FAQs

The following 'Frequently Asked Questions' section will hopefully address any additional questions or issues`you might have in relation to The Freebird Club. These are broken down into 3 categories: Becoming a Member; Being a Freebird Guest; Being a Freebird Host. If you have any questions which are not adequately covered here, please feel free to contact us at help@thefreebirdclub.com or phone +353-1-6913300.


BECOMING A MEMBER

* What is the difference between joining as a guest and a host?
Anyone who joins The Freebird Club as a member can, by default, be a guest. The only difference between hosts and guests is that a host who wishes to make rooms available completes an extra step after membership approval. This extra step is the completion of a form supplying proof of address, your bank account details for payment, and photos and descriptions of your home and location. This information is then reviewed by The Freebird Club Team and a member is granted Host status pending approval. For more information, you may like to read our guides on travelling and hosting.

* How much does it cost to join The Freebird Club?
Membership of The Freebird Club involves a once-off joining fee of €25.

* Why do I have to pay before being approved?
The once-off Joining Fee of €25 helps cover the costs of vetting and approving members. This 'pay-to-join' membership model also serves to ensure that only genuinely interested people, who subscribe to the Freebird ethos, go on to join the Club. This enhances the sense of trust, community and security which is so important for our membership. If it is a case that you are not approved, you will be refunded the full joining fee.

* I'm not currently able to host; can I still join without photos of my property?
Yes, we happily welcome those over 50 to be a member of The Freebird Club. We understand that circumstances vary and that hosting may not be for you or a possibility for the time-being. If in future you would like to become a Freebird Host, this option will be available to you.

BEING A FREEBIRD GUEST

* How do I search for a property in a particular location?
By going to the home page (www.thefreebirdclub.com/home) you can search for places in specific destinations using the drop down menu. This is positioned on the left hand side of the page. You can complete your search by filling in your desired dates, and how many of you will be traveling. Then click ‘Search’ and you’ll see all available places in that location.

* How do I know if a listing is available for the dates I need?
By filling in your desired dates, you’ll see all available places in that location.

* How do I make a booking?
In order to book a stay with a host, search your desired location and dates, select a compatible host and send them a message, explaining that you wish to stay in their place. The more information you give here, the better the rapport you build with the host, and they’ll understand the nature of your trip. The dates you wish to stay with them will appear automatically to them also, so these do not need to be articulated. If this suits the host, they will send you an invite to stay with them.

* How do I contact a host?
Communication between hosts and guests is important and may be done directly through the Freebird messaging system. A button to contact a host is present on their profile. This will enable them to chat with you.

* What do I do if my host doesn't respond to my messages after the booking is confirmed?
If your host has not responded to your messages up to 3 days before your check-in date, please notify us. We will attempt to contact them. If we are unable to connect with them within the 3 days, The Freebird Club Team will try to connect you with another host, or alternative accommodation.

* Can I cancel my stay?
Yes, however, you will forfeit the service charge incurred to The Freebird Club, and depending on the amount of time between your cancellation and check-in date, you will potentially lose a percentage of your payment. Please familiarise yourself with our Booking Cancellation Policy. To cancel, please contact help@thefreebirdclub.com.

* What is The Freebird Club cancellation policy?
The Freebird Club understand that instances may arise preventing you from traveling or receiving guests. The Booking Cancellation Policy exists to appropriately manage having to cancel a trip or stay. This policy sets out the terms that apply should the Guest or Host cancel a booking, and we ask you to familiarise yourself with this policy. To cancel, please contact help@thefreebirdclub.com.

* Can I travel with my partner?
If you are traveling with your partner, select ‘2 guests’ when searching for a location. When requesting a stay, your host will see this, but is also important to mention who you are travelling with. If they are younger than 50 years of age, you may mention this to the host to ensure they are comfortable.

* Does my partner have to be a member to travel?
No, but if they choose to join as a member they are welcome to. When booking a stay, it important to communicate to a host that you are travelling with your partner, and whether or not they are over 50. This should not affect your booking but it is up to the host to decide if this suits them.

* Does my partner have to be over 50 to travel?
If they are younger than 50 years of age, you may mention this to the host to ensure they are comfortable. This should not affect your booking but it is up to the host to decide if this suits them.

