In 2012, it is holiday rentals (not Charlie Sheen) that are prominently in the public eye.  Holiday rentals deliver value and virtue via peer-to-peer (P2P) commerce, ensuring both property owners and travelers are #winning.

While the holiday rentals industry is growing in popularity, the majority of people are still hotel patrons. For instance, look around the room you’re sitting in: how many people have stayed in a hotel?  How many have stayed in a holiday rental?  Hotel 1, Holiday Rental 0.  This is largely because holiday rentals have traditionally constituted a fragmented industry lacking an online presence. While there are oodles of cutting-edge websites that aggregate and call attention to hotel accommodations, web-based vacation home resources have historically been limited.  This is all despite the freedom, first-class facilities and often Herculean square footage offered by holiday rentals.

Yet, fear not.  We are entering a renaissance period for peer-to-peer commerce, named by TIME Magazine as one of the 10 Ideas that will change the world. Given the social, commercial and interactional capabilities of the web, our ability to connect and transact with fellow human beings (and thus make and save money) is easier than ever, with the rental by owner business model leading the P2P pack.

The best part about this whole P2P thing: it doesn’t end with vacation rentals. Check out the following websites and get further acquainted with collaborative and socially conscious consumption:

Travel: The Holiday Rentals Network

Auto: The Carpooling Network

Classifieds: Tradyo

Workspace: Centre for Social Innovation

Shopping: Etsy

If you’re still reading, then we’ll bet you’re hooked. Here are some must-reads…you’re welcome.

10 Ideas That Will Change the World, TIME Magazine

What’s Mine is Yours, by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers

The Case for Collaborative Consumption, TED Talk by Rachel Botsman


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