Dear enterprising developers of the world, I have a request:
I travel a lot. I prefer staying in apartments to staying in hotels. But I hate imposing on friends and, frankly, crashing on couches isn’t as fun as it used to be. When I’m lucky, I randomly learn that a friend is out of town and I have the opportunity to housesit. And when I’m lucky, I randomly learn that someone I trust is in Boston when I’m not and can get them to catsit/housesit. Cuz I’m always begging for housesitters. But there has to be a better way of getting this information in our world of interconnectedness.
I want an application that lets me announce to my friends when I’m out of town and my apartment is vacant or when I need a housesitter. And I want to know when people that I know are out of town and would welcome me to housesit/catsit/plantsit. As wonderful as couchsurfing.com and airbdb are, they don’t serve my needs. I don’t want the burden of having to socialize with strangers (or, realistically, friends) when I travel for work nor do I typically want to stay at strangers’ places (or have strangers stay at my place). I want an easy way to trade apartments with people that I already know. And I want to know when people’s homes are vacant, not when I’m welcome to crash at their place.
I want to be able to create a calendar of when my place is empty and see when my friends’ places are empty. I want to be able to indicate who I trust to see my empty apartment calendar. I want to be able to pivot based on location and see when there’s a specific need (like catsitting). It’d be great to message out to friends when I have a catsitting need. I don’t want to make my calendar available to just anyone that I know so opening it up to anyone in my Facebook social graph isn’t the solution. I want it to be really easy for my friends to indicate when they’re gone so that it’s not a crazy burden to keep the calendar updated. .
Perhaps there’s a tool out there that would meet my needs that I don’t know about and, if so, please tell me. But so far, I haven’t been able to find one. And I don’t think that it would be that hard to build; a minimalist tool would be good enough. I’m not sure that such an application is actually monetizable because no money is being exchanged, but perhaps travel ads could make it profitable.
Anyhow, I throw this desire to the coding wolves in the hopes that someone might make it a reality. I would be eternally grateful.