When my husband and I decided to take our fifteen-month-old daughter with us on a two-week business trip to Georgia, I wanted to stay in an Airbnb instead of a hotel. We have been huge fans of Airbnb for a few years now and have stayed at ten different Airbnb homes total, but selecting one with our toddler in tow was a completely different ballgame. We knew that a good Airbnb would be better than a good hotel overall for our toddler, but Airbnb homes are not all equal; I had to research my options carefully. This is how we survived, even thrived, while we called an Airbnb home for fourteen days.
Our must-have Airbnb amenities
- Laundry machines – Since we were flying, being able to do laundry at our Airbnb allowed us to pack fewer clothes and save precious space in our luggage for the overwhelming amount of toddler care items we needed to bring.
- A crib or enough floor space for a mattress – Our daughter sleeps on a floor bed at home, so we chose an Airbnb that had space to move the mattress onto the floor. It was really nice to not bring a Pack n’ Play on the plane.
- Multiple bedrooms – We chose a 2-bedroom home so that our toddler had a room separate from me and my husband.
- A refrigerator – We didn’t want to eat out every meal, so a fridge was key in order for us to stock milk and some food in the Airbnb for a couple weeks.
- A dining table – We have stayed in a couple of Airbnbs that don’t have this, so make sure yours does.
- A bathtub – Our toddler could have showered with me, but it was a lot easier to just give her a bath.
- Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors – Unfortunately, some Airbnb guests have died at Airbnb homes that didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors, so be sure yours has one.
- No less than a 5-star rating – This has been our standard and I think sticking to this rule is a reason we are still such big fans of Airbnb. We also book with a Superhost whenever we are able to.
We gathered information on what amenities were included in the listing’s description and photos. Airbnb also added a filter for family-friendly homes which should make selecting a child-friendly Airbnb even easier.
Things we tried to avoid in our Airbnb
- Falling hazards like an unanchored TV on a stand – We moved the one that was in our toddler’s bedroom out and tucked it away into a walk-in closet in our bedroom.
- Other safety hazards – We didn’t have a baby gate like we would at home, so we avoided homes with fragile items or plants in easy to reach places, stairs, and fireplaces. We also avoided Airbnb homes with swimming pools or bodies of water in the backyard.
Things we are glad we remembered to bring or wish we had
- A collapsible booster seat – We messaged our host to confirm that she didn’t already have a highchair at the Airbnb.
- Sleep routine essentials – For us, this included a portable sound machine, children’s clock, sleep sack, bedtime books, and her security blanket.
- A travel blackout curtain – This one has suction cups and is adjustable with velcro, so we were able to put it up in a few minutes.
- Outlet plug covers – These didn’t take up much room in our luggage and let us do some basic baby proofing.
- Cleaning items for toddler cups – Our daughter uses a lot of straw cups, so we wish we had brought our straw cleaning brush or dishwasher basket.
- A video monitor – This really helped us make sure she was safe in a room that was foreign to her.
Things to consider doing
- If you are flying, order diapers and wipes to arrive at an Amazon locker near your Airbnb or go to the store soon after you land. This will help keep your bags under the weight limit.
- Prioritize setting up your toddler’s room as one of the first things you do as soon as you arrive.
If you are looking for more travel tips, check out this post with tips on flying with kids. What are your favorite resources for traveling with toddlers?
Photos by the author of this post :: Raisa Mnichowicz