These days, finding accommodation ahead of your trip is a piece of cake: A huge collection of travel booking sites can get you a hotel reservation in a matter of seconds, and then there's Airbnb. However, for the growing population of women traveling alone, booking a room on home-sharing platforms may not be a choice they're always comfortable with. That's because staying at a place managed by someone you don't know poses a certain level of risk, perceived or otherwise.
If you happen to have similar concerns, you might want to look into Overnight, a fledging home-sharing marketplace that has just launched a feature catering to female travelers. The platform itself is not unlike Airbnb — its search bar and listings layout feel very familiar — but it's the new partnership with Girls LOVE Travel, a Facebook group for travel-loving women that will make all the difference.
"We want to provide a platform for people to find other people they are connected to in a social network and stay with them that way," says Asher Hunt, CEO and founder of Overnight.
The Facebook group was founded by Haley Woods in 2015 and has since grown its membership to over 413,000 women. According to Woods, it's an active community aiming to "provide resources and empowerment to one another through safety, socializing and support." The discussion threads within the group runs the gamut of travel-related topics, from destination recommendations to SOS calls when a member runs into troubles abroad.
Once you're a part of Girls LOVE Travel, you'll gain access to a special discount on a curated selection of listings on Overnight, ranging from 30% to 80% off. Some of these homes are listed exclusively for women belonging to the group by fellow members.
"Private groups are more trusted than an open marketplace, and hosts are able to set exclusive prices to their network. And then there's also the aspect of support of being in a group," explained Hunt. A number of hosts offer a generous discount to their fellow travelers: We were able to find rooms going for as low as $10 a night, listed at 80% off for GLT members.
Overnight has a strong presence in the United States and Europe; it has currently expanded to 110 countries. Hunt claims that a vast portion of its listing inventory is exclusive to Overnight, but the site enables calendar synching with Airbnb, which means that homes available on both platforms will get their availabilities updated instantly to avoid overbooking.
So, what does it take to be a part of the Facebook group? It's actually relatively simple — you just need to click "join," and one of the moderators will offer their approval on the condition that you identify as female. Even if you’re not looking to try Overnight just yet, joining the Facebook community of like-minded travelers may bring you a few new friendships and potential travel buddies down the line.