* Can I bring my child or grandchild with me?
Whilst The Freebird Club aims to connect members over 50 years, we welcome diversity and opportunities for all, whether you’re a parent, guardian or enjoy travelling with another member of your family such as a grandchild. If you are planning a trip with a child or grandchild, communicate this when you are requesting to stay with a host. This should not affect your booking but it is up to the host to decide if this suits them.

* What is the Buddy system?
The Buddy system is an optional safety feature for guests. By adding a Buddy, this may be a family member or close friend, your Buddy will receive any booking confirmation and may also access the details of the booking.

* Does my 'Buddy' have to be a member?
Your Buddy does not have to be a member, although they may also be a member if they are over 50 and wish to join!

* How do I know if I can bring my pet(s) with me?
Each host location you review will have indicated whether they accept pets or not at their property. This is also something you can chat about with your host on Freebird Messenger. Even if the host has articulated that pets are welcome, please ask before you book a stay with them.

* How do I know if my host has pets?
Your host may have stated that there is a pet in their home. This will be within the amenities section of the host profile. Hosts may also have mentioned they have pets, and what kind in the property description. If you are unsure, please ask your prospective host prior to booking by using the Freebird messaging system.

BEING A FREEBIRD HOST

* How do I join as a host?
After you are approved as a Freebird Club member, you can log in to access the site. At the top of the screen you will see a tab/button labelled 'Become a Host'. Click on that and you will be brought to the Host application form, after you complete this, The Freebird Club Team will review the form and you will be notified.

* Who can be a Freebird Host?
Anyone over the age of 50, with a spare room who would like to welcome guests into their home can be a host. All we require is for you to complete the host form on the website, and meet the needs of your guest. For this, clear communication is important, as well as having a clean and tidy environment for receiving them.

* Why must I upload proof of address when I have already uploaded my proof of identity?
To ensure The Freebird Club is as trustworthy and secure as possible, we ask all hosts to upload a proof of address. Apart from verifying the correct address for any potential guests who will be coming to stay, this further helps us to build a sense of trust and security for all Freebird Members.

* How do I set a price for a room?
When you become a host, you’ll be asked to set the price of the room per night. We suggest you take a look at similar properties in your area, perhaps what a local B&B offers. Another way of setting a price may be considering what would you be happy to pay for what you are providing. We do suggest that you consider the prime aim of The Freebird Club, functioning to connect people over the age of 50, for reasonable rates, rather than compete with other forms of hospitality.

* Why is the price I set different than what’s on the website?
The nightly rate you set differs on the website as The Freebird Club charges a 12% commission (plus VAT) on top of your set rate to the guests.

* Can I list more than 1 room at different rates?
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to set different prices for more than one room. We suggest that until we can facilitate this, that you describe both rooms, and set a price for the ‘better’ of the rooms. Alternatively, you could advertise the two/three rooms at one rate. This does mean, that for the present time, rates apply per night rather than per room, per night. The Freebird Club Tech Team are working to facilitate this and we thank you for your patience.

* Can I list a whole property?
As The Freebird Club operates as a peer-to-peer social travel club, you may not rent your entire house as a vacant property to guests. However, if you have a cabin, cottage, annex or caravan on or attached to your property or home, you may let this to guests at a nightly rate. It is important however that you are there to welcome them, and have some sort of communication, offering tips, advice, or getting to know them a little.

* Can I list a cottage or annex on my property?
Yes, if you have a cabin, cottage, annex or caravan on or attached to your property or home, you may let this to guests at a nightly rate. It is important however that you are there towelcome them, and have some sort of communication, offering tips, advice, or getting to know them a little.

* Can I use a host management company or service?
As The Freebird Club is a peer-to-peer social travel club, we would prefer if you acted independently in choosing guests to stay at your home. This provides you as a host and your guest with a genuine experience in your home. We must highlight the importance of you hosts welcoming their guests to the property.

* How do I set the dates my place is available?
This can be done by simply going into ‘Manage my dates’ in your host profile.

