Have you been wanting to try booking accommodation through Airbnb, but have been too apprehensive to take the leap? Perhaps our review of using Airbnb for the first time will help you take the plunge.
Thinking About Booking With Airbnb? Here is How Our First Time Using The Site Went
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Our Usual Winter & Spring Travel Accommodation
Usually, during winter and spring we camp in our minivan camper and during summer and fall we camp in our travel trailer. This post here explains why we don’t use our travel trailer all year.
We were planning on using our minivan camper for our late winter trip to the Charleston area. We even had a beachside camping spot booked at Edisto Beach State Park that we were excited about. However, several days before our trip began we checked the weather forecast and discovered that it was going to rain during the evening hours pretty much every single day of our vacation.
A minivan camper is essentially a double bed inside and a kitchen area accessed from the trunk. We planned to spend late afternoons at the campsite enjoying the beach followed by cooking dinner outside. After it got dark, we were going to enjoy sitting around the campfire reading from our Kindles.
We were also going to bring a tent so that we could enjoy some extra private living space.
Rain makes spending time both outside and inside a tent not that fun–and even less fun when you are over 40 and sleeping in your minivan.
So we decided to look for alternative accommodation, but we didn’t want to spend a fortune and we didn’t want just a plain old hotel room either–and that is how we decided to look at what Airbnb could offer us.
Our First Airbnb
We both knew we were not interested in just a room in someone’s home where we would have to walk through the main living areas to get to our bedroom. As introverts, the thought of that was way out of our comfort zones.
So we narrowed down the filters on the Airbnb site to places that allowed us to have the entire home to ourselves.
I saw pictures of this little blue house and its reasonable price per night and was automatically sold. I did spend another few minutes looking at other accommodations, but nothing came close to the room we would get in this place at the price we were willing to pay.
The couch in the living room was a tiny bit squishy for two, but we didn’t mind. It just meant we were forced to cuddle and watch TV. It converted into a bed which we took out nightly to make cuddling up more comfortable.
We didn’t use the kitchen much during our stay, but it was more than adequate to cook meals in. No, we did not eat out every meal; generally, we just ate out once, but we did have cereal for dinner more than once and breakfast was usually fruit and granola bars eaten in the van on the way to our destination. So there was no need to turn on and test out the oven in our Airbnb all week long.
The one thing I neglected to ask the host before we left was if the kitchen had a kettle. As tea drinkers, we use a kettle several times a day. There was a coffee maker in the kitchen, but as any tea drinker knows–frequently used coffee makers make hot water that tastes slightly like coffee–not good for making tea.
It wasn’t a big deal; we just boiled water in a pot on the stove, but had I known I would have brought ours from home.
I loved this sign on the wall near the entrance to the bathroom. I am tempted to order this one that is very similar to it.
When we first saw the pictures of how the king-size bed was placed online, we both wondered if we would bump our heads during the night–we didn’t. Wow! That was one comfy bed. My husband loved the pillows so much that he made sure to look at what brand they were.
When we were not sleeping in our Airbnb, we spent most of our time either watching TV or reading books on the front porch.
Psst…I got this book by Sally John for free using points through MyReader Rewards Club.
We don’t regret trying out Airbnb and we will use it again in the future.
A Few Tips And Observations From Newbie Airbnb Users
- The Airbnb website can overwhelm you with choices in popular areas. Narrow down the selection by setting the filters to filter out types of accommodations you are not interested in. I also set them not to show me homes beyond my budget.
- The earlier you book, the better the selection.
- Most places have a two-night stay minimum.
- If you are used to hotel rooms, you might not be familiar with a “cleaning fee”. Make sure to look at what it is before you book as it will affect what your actual per night rate is. Of course, you are only charged this once so essentially the more nights you stay, the lower the “real” per night cost is.
- Take some time to read the reviews. There was another place that looked great, but when I read the reviews, it had a few things not mentioned in the listing that I would not have liked to be surprised by.
- You don’t get the actual address until you book, but you do get the general area of the place so make sure it is near what you want to explore.
- Make sure to download the app version of Airbnb to your phone before you leave on your trip. It is handy to have for any last minute questions you might have and for following check-in instructions upon arrival.
Have you tried Airbnb? Did you like it? What tips would you add to my list for new users?
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WHERE WE HAVE TRAVELED LATELY
POSTS TO HELP YOU TRAVEL MORE FOR LESS
POSTS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE GREAT GEAR FOR EXPLORING
POST TO HELP YOU PLAN AN AMAZING TRIP
Want to know how we afford to travel so often? It is because we have developed thrifty living principles that allow us to live a full life for less money. You can learn exactly what those thrifty living principles are when you read my book Thrifty & Thriving: More Life For Less Money. You can stop dreaming about travel and start traveling when you apply the 40 thrifty living principles shared in this book.