FAQs - Vacation Rental Homes | Home Stay
Most frequently asked questions:
What is Faraway Vacation Rental ?
Faraway Vacation Rentals is a win-win kind of a place where:
- Travelers can find cheap, comfortable accommodation in someone's home, boat, apartment, castle etc.
- Hosts can earn some extra income by renting out their spare space, whole house etc.
So.. How does it work?
Step 1: If you have rental place (bedroom, sofa bed, futon, couch, house etc) you can list it on Faraway along with information, pictures and a price which you choose. Finally you decide whether you'd like Faraway to collect money for you, or if you would prefer cash on arrival. You have then become a Faraway member host.
Step 2: Faraway Guest's will browse all the rentals until they find one which is just right. They will make a 'booking request'. This means that they enter their credit card details and request the room on a certain date.
Step 3: No money is taken until the host has looked at the guest's profile and checked that they are ready to proceed. When they accept the booking, the card will be charged and the booking confirmed.
Hosts can either choose for us to take the full payment by credit card, and transfer the money to their account 24 hours after the date of the guest arrival, or they can take cash on arrival. If they choose cash on arrival we will only charge the guest 10% of the booking total when the booking is accepted.
How long does it take to arrange?
As you can see, booking a Rental isn't the same as booking a hotel. The minimum amount of time you should leave to arrange a booking is 48 hours - though obviously it can take less time than this or more, depending on the host(s) you make requests with.
We encourage hosts to respond to booking requests promptly but sometimes the host maybe busy or un-foreseen circumstances meaning it takes longer to arrange a booking than you might hope. If you're looking for accommodation within 24 hours, then booking a Rental might not be the right choice for you but is possible depending on the host.
Can I make more than one booking request at any one time?
This is not advisable. If you were to make more than one request and both hosts were to accept then you'd find yourself having to cancel one, which could result in you having to pay cancellation fees.
What's wrong with Luxury Resorts?
There's nothing wrong with luxury resorts in fact we list some really cool locations, however luxury resorts aren't for everyone that why we list a wide range of type and style of accomodations for just about everyone including you. By booking a vacation rental through faraway you can save money, stay in a great place with good facilities and meet some great people while you do.
What does it cost to join?
Our basic listing is free, we also have a highly effective paid super charged version and it only takes minute to join and another minute to add your profile and then you are off and running. Click here to join!
Is it safe?
We've done everything we can to make Faraway a safe and enjoyable community, for example taking credit card payment for spare room stays, which verifies identities of our guests. That said, we're all grown-ups here and as such we know there is always a risk in meeting new people, and you should take all the usual precautions. Check out the profiles of people you might want to stay with and view the feedback they get. And remember leave feedback for everyone you meet!
Who can be a host on Faraway ?
The good news is almost everyone can become a Faraway member host. The bad news? There isn't any! It doesn't matter whether you rent or own your place, whether you have a spare room, sofa bed, futon or even an airbed in the hallway - you can earn money and meet new people by having a Faraway guest to stay. All you have to do is make sure you charge a fair price - and we'll do the rest!
How much will it cost me, and how do hosts get paid?
Listing a room on Faraway vacation rentals is free and only takes a few minutes to list a rental.
We charge 10% of the total amount of the booking. roughly 3% for credit card fees and we get 7% commission, I know it's not much but it keeps us going!
'Here is how the Payment thing works'
- Payment via Faraway Vacation Rental site - we take payment for the full amount online when the booking is arranged. We then transfer the host's 90% to them 24 hours after the guest arrival date.
- Cash on Arrival - we verify the guest's details by taking our 10% online. The remaining amount is paid in cash when the guest arrives at the rental. Please note that if a host wants this option we will not be able to offer them full compensation in the event of a last minute cancellation.
Can I decline a request for any reason?
Sure you can.
Once someone requests to stay at your rental, you'll be emailed a link to their personal profile. Their profile will allow you to see their picture, read all about them and check out feedback left by previous hosts. If for any reason you don't feel comfortable, you can decline the booking.
How does a host know how much to charge?
Here are a few tips:
- Check to see if there are other hosts in your area, and if so what they charge.
- Take a look at the price of rentals, homestay, vacation rentals or rooms in local hotels and B&B's as a guideline.
- Be realistic about rental and what it offers - don't try to get luxury resorts rates!
- Don't forget about the 10% commission we charge.
Remember, the lower your price, the more bookings you're likely to get!
What if the room's not available for a certain date?
Our booking calendar will take the guess work out of it, The host will be able to block out dates that the rental will be unavailable. It's easy by just clicking on the dates and they will turn a different color.
