How Aussie is boosting her retirement income by $34,000 a year

Kate Quinlan rents out a cottage and campervan on Airbnb to help boost her income.

After Kate Quinlan retired from her textile design business, she was looking for ways to boost her income and retirement savings.

After travelling as a guest on Airbnb, Kate decided to try her hand at hosting and converted the kitchen cottage at her family’s historic farm in Eganstown near Daylesford into a bed and breakfast.

The guest accomodation proved so popular that Kate decided to list a renovated 1970s campervan on the platform a couple of years later.

Kate Quinlan started as an Airbnb host to supplement her retirement income.
Semi-retiree Kate Quinlan is renting out her property on Airbnb to generate some extra cash. (Source: Supplied)

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“Having come from an art background and having a small business, I didn’t have any superannuation. So, I have to support myself and this is the perfect way for me to do it,” Kate told Yahoo Finance.

Kate is semi-retired and still does farm work around her property. She’s now been a host on Airbnb for six years and rents out the cottage and campervan four days a week, closing down for winter.

Last year, Kate said she earned $34,000 through the two listings - which have now been named ‘Guest Favourites’ in a new Airbnb feature.


Campervan Airbnb
She has listed a 1970s renovated campervan on her family's farm. (Source: Supplied)

‘Lifestyle choice’

Along with supplementing her income, Kate said she liked that Airbnb allowed her to meet different people.

“It’s a lifestyle choice really. I like people and I’ve done a lot of travelling. I’ve been travelling since I was 20, so I’ve done about 46 years of travelling, and I really like having interesting, different people,” Kate said.

“I like to attract the younger demographic as well and I try to keep my prices on the lower end so people can afford it because I know everything is going up.”

Campervan Airbnb
It features a retro '70s interior and includes a Queen bed, living area, compact kitchen and bathroom. (Source: Supplied)

Kate said the money she made was helping her cover her everyday costs and offset the rising cost of living, with the Victorian noting she was feeling the pinch from rising gas and grocery prices.

She also puts the cash towards funding her travels during the colder winter months.

Airbnb tips and tricks

Kate, who won Airbnb’s Host of the Year award in 2021, offered some tips for other Airbnb hosts to help them stand out.

“If you’re going to set up an Airbnb, you have to try and have a point of difference. I’m lucky I’m on a farm and I’ve got a bit of an arty background, so the design side of things really helps,” she said.

Kate Quinlan Airbnb
Kate is using the extra cash to help cover her everyday costs and travel. (Source: Supplied)

“I also recommend people have quality things in their Airbnb, like quality linen and towels and nice artwork to add a bit of personality into their properties.”

Kate also cleans her Airbnb’s herself and says she puts “a lot of effort into it”, with the process taking around one-and-a-half to two hours to complete.

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