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Pandemic inspires new twists on vacation homes

Minimize risk when using vacation rental
Minimize risk when using vacation rental

For your next vacation, where do you plan to stay?

COVID-19 has turned the home-renting industry on its head with hosts dealing with unpredictable cancelations and guests finding very little options available on mainstream sites.

But COVID-19 has also opened the door to lesser-known alternatives to popular sites, such as Airbnb and VRBO.

One is a home-sharing network that is built exclusively for women, called GoLightly. To gain access to network, new members must be referred by current GoLightly members. There is a one-time membership fee of $100, which is currently being suspended due to the pandemic.

Airbnb has its own spinoff geared toward certain populations, such as MisterB&B for the LGBTQ community and NoirBNB for Black travelers.

And if you are worried about booking a place with a stranger, try MyPlace, which allows users to share housing with a trusted circle of friends and family.

Another platform to try is Koala, which lets people rent out timeshares. Timeshare owners do get to set their own rates, so you may want to compare prices of the timeshare to hotels nearby to get the best deal.