It’s one of the great joys in life, even a quick trip out of town is enough to recharge and revitalize you.
Maybe you aren't traveling for relaxation and you are taking one of your kids to a tournament...could be hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis or all of the above.
But anyone who has traveled alone or with family knows, sometimes it doesn’t recharge you like you hoped it would. I know there are times when I have traveled with and without my family and the trip turned into a weekend of eating out, unhealthy eating at that and cramped hotel rooms.
In the end, all I have is an abysmal bank account.
But that was before I discovered the beauty of Airbnb (this is an affiliate link that will give you a $45 CAD off Airbnb coupon code for your next stay).
What Is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online service, as well as an app, that allows the user to rent a couch, a room, or even an entire house.
You rent directly from the homeowner, interact with them, ask questions and make requests directly through the app or website.
You can read reviews from previous guests and write your own reviews afterwards, and the host can even review you! In my experience, this system keeps guests secure and gives hosts peace of mind about renting out their homes.
There are other rental sites out there, VRBO, Couch Surfing, and Wimdu just to name a few.
These other sites may offer a relatively large list of rentals, but when directly compared to Airbnb they often fall short. Airbnb has a reputable 24/7 customer service team, and has worked very hard to have high quality listings on their site and app.
Why Rent an Airbnb?
There are many reasons staying in an Airbnb is an excellent way to get away, and I have compiled my favorites into a list for you to consider.
1. You Get a Kitchen
This is one of my favorite things about Airbnb’s. Trying to stay healthy while traveling is extraordinarily difficult, mainly because eating out is often the only choice. But your Airbnb rental may come with a kitchen, and this changes the game.
Photo of kitchen in Montreal condo we stayed at in August
This means you can grocery shop and actually stick to your regular diet! If you have dietary restrictions, a sensitive stomach, or even if you are just a picky eater, this should be reason enough for you to rejoice.
When we traveled for tennis tournaments this summer we brought our Vitamix for smoothies. We even brought premade meals which helped keep our food consistent.
Remember, it is not guaranteed that your Airbnb will come with a kitchen. As you read further, you will find tips on choosing the best place for your wants and needs.
2. Your Whole Family Can Fit in One Place
Renting an entire house from Airbnb is a fabulous way to fit everyone into one house, while saving money.
Many of us have kids, nieces, nephews, siblings, parents, grandparents, cousins, friends and neighbors who love vacationing with us. This can get tricky when staying in a hotel. Hotel rooms start to feel cramped fast, and once there’s four people in there, you can get about as much relaxation in your room as you can at the dentist.
Photo of Charlottetown bungalow we stayed at in June and July
But an entire house gives you the luxury of a living room, a kitchen table, even a deck or a yard. You can relax in the living room, exercise in the back yard, or cook a healthy meal together in the kitchen or even barbeque.
Jodi and I did a few Beachbody On Demand workouts when staying at our Airbnb in Charlottetown.
It’s an excellent way to spread out and enjoy a vacation as a family.
3. You Will Save Money
There are many perks when staying at an Airbnb.
One of them is the enormous savings you’d get. I have spent less than half as much in an Airbnb by splitting the cost with loved ones than I would have had if I had gotten a hotel room.
This means more getaways per year, and I think we can all agree that we deserve more vacations.
Oh, and we stay on the healthy living train.
4. You Can Bring Your Dog
This is a huge plus for pet owners.
Getting somebody to watch your dog is a challenge, and can get very expensive if you aren’t careful. But many Airbnb homes allow pets.
You can bring your furry friend along with you, and sometimes there’s even a yard. This way, both you and doggy can keep up on your daily exercise routine.
Always check with your host before deciding to bring a dog, even if their property says that dogs are allowed. They may need to make extra preparations for you.
There is an easy way to find pet-friendly properties, see my tutorial below for tips on finding the right place for you!
5. Location, Location, Location
One of the biggest perks of staying in an Airbnb is avoiding the busy hotel districts.
An Airbnb rental can be anywhere, and finding a perfect location is easy with the map view feature.
When we have a tennis tournament to go to, I have been able to find a house close to the tournament, with a kitchen to boot.
6. Great Hosts Act Like a Concierge
More than once while staying in an Airbnb, I have had a host give me excellent suggestions for activities and restaurants to check out on my visit. Sometimes you do have to eat out, so you want to make sure you go to the right place, especially if you are not familiar with the city you are staying in.
Often, they have a piece of paper laid out with their list of things they love to do!
This has been incredibly helpful, as perusing Google in a new city rarely gets me anywhere, and finding a fun family activity can seem impossible without some helpful advice.
In my experience, hosts have also been kind enough to leave out their homemade jam, a fresh loaf of bread, their favorite books, and other amenities that make you feel like royalty.
Trust me, you will not be missing the concierge.
Tips on Getting the Best Airbnb
There’s something for everyone on Airbnb, whatever your needs may be.
Need a dog-friendly place near the beach? No problem.
Need a 5-bedroom house near the convention center? You bet.
There are millions of listings in 191 countries, and this means that your needs can be met. But you should be sure to use the following tips to get a good rental.
Book Early. This is definitely key in getting the rental you want. When there’s only a couple weeks left until your trip, many of the best deals will be gone. So be sure to start your search with plenty of time. I have made the mistake of waiting until the last minute, and this has left me with fewer options (and usually more expensive ones, too). Several months is a good starting point, depending on where you are going. But the earlier you book, the better the deals!
Use the Search Filters. If you have specifics for what you want out of your Airbnb, use the search filters to help find the right place for you. These filters include the number of people that will be staying, whether or not you have pets, if you want an entire house or just a room, and more. This cuts down on the time you spend searching, so you can cut right to the chase and book the perfect home.
Read the Description Carefully. The descriptions of the homes will offer all the most important information about the listing. This is where you will find if there’s a kitchen or a yard, as well as other amenities like a TV with Netflix, a stereo, air conditioning or a hot tub. This is also where hosts will list special rules, like quiet hours. Make sure you check the cancellation policies. Some hosts will not refund you the full amount if you need to make changes.
Read the Reviews. Reviews are an excellent way to see if the home you are looking at will be a good fit for you. If a host was rude, cancelled last minute, or was too intrusive, you will find that information here. I will say, however, I very rarely see reviews like this. Many reviews are overwhelmingly positive, so rent from those hosts!
Look for “Super Hosts”. Sometimes, the owner of a rental will get the title “super host”. This title means that the host is very experienced, and is a shining example for other hosts to look up to. There should be a small badge on the listing that looks like a medal, and it will say “superhost”, so keep your eyes open for these excellent renters!
What Are You Waiting for?
Staying at an Airbnb is a great way to save money and stay healthy.
With thousands of options per city in great locations and excellent prices available, hotels are starting to get jealous.
Now you can afford to take that extra trip to Montreal, Austin, Seattle, New York, or even London. Maybe Wimbledon for us some day. :-)
There are 191 countries that have Airbnb listings so the sky is the limit.
Whether you decide to bring along your kids, your pup, or your tennis gear, you can be sure that Airbnb can give you that hassle-free, relaxing getaway.
Don't forget to sign up for Airbnb since you will receive a $45 Airbnb coupon code for your next stay. This Airbnb coupon code does not expire, so you can just sign up and it will just save to your account for when you plan your trip in the future.
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