Taking off on the open road may be a dream for many, but for physiotherapist Georgia Richards, 30, and her partner Scott Kelly, 30, who works in finance, it’s about to become a reality. The couple are letting their two-bedroom flat in Edinburgh’s popular Leith area to help fund their dream of travelling through Europe in a campervan.
‘We wanted to do some travelling, so we bought a converted van and thought it would be a good idea to use our home for short-term lets while we’re away,’ Georgia explains.
‘We’ve stayed in a lot of Airbnbs in the past and thought, since we’d enjoyed it, we’d do the same. Living amongst local people just gives you a different experience from being in a hotel in the city centre. It also gives you more of a sense of the place around you when you are in somebody’s home. We’ve always liked having our own kitchen and a bit more space, and it’s just nice when things feel a bit more homely. You also get to see just how people live in that area,’ she adds.
The couple had heard about companies handling property management for short-term lets and looked into what they could help with.
‘We investigated a bit and got a good impression from Houst. I like the fact that they are based in Edinburgh, they understand the Edinburgh market, it offers peace of mind. It’s nice to know that the company you are dealing with, even though it might be international, has a local base,’ Georgia says.
‘The main thing for us is that while we’re away, we don’t want to worry about things at home. We have friends who offered to help out if we wanted to manage the property ourselves, but we didn’t want to be constantly on our phones checking up on things while we were travelling or worrying about people getting keys and getting into the property. Even dealing with all the back and forth communication can be really time consuming, so we decided it would be good to have someone look after those things. Using Houst takes that stress away,’ she adds.
‘When we are travelling, we have access to our Houst ‘dashboard’, so we can still see our calendar and bookings, and are kept up to date with everything that’s going on. If someone does have an issue, we can see the communication. Houst runs everything, but we can step in too so we still feel involved, but without any hassle. ‘For the most part, it is letting Houst deal with things and we can sit back, but still be aware of what is going on - you’re kept in the loop and that gives you peace of mind,’ she says.
The couple is planning an extended trip to Scandinavia before heading to Eastern Europe.
‘We’re really looking forward to taking off in the van. We’ve done lots of camping in the past but haven’t had the freedom of a van where your transport is also your accommodation. We love getting off the beaten track. We don’t have a big van, so we can kind of access all areas, and it’s fine for getting through city traffic,’ Georgia explains.
‘I love seeing other cultures and immersing yourself in something different. I think travel gives you a different perspective of the world, it opens your eyes to things and I really enjoy that aspect of it. It’s a different experience from a holiday, I definitely prefer to travel rather than to holiday, I like to see places and do things - I’m not very good at sitting still!’
Takes just 30 seconds.