The Rise of 'Sharecations'

Tight economic times have spurred the popularity of sharing vacations

Robert Hero, 22, biked across Europe with two friends this summer, crashing on strangers' couches as they went. They had met these people not in train stations or coffee shops but on a website that connects travelers with hosts who have spare mattresses.

Tight economic times and a growing openness to strangers thanks to the Internet have given rise to the "sharing economy." People are logging on to sites and apps to rent out their cars, houses and even their clothes directly to one another. And it's big business: the peer-to-peer rental market is worth $26 billion, according to Rachel Botsman,...

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