posted on December 10, 2021

Turo and Airbnb have partnered up to highlight the incredible opportunity of sharing both your car and your space this travel season. Over the past few months, we’ve been featuring hosts across the US who are building car sharing businesses on Turo, while also sharing their spaces on Airbnb to further bolster their earnings.

How Ania and John used their experience hosting on Airbnb to build a successful car sharing business

In 2015, Ania and John got tired of working so hard just to pay the bills. “We were living in California, working a lot and getting tired of the rat race,” Ania says. “So one day my husband said, ‘Let’s just move to Hawaii.’” Ania and John promptly bought their house on the Kona side of the Big Island, and they haven’t looked back.

As you can imagine, Ania and John are loving life in Hawaii. Their house is conveniently just a few miles from the Kona airport, and they share their house’s two ohana units on Airbnb (similar to in-law suites). As someone who moved to Hawaii not too long ago, Ania says she feels honored to be the one to share such an incredible place with her guests, many of whom are visiting the islands for the first time.

Ania & John’s poolside ohana on Airbnb

For years, they would hear from their guests that there weren’t enough cars available on the island. “We’d get this the most from Christmastime through February, and it really came up a lot in 2020 when the rental companies sold their cars,” Ania says. “You even see people in local Airbnb Host Facebook groups asking around if anyone had cars for their guests. Once we told some friends to rent a U-Haul while on their honeymoon, which is what they did!”

“People were stranded,” she adds. “Over here there aren’t many Ubers. Unless you’re at a resort with shuttles, you can’t even take a bus to the beach. The Big Island is big. To see everything you want, you just have to have a car.”
So this past spring, right as travel started picking back up, but while Hawaii’s severe rental car shortage persisted, they decided to bring their hosting talents to Turo. They bought three brand-new Jeeps — two Gladiators and a Wrangler — and hit the ground running.

Becoming two-platform hosts

The spring of 2021 brought a flurry of travel activity across the country, and their new car sharing business immediately took off. With Ania handling most of the day-to-day hosting duties, they were easily covering the costs of their new cars and earning a profit. Plus, it’s helped alleviate car needs for many of their guests — Ania says people tend to book their ohanas on Airbnb before they’ve secured a car for their trip, so she’s able to direct them to one of their available Jeeps.

Ania says this whole year was super busy for them as hHosts on both Turo and Airbnb. Then things slowed down when the governor of Hawaii asked tourists to pause on visiting the state in late August, so they spent the downtime upgrading their Jeeps. John added new bumpers, tires, and grilles to their trucks, as good Jeep owners tend to do. “He’s having fun, but I’m an accountant so it made me go kinda crazy!” Ania laughs. “But we’re focusing on giving people a full and personalized experience, especially as this market keeps growing and growing.”

With both their home and their cars, they work hard to extend a welcoming hand to guests so their visits live up to the dreamy promises of a vacation to Hawaii. “With Airbnb guests we sometimes leave goodies or sweets out when they come. Same with the cars. I might leave pineapple, or something special if it’s around Christmas.”

Ania and John’s 2021 Jeep Gladiator (Kailua-Kona, HI)

Ania has developed a thorough itinerary that she sends all guests before their trips. Along with recommending restaurants and hot spots to visit, she acquaints guests with the local culture and customs, even sharing pointers on how to take care of the land. “Hawaii is beautiful and we want it to stay that way,” she says. “It’s nice to include people in this sense of stewardship… It helps us all connect with this amazing place even more.”

“There are so many different things to explore, even different climates on this island,” she adds. “We try to help you see it all. And you will be driving a lot.” Ania’s favorite hike is Pololū Valley — check out Ania and John’s Kailua-Kona guidebook on Airbnb for more tips!

Overall, Ania says that sharing their vehicles on Turo came quite naturally after their experience with Airbnb, which lets them keep focusing on helping their guests get the most out of their experiences. “People here are really down to earth and welcoming, and I try to make sure everyone who comes over here gets a little bit of that aloha — the true spirit of Hawaii.”

Ania and John’s space ready for the holidays

Try hosting your space on Airbnb

By sharing both their home and their cars, Ania and John are providing visitors with two of the most essential elements for having a memorable trip. If you’re a Turo host, consider adding hosting with Airbnb to your mix of income streams.

See what you could earn with your space

Steven is an avid car guy and content maker at Turo. Between Golden State Warriors games he can be found getting lost somewhere in California.