When it was just the two of us, my husband and I loved staying in fancy hotels close to downtown and the nightlife. Although most of the hotels were usually very small, it worked for us. After our first family vacation, we quickly learned that staying in a hotel wasn’t going to cut it. I’ll be honest, before this year, I would have never entertained the idea of using Airbnb. I didn’t really know much about it, and the concept made me nervous!
However, when I started researching hotels in Napa Valley, I was in for a rude awakening. A 3-night stay in a hotel would have been close to $1,000…..just for the hotel! I could not stomach paying that much money, so I took the plunge and downloaded the Airbnb app. I was pleasantly surprised with the prices of homes available. You can use so many filters to separate by price, home type, places recommended for families, and amenities.
The first time my husband and I used Airbnb, we stayed in a guest room in a private residence. This was a pleasant experience, but we felt like we had to tiptoe around the house and be quiet. We weren’t ever really at the home other than to sleep and get ready, so this was an okay option.
When it came time to plan our family trip, I wanted to have a place all to ourselves.
After reading countless reviews and searching for a place suitable for a family, we chose a guest house. Communicating with the owner was very easy through the Airbnb app. Check-in was simple, and we could let ourselves in at a time that was convenient for us. The family was so accommodating; they left us a binder filled with restaurant recommendations and things to do. They even gave us a whole bucket of toys for my son to play with.
There are definitely benefits to staying in an Airbnb:
- Having your own private space. I didn’t have to worry about disturbing people in the room next to us, and I wasn’t paranoid that my son would wake people up at all hours of the morning/night.
- Separate sleeping space for our son.
- Saving money on eating out and cooking meals at home. They provide all the utensils and dishes we needed to make our food at home.
- Many Airbnbs provide a crib or pack n play, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.
- You can choose a home with laundry in the unit. THIS WAS SO AMAZING! I can’t believe how many items of clothing one small child can go through in a week!
Although I am a huge fan of Airbnb, there were a couple of things that I am not a huge fan of:
- Paying a good portion of the money when you book the home. We were so used to paying for the hotel upon check-in that this came as a shock.
- A few of the homes we stayed in had several things they wanted us to do before leaving the home. (Stripping the linens, doing the dishes, and emptying the garbage).
All in all, Airbnb is a great option for a family vacation, and there are many great homes to choose from no matter where you are traveling.
Have you used Airbnb?
What tips do you have for traveling families??