Before becoming a mom, our travel booking styles were very casual. Though we never tried Airbnbs before as a couple, we were pretty much okay with staying at a decently rated hotels. The truth now is that we are not the same kind of travelers that we were before. We have a little one joining us in all our adventures. Like most things, booking an Airbnb or any stay for that matter isn’t very easy with a baby or a toddler. The most important aspect of traveling with a toddler is to have a checklist in place.
My intention with this blog is to give you few of such pointers that I keep in place when we book an Airbnb. I have made few bookings in the past with our little traveler. We have had an amazing experience with Airbnb. And I did a poll in my Instagram handle about the Airbnb benefits and how much kid friendly they are. I got plenty of responses on things parents keep in mind before making any booking through Airbnb.
- Choose a good neighborhood
It is very essential to stay closer to the city or search for a decent neighborhood. It should be nearer to grocery stores, hospitals, gas station and preferably at a family friendly neighborhood location . Before you shoot me with questions, I have an answer to ” how do we choose such a place”?. Airbnb has very handy neighborhood guides which will help you find an area which will match your interests. During our Canada trip, we made sure we were closer to some of the tourist spots in the city which we wanted to explore. The clock starts ticking the moment you step out of the house and you definitely don’t want to waste your time in the car or traffic to the place of interest.
2. Check for super hosts
I wasn’t aware of this term before I explored Airbnb in depth. I was fascinated by the number of reviews I used to find for some hosts. That’s when my eyes struck at this term called “Super hosts”. They have incredible reviews and authentic photos. They are not fake and do not posts pictures of the property which might look differently otherwise in reality. I always go deeper and zoom in all the photos to find out any potential danger for the little one like pointed furniture, steep staircase etc. The photos can describe your place of stay in a lot more meaningful way.I would definitely go with a super host listings and the reviews.
3. Contact the host
An additional check wont hurt anyone. Even after seeing the listing to be mentioned as a “family friendly” place, I make sure I contact the host . Check about the property, any hidden rules like ” silent time” after 10 pm (that wont work with a kid) etc. I also mention our daughter’s age and make sure the place is kid friendly in all sorts of ways. The another bonus with this is that you definitely get a vibe about the host by how spontaneously and professionally they respond to your query.
4. Access to the kitchen
I can’t thank both our Aibnb hosts enough who gave us access to the kitchen. Because while travelling, we eat both outside and homemade food. We try to make our own breakfast and sometime dinner for the little traveler. We can be fine with burgers and sandwiches but we don’t want her to be too much on outside food. So we try to make our own breakfast and sometimes we have even made dinners. So checking with your Aibnb hosts about accessing the kitchen is also important. That will help you plan ahead and do some grocery shopping before you hit the place of stay. Oh! some hosts are kind enough to offer breakfast too. So you don’t have to whip up a breakfast.
5. Safety and Cleanliness
My good friend Yeshaswini came up with this important point. This is highly essential while choosing an Airbnb stay. Be it be for yourself or with your family. You do not want to stay in a dirty place. Make sure you check if they are deducting the cleaning fee and also inform the host that you are travelling with a kid. And you definitely want the sheets and blankets new. We check it prior to placing her in the bed. If we see any sort of cleanliness issue, we make sure we get a fresh linen instead. Checking the safety of the place is a bit tricky, but if you are closer to the city,staying with a family, see good reviews in the recent past etc, you should be good.
Some Airbnb hosts go above and beyond to give you an immensely beautiful experience. We had a great stay in Canada whereas there were hosts who will provide you with the basic amenities only. You get the flavor of both with Airbnb. But what I feel is sometimes you get more than what you actually pay for if you choose wisely. Whereas with hotels, you don’t get good amenities sometimes and you pay a higher amount. Of course, there could be difference of opinion on this.I am not talking about Marriot or Hilton here. But in my experience from the past, I wasn’t willing to pay $300 to a 3 star hotel in a shady area while I was getting $60 per day for 200 plus reviewed super host house. In this case, I am getting a whole house for $60. Fully furnished kitchen, a good yard and space for my little one to run around. To feel homely is my top most priority. More than me, my little traveler should feel comfortable.
Which one would you choose from these two ? Let me know in the comments below.