* Can I set different rates for different times of the year?
This can be done, but will have to be managed manually by editing ‘Place’. Any alterations made will not affect bookings already in existence.

* Can I set a rate to have guests stay long-term?
If you would like to welcome a guest to your home for an extended period of time, you may either set the nightly rate lower at the initial time of setting it, or alter the rate accordingly following a guest’s request. This is entirely up to you but we ask you to remember that

* Can I charge a cleaning fee?
Not as a separate charge. If you prefer to have a cleaner come before or after a guest stays, you should factor this into the nightly rate. A suggestion would be to divide the total amount of the cleaning fee and spread it over the duration of your guest. If the cost was €24, and you had a guest stay for 3 nights, perhaps add €8 per night to the nightly rate. This would have to be done before the guest has booked to stay.

* Can I share my property on other hosting websites?
This is entirely up to you. We would advise you to ensure there is no cross-over in guests staying though so you are not double booking rooms!

* How do I know potential guests can see my listing?
If you do a search in your location on the website, for dates your property is available, your property should be visible to you. This means is it visible to potential guests too.

* How many photos of my home should I put up?
To show your home best, we would suggest putting up at least one of each room a guest can use. This will help them choose where to stay, and know what to expect when they arrive. You should also include photos of the exterior, and garden if applicable.

* How do I take the best photos of my home?
Here are some tips for taking great photos of your home; put your camera on something stable and flat. This will act as a tripod. This might be a stool, bench or side table - something about 3 feet off the ground. Get a photo from one or two angles that show the room off as best possible. Shoot straight on, don’t tilt the camera. Don’t use the flash, rather take photos during the day with lots of natural light. If you are taking photos after dark, try take them in the twilight, just after sunset and don’t use flash. This will make your home warm and inviting.

* Can I upload photos of my property after I join?
Yes. In joining as a Freebird Host, you will upload one photograph. This will be the first photo people see. When you complete the host form, and approved as a host, you will be able to add additional photos of your place to your profile. Tips for this include putting your camera on something stable and flat. This will act as a tripod. This might be a stool, bench or side table - something about 3 feet off the ground. Get a photo from one or two angles that show the room off as best possible. Shoot straight on, don’t tilt the camera. Don’t use the flash, rather take photos during the day with lots of natural light. If you are taking photos after dark, try take them in the twilight, just after sunset and don’t use flash. This will make your home warm and inviting.

* If my guest doesn’t arrive, will I still be paid?
If a guest does not arrive at your home (and has not cancelled their stay with you) it is important you notify The Freebird Club. At which point, as a host, you will still be paid. If, however, a guest cancels their stay, please revert to the Booking Cancellation Policy.

* Where is The Freebird Club’s Cancellation Policy?
It is best to familiarise yourself with Booking Cancellation Policy. This is available here or on The Freebird Club website. To cancel a stay, please contact help@thefreebirdclub.com.

* Do I need insurance to host?
We advise each host to notify their home insurance provider. In line with industry standards, house insurance is the general default insurance and policies generally allow for some level of guest visitors. We would advise all members to check with their own house insurers that their own house insurance provides adequate cover for guests.

* What do I do if my property is damaged by a guest?
Property damage, theft, etc. should all fall under house and travel insurance policies of each member. In line with industry standards, house insurance is the general default insurance and policies generally allow for some level of guest visitors. We would advise all members to check with their own house insurers that their own house insurance provides adequate cover for guests.

* Are there any legal or regulatory aspects to consider before I host?
The Freebird Club advise each host to notify their home insurance provider. In line with industry standards, house insurance is the general default insurance and policies generally allow for some level of guest visitors. We would advise all members to check with their own house insurers that their own house insurance provides adequate cover for guests. Income earned via Freebird Hosting may be liable for tax, this however depends on on the host’s jurisdiction and their own taxable circumstances.

* Do I need to let my neighbours or landlord know I'm hosting with The Freebird Club?
There is no need to let your neighbours know you are hosting fellow Freebird Members, unless you would like to do so. If you are renting the property, hosting may impact the terms tenancy and so it is best to check with your landlord and/or terms of your lease agreement. Your landlord may be happy to let you welcome guests to your home for a nightly rate.