How families can use Airbnb – plus tips for renters
Booking an Airbnb has become our favorite way to travel. We’ve stayed in 10 Airbnbs in the past few years and they can offer so many amenities that hotels can not. However, there are some things you should know before booking an Airbnb.
Searching for your Airbnb rental
When searching for the best Airbnb rental for families, I recommend using two filters.
#1 – After entering the number in your traveling party and your dates, under the “Type of Place” you’ll want to pick “Entire place.” Now I understand that some savvy budget travelers may be willing to do a shared space, but that’s not within my comfort zone, considering the age of our children. Booking the entire place means you’ll have a condo, home, or apartment that is all yours.
#2 – Under “More filters” -> “Amenities”- Show all amenities – consider the items you may want to add like a crib, high chair, or other items that may sweeten the deal for you. I always look for a place with a washer!
Airbnb coupon: Save $40 off your first home booking
Finding the best property for your family
After completing the initial search for a property, pay special attention to what amenities the home or condo offers. Look specifically for a driveway or parking to unload your luggage. We also note the kitchen offerings, whether the kids’ sleeping area is truly separate and if the rental offers anything for the kids to do. Many family-oriented properties will also offer baby gates, high chairs, and pack n plays (portacots).
Safety is usually a priority for families, so carefully read reviews that pertain to the neighborhood. Check to make sure that the property has a smoke detector and (where applicable) a CO2 detector. Last year, before our stay in Ireland, I noticed that one of our Airbnbs did not have a smoke detector listed under amenities messaged the host to confirm whether or not it did and it turned out it was just something they had overlooked.
Is Airbnb a good idea?
When considering cost, most Airbnbs will only be worth it if you book at least 2 nights. Between the service fee and cleaning fee, you need the time to make your stay worthwhile.
Another thing to note is the check-out time and procedures. Not all property owners will give check-out procedures at the onset, but leaving an Airbnb does require more work than leaving a hotel! If you need to catch an early morning flight or transfer, you may not have the time to strip the beds, take out the trash, and do the dishes. These are things we’ve been asked to do – but it?s at the discretion of the property owner as to what they require before leaving.
We’ve found that it’s difficult to wrangle 3 kids and make the check-out procedures happen much before 9 am. You know your family best, but do consider this before booking or message the host and ask what is required.
While staying at an Airbnb
It’s important to treat the Airbnb rental as you would treat your own home. In fact, many times the owners are entrusting you to their personal dwelling! Carefully check the rules for quiet hours or remarks on pets.
The easiest way to communicate with the host is by downloading the Airbnb app and using it to message the host. Make sure any problems are reported promptly!
If you’re staying for more than two nights, make sure to bring toiletries, a few garbage bags, and some dishwasher pods and laundry soap. Hosts will typically supply a starter amount, but not enough to get through more than a few days!
Airbnb isn’t the only vacation rental booking service. Here’s info on a couple more: Renting an apartment or vacation rental for your family