I did mention Trampolinn in How To Get Non-Points Hotels For Free, but at that point I hadn’t spent too much time on the website. Plus, I haven’t done a full post.
My opinion has changed a bit! It’s better than I thought for earning free nights, and worse than I thought for hosts.
Let me explain how I have enough points for a week of free stays from doing nothing, how it works, and the absolute cheapest way to rent apartments on the internet… by far.
It’s supposed to be free
One favorite quote from my friend Dave is, “if someone in this group likes your product, you’re doing something wrong.” And that’s true for everything except this site. Trampolinn advertises itself as a way to get free nights. Step 1 is use your free nights, 2 is host people.
You get points for signing up, hosting, adding info, referring people, etc…
You use points to stay at houses.
No cash is involved (except for the part I’ll explain later). It is a house sharing site. You list your house to earn points and you stay in people’s houses when they’re gone, or their vacation home, or whatever. I’m dumbfounded as to why anyone would list their house on here instead of airbnb (given that you can still use cash to go anywhere), but people do.
But amazingly, you can participate in this house-sharing system, even if you don’t host people, because it’s based on points and not actual 1 to 1 swapping.
For signing up and completing your profile you can get 1,250 points.
For 472 points you can get a 2 bedroom apartment in downtown paris, listed as “entire home” which means that it is private and not shared.
I only select “Entire home”, but if you’re willing to share with someone you can get much cheaper rates. (But at that point, why not do couchsurfing , which is completely free?)
I personally want my privacy and therefore would get about 3 nights free in Paris… which is killer.
Let me quick go over earning details.
Despite having just done this all myself, I want to give a shout out to DealMommy for making me aware via her post on Trampolinn. She broke down the earnings well there, and already put it well. But I’ll reiterate earnings a bit here too.
- 100 points for signing up via my referral link
- 100 points for referring someone who fills out a profile 😉
- You can earn 500 to 1000 more points when they participate further at various levels.
- 50 points for uploading a photo
- 50 points for adding your skype contact
- 1,000 points for adding your own room/place
This last one sounds scary, because you may not want to post. But I added mine (don’t judge) and made it unavailable. Like I actually deactivated it so you can’t search for it but I still got the points. No big deal.
This doesn’t add up but I got 1,250 for signing up and I didn’t add skype.
Whatever, you get the point. You add crap and you get points.
Best Use of Trampolinn points (never thought I’d ever write that title)
Like I said, you could totally get a room for 76 points in New York City, Paris, London, etc… But my personal preference is to select the first dropdown box and select “Entire Home”, but shared rooms (like airbnb) are much cheaper.
Okay, here’s the interesting part.
When I listed… a room at my house… (shut up)… I noticed that it auto-priced out at 175 points a night. In other words, unlike airbnb, I don’t set the price. It uses things like number of bedrooms, capacity, and maybe even location to determine the price.
The thing is that the algorithm leans heavy towards the size of the place and doesn’t seem to give much consideration to location.
In other words, an apartment in India will price out roughly the same as Paris.
The idea again is that this is not a way to make money but an opportunity to just swap similar sized homes. And in a way the trampolinn market will still determine who it wants to stay with and give points. (I just still don’t understand why you would want trampolinn points instead of airbnb cash… which is cash cash).
What this means for you is that there are places where you can get 3+ nights right off the bat, that would be hundreds of dollars a night on airbnb. All because some dopes buy into this house sharing idea.
And there are lots of expensive areas that do buy into this.
I’ve already shown Paris, but here’s page 1 of France (the site is French?)
Look at the Mediterranean coast and alps of France
West coast France, including Bordeaux
Italy, including Rome and Florence
Some of Scandinavia (Norway is stupid expensive)
Looking at Brisbane, Australia
West coast USA
Try anywhere expensive! Like Switzerland. And if you don’t see something, it could be that there are too many results to be on one page. If that’s the case, zoom in and “Reload the search with map location”.
Buying into the house sharing thing?
Unless you have a ton of friends you can get to sign up, you’ll run out of points eventually. Or at least that’s possible. At which point you have three options.
1) Stop using the site.
2) Start renting out your house on Trampolinn. I strongly strongly strongly strongly advise against this. Why not just sell your place on airbnb? You can use cash to travel or even on Trampolinn.
3) You can buy points.
The reason I don’t love the idea of this is because the money seems to go to owners of Trampolinn and not the owners of the house. But it’s not a lot of money. If fact it’s soooo very tempting. This makes VRBO look expensive.
Let me show you.
Have you already run the math in your head?
100 Euros gets you 3,500 points.
Considering you can get a private room in expensive cities for 200 points, that’s 17 nights.
Or this giant 3 bedroom apartment in Cannes, France… that’s 604 points.
604 points would cost you $18. For a three bedroom… In Cannes.
Or that 100 Euros ($109) would get you nearly 6 nights. Or you could get 2 nights just by filling out the stuff.
Enough said, right?
My guess is that since this is a home swap and not a business (like many people on airbnb), your chances of getting accepted are a little less. So if you want to send a message first and verify your dates, that’s probably a good idea.
Or perhaps someone is only gone for a month of the year. On the plus side, someone may be gone for a time that aligns with you and you could get a week somewhere for free.
Outside of France and its neighbors, there aren’t a ton of options, and for that reason it could be harder to get exactly what you want.
Yet, that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing deals out there. There are amazing deals and they just aren’t always as obvious.
I’m just not sure I would recommend it to a couple on their honeymoon. Or I wouldn’t rely on it so much that if it fell through the trip would be ruined.
My next step is to try booking a single place and report back on the experience. Unfortunately the next few months doesn’t have a lot of these places in the way. But it will be important to see how easy it is to book, what percentage of bookings get confirmed right away, and all that good stuff.