As I look back over the past few years of traveling, it’s pretty evident Ian and I choose Airbnb more often than not for our accommodations. When we began using Airbnb, it was a rather new concept, so in the beginning I was a little weary… Looking back at all our great experiences, it’s now the first place we look for lodging when booking any trip.
Airbnb is not always be the most practical though, so I can’t say we choose to stay only with them. Hotels can be in a more central location, we have points to use, or we want a more resort-like atmosphere. In most of cases though, Airbnb fits our needs. With that being said, I wanted to put together a few reasons why we love it so much.
1. Getting More for Your Money
We usually have a budget in mind when we start looking for a place to stay, so I only look at lodging in that price range. We can usually find a two bedroom Airbnb for the same price as a single hotel room. Not to mention, it usually has a kitchen and living area. For singles or couples, you may not want a space that big, but for families traveling with kids, it can be a huge tiebreaker. Especially when you have a place to hang out while your kids are sleeping or if you want to make meals while you are there. While I avoid cooking when traveling at all costs, I do love having a kitchen now that we have Cove. It’s so practical for feeding him and having coffee while he naps. There’s also a lot less overhead than dealing with a hotel, so you save a huge chunk of change that way.
2. Unique Stays and Experiences
When we were in Ireland, we stayed in this little house that was right in front of the mountains. There were farms on either side of us with huge sheep and every night when the sun set, you could see more stars than you could possibly imagine. It’s highly unlikely we would be able to experience that in a hotel, especially not for the price we paid. We’ve been able to afford to stay in amazing neighborhoods with gorgeous patios overlooking the city, and in remote areas that wouldn’t normally offer lodging. We know there are many types of travelers, so while some might not enjoy the experiences or unique characteristics that rest outside comfort zones, there are also accommodations that make you feel at home. For us though, places and environments outside of what we normally experience are what make traveling so enriching and exciting.
3. Experiencing Neighborhoods and Locals in a Way You Normally Wouldn’t
I think one of the coolest things about staying with Airbnb homes is the experience of culture and lifestyle related to the place you are visiting. We have made friends with a lot of our hosts and their neighbors. When you speak with the locals about their favorite places to stop, dine and shop at, as well as why they love to live there, you gain a whole new and unique perspective you might not have known about. Hotels and resorts can make things seem touristy, which isn’t a bad thing, but when you are in actual neighborhoods and homes, you experience a view of what things are like to live there.
Now we have never shared a place with our host. We always select the entire place so we have it to ourselves and I cannot speak to what it would be like to share a place with someone. We have met a few of our hosts who were just around the corner from us, or even directly downstairs, and they have all been super friendly and welcoming. Now that Airbnb has been around for a little while, we typically pick a “Super Host’ because we know that people have stayed there before and there are lots of positive reviews. These reviews are key to Airbnb! Read them before you book.
Obviously, Airbnb accommodations are not for everyone or every trip. But if you are looking for a unique alternative, I highly recommend trying them out. Also, we don’t work for Airbnb so this is not a sponsored post. We just wanted to share some insight to how we like to travel and why like to stay in different places.
If you are interested in booking your next trip through Airbnb though, be sure to use this link to get $35 off your first visit!