I'm not getting as many bookings as I'd like. How can I make sure my room is being promoted?
There are many ways for you to promote your rental, including simple listing on Craigslist, Gumtree, Facebook and Twitter.
When I search for my area my rooms is not on the first page - why is that?
Rooms are ordered according to various criteria, so your room may not always appear on the first page when you search for your area. Rentals are generally judged on:
- Response Rate; How quick a host takes to respond to queries and booking requests.
- Information; Including facts about the host, the area and the condition of the rental.
- Reviews; Friend testimonials and guests reviews make rentals more search-friendly.
- Pictures; The more pictures of your rental (s), the better chance you have to be on the first page of the search results.
- Availability; If your rental is already booked up or unavailable for any period of time, we'll take you out of search temporarily, not fair to others.
If your room isn't on the first page of search results for say London UK, don't worry. People search for Rentals according to all types of criteria - including price, number of guests and specific area - meaning your rental could well be on the first results page for a number of different searches.
What is a Response Rate?
This tells you how good a host has been at responding to messages and booking requests. The better the rating, the quicker you are likely to hear back. Click here for more information.
Can I increase my response rating?
Yes you can! We've put together a few handy hints that should be able to help. Just click here and you'll find all you need to know.
Can I add more than one Rental to Faraway?
You Bet you can! If you're offering more than one rental through the site then please ensure you add them as separate listings. This will allow you to rent them out to guests independently, making bookings much easier to handle.
How do you book a room, B&B, or vacation rental on Faraway ?
Find a Rental you like, select your chosen check-in and check-out dates and click on the 'Book now' button. By making a booking request on a rental you'll enter the payment process:
- We book through PayPal so we never see or store your financial information. Just another safeguard
- We'll authorize your card (just as a resort does) for the booking amount. The amount being authorize will depend on the host's payment preferences:
- For 'Payment via Faraway' you'll be authorized for the full amount.
- For 'Cash on Arrival' you'll be authorized for 10% of the full amount. Along with an additional 40% for cancellation deposit which will be refunded 24 hours after your arrival date.
- Finally it falls to the host to accept or decline the booking:
DECLINED - Should they decline the booking request the authorization will be dropped automatically. If it seems this has not been done then check with your bank, some can be slow to process these credits.
ACCEPTED - For 'Payment via Faraway' Rentals we take full payment at this point. For 'Cash on Arrival' Pads we take our 10% commission. You'll need to bring the remaining 90% with you when you arrive to the Rental and a refund of your deposit will be done 24 hours after your arrival date.
What does authorizing a card involve?
Authorizing your card means giving us permission to take an agreed amount of money in the future - just like when a resort swipes your card. It does not mean we'll take the money immediately; it just places a hold on it.
We'll only take the money should your booking request be accepted by the host. If the booking request expires or is rejected we'll drop the authorization automatically. Please note that different banks vary in terms of how quickly they respond to an authorization being dropped. If you suspect we have not dropped the authorization on your account/card please check with your bank.
What happens if my booking request is ignored?
A host has 48 hours to respond to a booking request. If they fail to do so within that time it is dropped, costing the guest nothing.
Booking requests being ignored is something we strive to prevent. As such we clearly display a host's response rate, which is lowered for each booking request they ignore.
Why is it important to book through the Faraway website?
There are three main reasons we recommend you arrange your booking via the Faraway system, rather than trying to communicate directly with the host via email etc:
If the Faraway payment system is bypassed you have no official verification that your stay is taking place. None of our guests have ever had a negative experience with a faraway host, however in the interests of security it's best to have proof of your stay in someone else's home.
2) Simplicity and protection
We understand that arranging a transaction with a peer can have it's potential difficulties, so we're here to smooth the process. Also paying through PayPal adds another layer of protection; should the room be anything other than that described we'll be able to give you your money back and help to find other arrangements.
Can I cancel a booking at any point?
When you make a booking request on a rental there is a period when you have to wait for the request to be accepted (or declined) by the host. During this period you can cancel the request without any charges
After the booking has been accepted by the host you can still cancel a booking but you should prepare yourself for the fact that some cancellation fees may apply. Please review our Terms & Conditions for more details about how much these charges might be.
We also ask that you do the decent thing and let your host know about the cancellation as soon as possible please have some courtesy as your cancellation will cost the Host money from other potential guests!
Can I cut the booking short, i.e. part way through my Faraway stay ?
If your booking has already started and you realize you need to cut your stay short it will constitute a cancellation, since you are effectively cancelling part of it. Cancellation charges essentially go towards compensating the host. After all, having booked the days you wish to cancel, you have deprived them of being able to fill their room at that time and may have affected their plans and arrangements.
