As you know we’re travelling the world with three children for 18 months. We’re also travelling on a rather tight budget so looking for reasonably priced accommodation is high on our list of priorities. Plus as we have children with us we need to be mindful of the standard of accommodation – there are some things that as adults we will put up with but we’re not as tolerant with our children sleep and eat.
This is where Air BnB comes in – for months now we have been using their services to locate accommodation that not only suits our budget but also our comfort/location needs. Its so easy and has enabled us to find is some magic places and meet some amazing people!
What is Air BnB? Its not as the name suggests a Bed and Breakfast website, although you can get Bed and Breakfast! Its an accommodation website (and mobile App) that is enabling people all over the world who have an extra room, a vacant holiday house, a granny flat, a tree house, a boat or an empty apartment, to be able to rent them out short term and make some money. It gives the traveller the option of staying some where that is not a hotel, where they can have a genuine ‘local’ experience!
When you’re searching on Air BnB you can set filters like: family friendly, wifi, entire house and even your budget. This is great for weeding out the sites that aren’t suitable for you! But my favourite part of the Air BnB search is the ability to use a map.
You can set your filters and then open the map and search an area for any properties that fit your filter – awesome!
Once you find a place that looks promising, check their reviews – it always a great place to start. If they have some good reviews send them a message asking them if they can fit you in and/or if they are able to accommodate any specific requests you have? Its a great way to get a feel for someone you’re potentially about to share a roof with. I’ve even had some lovely chats with people we didn’t end up staying with because we didn’t go to that town or we couldn’t afford the rate!
While you are searching you can also ‘heart’ any of the properties you are interested and and have them listed in a wish list you’ve created, that way its easy to come back to later.
So once you have made a booking through Air BnB you will receive emails leading up to your stay, reminding you to contact the owner and get last minute details on how to find the address. This is great because when you’re travelling there are so many thing to think about that a reminder to do this is a god send!
After you’ve stayed at your fabulous Air BnB you will also be prompted to leave a review of your accommodation and the host. They will also be asked to do the same for you – cleverly neither party will be able to see the others public review until 14 days are up, so theres no tit for tap reviews! I also like the review feature which allows you to leave a private message that is only for the eyes of the host – like, “I would suggest you provide a wash cloth in the kitchen for your guests so they can do the dishes easily”. This may have been an over sight of the owner and is not necessary to have that be public. Oh, and you also have the ability to message just Air BnB about a property you’ve stayed at – all very confidential.
So get out there and book an igloo or a hay barn or a tree house or a boat or an apartment or just a house in that place you’ve been dreaming about – go on, it really easy and fun!
Plus if you have a room in your house or even an entire house you’d like to let out, Air BnB make it super easy for you to list and make some money while you help out a traveller and introduce them to your part of the world. You never know you might make a new friend 🙂
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