How I Funded My Wushu Trips Using Airbnb

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In the United States, wushu athletes need to fund their own trips. Some alternative ways includes GoFundMe, CrowdRise, IndieGoGo, or the traditional way of asking friends and family. There are others who have local businesses help sponsor the athlete for international tournaments too.

As for myself, I do not own a martial arts business nor do I practice wushu full time. As for a full time job, I work in technology and also recently accepted an offer for an IT Security and Assurance position at a consulting firm. However, having extra funding on the side never hurts. I needed a plan that would help to send me to Traditional Pan-American games in Costa Rica and the 7th annual Kung-Fu Championship in Emei, China. So I thought about what would be alternative way I could make descent money that was flexible enough for me. I decided to try Airbnb. Specifically I wanted to have visitors use my couch.

In my current apartment, I have couch that converts into a sofa bed. Normally I use this when family is over, but this time I decided to open it to visitors.

So my goal was to make enough between the time of June to September.

  1. Download the Airbnb App
  2. Place Access Controls.
  3. Install extra locks
  4. Get a coffee machine
  5. Buy some bed sheets
  6. Submit taxes to the state. (Each state and country has their own policies for Airbnb).




My couch converts into a sofa bed and visitors had the option to watch Hulu and Netflix.


With the Airbnb App you can message, block dates and view transactions online. Luckily because I work in technology, I had the ability to use my phone at work so I could message guests right away.

One of the first things I did in my apartment was install locks. I used a pin-number lock that would allow me to enter my bedroom and not have any unauthorized access into it. My guests were only allowed in the guest bathroom, kitchen, living room and washer and dryer area.


I got a coffee machine so it would attract more guests so they could make breakfast in the morning if they wanted. I also bought bed sheets that were on sale specifically for the guests to use.

On my Airbnb app I put strict cancellation and a cleaning fee. I charged $30 for the cleaning fee. The cleaning fee is to pay for items such as detergent, soap, or any items I needed to use for the apartment. I placed strict cancellation for my guests if they decided to cancel before seven days of the arrival and there would no refund.

Below are the earnings I made from June to September. I placed the total amount, not including some of the individual amounts that were cut off.


On occasion, when I would leave outside Massachusetts to visit family, sometimes I decided to open up my room. I also installed a pin number lock on my closet and put any valuables inside. This way I could earn extra while I was gone.IMG_9674

Here I have the earnings I made since June to September for my room. I would leave during a holiday or weekend and have someone book it.


Each month I also submitted taxes to the state. I would just sign up online and submit the taxes and report how much I made per month for my couch and room.

Then in October I became a Superhost. To become a Superhost on Airbnb you have to

  • Hosted at least 10 trips
  • Maintained a 90% response rate or higher
  • Received a 5-star review at least 80% of the time you’ve been reviewed, as long as at least half of the guests who stayed with you left a review
  • Completed each of your confirmed reservations without canceling



Most of the reviews I received were positive and I listened my guests on what they like. I also realized there were some amenities I could invest in that would be useful for them. For example having a power strip to charge their devices, a safe to keep their valuables and an extra airbed I got from Target.

There was the occasional negative review which I followed up with the guest to see what else I could do to help them.


In September, I managed to earn $2,535.95 within three months. This would help pay for the tourist package (hotel, airfare and tourist attractions) $1,530 for Traditional Worlds and $707 airfare Costa Rica. Thankfully, I made enough to help me go.

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Justine Agaloos is a National USA Wushu Taolu Judge and is on the 2017 U.S.A. Traditional Wushu Team. While working full-time as an IT Security and Assurance Consultant, Agaloos also has a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology. With her extra time, Agaloos currently travels to domestic and international wushu tournaments. She has trained with the Harvard Wushu Team for six years and later became an instructor.