talked with two local homeowners to ask why they decided to list their homes.
Steve Alden and his wife travel the country for races. They've used Airbnb as guests.
“We've always had good experiences and it seems like you always meet someone and they have a story,” said Alden.
At $1,250 per night for his Festus home that sleeps 11, Alden is hoping last-minute travelers will give his place try.
“We're just a few minutes from West City Park that's having the big festivities that day. And us being in the 2:40 zone gives the group the opportunity to experience the full benefit of the eclipse.”
Those looking for a more budget-friendly option might consider this carriage house outside DeSoto. Surrounded by plenty of nature and acreage, it's a quieter alternative to the big crowds and festivals.
“Here you can pull out your lawn chair and sit and have a glass of wine and relax,” said host Meagan Wagner.
While the idea of renting your home to strangers may seem foreign to some. Alden and Wagner both say the added security of using sites like Airbnb helps ease their minds.
“They do provide some liability insurance,” said Alden.
“They check identities which is nice. So the safety factor was definitely a big part,” added Wagner.
If you are considering renting out your home make sure the site you use verifies the identity of the renter. That way if there's a problem you'll be able to find the person later.
Also, make sure you're using a secure method of payment to ensure you get paid.
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