Please review our Terms & Conditions for more details about the amount you will be liable to pay.
Can I view the place before I book my stay?
Our security system means that hosts and guests cannot exchange contact details before a booking request has been made and accepted. As such, arranging a viewing before booking is not possible through Faraway.
What we would suggest however, if you would like to see a place before making a long booking, is to book for a couple of days. That will allow you to see the place, meet the host then extend the stay via the website, should you choose to do so.
What happens if the host asks to be paid externally such as outside of Faraway payment system?
Contact us immediately.
If the host makes any request such as this then please either call us or send us an email explaining your concerns. We will then handle the situation from here, getting to the bottom of the host's intentions, looking into the booking and possibly suspending or terminating the host's account. We monitor system emails for violation to our policy which can result in termination.
Situations requiring our attention could involve the host suggesting you should go outside the established faraway payment process or involve external payment methods. If you're at all unsure then please do get in touch.
What if I want to change my registered Faraway email address?
If you'd like to change the email you have registered with Faraway please get in touch by mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org - letting us know your new details.
Since we verify your initial Faraway membership with an email we'll need to send you another verification email to your updated address.
What happens if I forget my Faraway password?
We understand that today's we have passwords for all sorts of things and keeping track of all of them can be about as easy as teaching a cat to tango.
Fortunately, resetting your faraway password is much easier.
The faraway login page should contain a link you can follow if you've forgotten your password. Here's what happens:
- You enter your email address on the Forgot your password page.
- You'll be sent an email that contains a special link to the 'Reset your password' page.
- On this page you'll need to enter your new password and then confirm it.
Can I contact another member of the Faraway Vacation Rentals community via their email or phone number?
In the interests of security, Faraway only permits members to contact each other through the site's messaging system.
Please be aware that we restrict members from sending messages that may contain contact details. Any Faraway member found to be trying to share their contact details could have their account suspended without warning.
If you find that we prevent you from sending a message, despite the fact it contains no contact details, you have the option of sending it anyway, acknowledging that a human being from the Faraway team will take a look at it, to check the content.
Once a booking has been accepted both parties will be sent the other's direct contact details, allowing them to arrange the arrival time and any other details. Once a booking has been accepted you'll also find you can include contact details in your Faraway messages.
Can I charge a specific amount for a week/month long stay?
Yes you can!
If you go to the Edit your room page and look for the 'What about guests and payment?' section, you'll find that you can choose to select individual prices per night, per week and per month.
Why would I want to charge a specific amount for a week/month long stay?
Lots of hosts choose to set their price per night, then offer a slight discount for block bookings.
Simply go to the Edit your room page to enter the amount you'd like to charge per week and per month. There you'll find we've added a handy automatic calculating function. This calculator looks at the amount you charge per night and suggests the amount you might like to charge per week and per month.
Remember though, this is only a suggested amount. You can choose to charge what you like per week/month, or indeed choose not to add anything to these sections at all.
Can I charge different amounts depending on how many guests come to stay?
Yes you can!
We've made it possible to charge a set amount for the first guest and, if you should wish, a different amount for additional guests. Lots of hosts choose to charge per guest and offer a slight discount for additional guests.
You can do this by going to Edit your room. Then, assuming you've set the capacity at more than 1, a question will appear in the 'What about guests and payment?' section, asking 'How will you charge?'
The options are to charge a 'Flat fee for the room' or 'Per guest'. Select 'Per guest' to charge different amounts for different numbers of guests. Multiple fields should appear at this point, allowing you to set the relevant prices.
Do I have to include meals in the room rate?
Some hosts choose to include breakfast and/or dinner in their Faraway Vacation rental rate - but this is completely optional. Since each Faraway stay is different, you can choose to include whatever you like. The important thing is to communicate what's included clearly in your rental description to avoid any confusion with potential guests.
While some provide the breakfast basics, including tea, coffee and toast - others will do a full cooked breakfast. Likewise, when it comes to an evening meal some hosts may invite their guests to join them for dinner, while others will leave them to fend for themselves. Another option is to allow your guests access to the kitchen but ask them to provide their own food. It will probably all depend on what time your guest plans to arrive and stay until, as well as what you're happy with.
How much should I charge for food?
If you do choose to include any meals you should charge whatever you think is fair, given the cost of the ingredients and the amount of time it takes you to prepare the food.
If a guest cancels their booking at the last minute will I be compensated?
YES. If a guest cancels a booking that has already been accepted then they will be charged cancellation fees. These will vary depending on how much notice has been given by the guest. You can find out more about cancellation charges in our Terms & Conditions.