If you’ve ever felt unsafe while traveling, you’re not alone. According to a recent SAP Concur survey, over 50% of women polled said they’ve changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe. But now there’s a rental platform aiming to change the status quo for women seeking to travel without fear of risky accommodations.
Golightly is an invite-only vacation rental platform where all properties are run or managed by people who identify as women, and only people who identify as women can book them (they can still travel with men, though). It currently lists hundreds of verified properties around the world, with prices ranging from $80 (£60) for a private room in Miami to $1000+ (£8,000+) per night for a country estate in Ireland. There’s also an additional 10% transaction fee for guests and a 5% fee for hosts, as well as a $100 (£77) lifetime membership fee. Not so bad compared to Airbnb’s 3% host fee and under-14.2% guest fee.
“I had been a customer of short-term rentals for a long time — both renting and listing my properties. My home in London was burglarised and completely destroyed by a group of men who weren’t who they said they were when they booked my home via a major home share site, where the profile of the person who booked it is still active. The experience really shook me, and I wasn’t really comfortable renting or travelling that way anymore,” explains Golightly founder Victoria O’Connell. “I started to think about what would make me comfortable again, and I realized that knowing more about who you are renting from and having a connection to that person through a private club was the answer. I applied inspiration from the community aspect of women-focused coworking spaces, I decided that women needed the same type of space when it came to travel.”
Interested hosts or guests should fill out this application, which will then be vetted by Golightly via a fraud prevention check. A member of the team calls all applicants to get to know them better before accepting them on the platform. Once accepted, members get five invites to invite their friends — the idea being that everyone on Golightly will be a friend of a friend, and hosts and guests can see how everyone is connected to one another in the community.
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