Initially you might have thought the concept of Airbnb would enable you to find accommodation on your holidays that is much cheaper than hotels. But it has quickly become a rip-off – or at least in Denmark anyway.
Perhaps with this in mind, hundreds of Danes are signing up to an initiative in which they rent out space in their gardens to foreign travellers – completely free of charge, reports TV2.
The closed Facebook group ‘Brug min baghave’ (use my backyard) was only launched in early May, but already 600 Danish homeowners with gardens, along with over 8,000 travellers, have signed up to make use of it.
Travellers, who can make use of the gardens providing they have a tent, access an overview of the available gardens via the Facebook page. In return, the homeowners are expected to provide a grass area, but there are no other expectations.
Surpassed initiator’s expectations
The initiator, Pernille Kaas, has been delighted with the response.
“It is very overwhelming and has surpassed my wildest imagination,” she told TV2.
“I had expected that [the membership] would be 100 hikers without a single backyard to stay in!”
Her next plan is to create a logo that participating homeowners can stick on their front door to alert hikers to their willingness to lend out their gardens.
“Although the interest has been overwhelming, and stickers have already been sent out to a large number of Danes, it is not an initiative to make money,” she cautioned.
“It is all about hospitality, so it is completely non-profit.”
Homeowners to want to give
The initiative has certainly appealed to a lot of Danish homeowners, reports TV2.
“When I heard about this initiative, I was in no doubt for five seconds that I wanted to join,” enthused John Svendsen from Copenhagen.
“The whole family agreed. We thought it would be interesting to hear where the travellers come from and where they are going. Who knows: maybe you’ll end up meeting some of them again.”
Mikkel Bach-Rasmussen on Funen is equally enthusiastic.
“It’s good to give help to those who need it. I like to do that. I think we need to welcome strangers into our everyday lives and meet people we don’t know – give them some help and warmth,” he said.