Why Airbnb? We enjoy staying in Airbnbs and hotels alike, but I’d like to go over what drives us to book with Airbnb. This is especially for those who may be leery or overly cautious about staying in one. I’ve had people ask, with confusion in their voice, “So, you just stay in someone else’s home?!” The answer is yes, and I LOVE it! Here are five reasons why I believe you should stay in an Airbnb too:
Live like a local.
Airbnbs are immersed in neighborhoods, condos, and townhomes. They’re along beaches, canals, Main Streets, main attractions, or they’re absolutely secluded. When you stay in an Airbnb, you almost feel like you live in that city or town. We’ve been out wandering and exploring a city, and have said, “Y’all ready to head home?” Referring to the Airbnb. Since it is someone’s home, there is a certain amount of pride you feel while staying there. Hotels have a way of feeling very business like, cookie-cutter, and the same ‘ole same ‘ole. Airbnbs leave you feeling like you’re living like a local.
Many hotels are super strict about their check-in or check-out policies, and have minimal ability to accommodate changes. So far, most Airbnbs we’ve stayed in have been able to work with our schedules. We understand that there are times this may not be possible. The times it has worked out for us have been so nice! We check in at 9:00am, drop off our bags, and hit the streets running. We have also been able to negotiate on the cancellation policies. The Airbnb owner is just a regular person, so they tend to be a little more lenient when they’re able. Again, hotels are business like, so a lot of the time, you’re just another guest.
There are different options when choosing an Airbnb, but we often choose to have the entire place to ourselves. You can book to just have a private room, but we like our privacy and I like walking around without a bra! ; ) When booking an entire place, you are buying yourself more room. In Europe, most hotels require you to book a suite or two rooms if you’re traveling with more than two people. That can be pricey! For about half the price the hotels were charging for two rooms, we got an Airbnb with a separate bedroom, kitchen, central location, two minutes away from the train station, AND a balcony overlooking the streets of Paris!! Winner winner chicken dinner, folks!
Speaking from booking an entire place on Airbnb, the amenities that are included can be priceless. Having a full kitchen at your disposal is awesome! It’s a great way to save money if you’d like to have meal or two in. Especially breakfast. We go to the market the day we get in and grab waters, pastries, yogurts, and snacks…maybe some wine too. After doing an Airbnb search, some might even have a yard. This is priceless with little ones, or if you want some relaxing time outside. Also, most have a washer and dryer! This may come in handy if you have younger kids, or if you don’t want to bring home a stockpile of dirty laundry. Another perk is if you have a car, most of the time the Airbnb has free parking. Even better, some have a garage or dedicated parking space.
One-on-one interaction with the host
When staying at an Airbnb, you have one-on-one communication with the Airbnb owner from the time you book, until the time you leave. You’re not just another customer. You’re a person or family who will be spending time in their home. One of the best things about this relationship is that they truly want you to be happy. The Airbnb owners are typically very helpful with recommendations, directions, and any information they feel may benefit you on your trip. Airbnbs are review based, so before we stay anywhere, I’m reading every review. I won’t stay at a place that has less than a four star review. Being confident on where you’re staying and who you’re doing business with is very important. One of my top reason’s for staying in an Airbnb over a hotel is that I feel I’m supporting a small local business. After leaving some Airbnbs, we feel like we’re leaving friends and vow to return!
Overall, Airbnbs offer different advantages than hotels, and I’m not saying one is better than the other. There are just certain times that I prefer one over the other. However, when we travel with the kids, I tend to want an Airbnb. After doing an Airbnb search, I book a place with the extra space. The relationship you build with the host and the feeling of being fully immersed in the community, comes naturally after that.