When we started going to homeschool conventions this spring, I was really unsure of how it was going to work to book hotels everywhere. We already knew that we didn’t really want to stay at the hotel connected the convention, as they normally are higher priced hotels at really nice convention centers. If we were just going to one convention as homeschool parents, it’s a fun splurge. But when you start traveling quite a bit, the extra cost really adds up.
Right before we went to our first convention, an online friend told me about Airbnb. I had never heard of it, but I’ve since heard it’s super popular! I might be the only one out there that was unfamiliar with it, but if you haven’t heard of it either, read on to find more about this amazing website!
Traveling with a large family is difficult. Trying to find a hotel room that will accommodate a family to stay together requires extra work, and sometimes you can’t even get it to work. Then you have the expense of two rooms, when you can often make one room work. Our children are still young enough that we can fit into one room, if it’s suite. However, we have found a better solution!
Airbnb is a website where people offer homes, apartments, or just a room in their house for rent, for a day, two days, a week, or longer. This service is offered all over the USA, and you can find little houses, big houses, plain houses or fancy houses!
So…what did we think?
We have used Airbnb three times now. The first time we took our two oldest boys, went to Nashville and got an apartment for $62.00 a night. It was actually basement apartment at someone’s house, but it was a separate entrance with no way to get upstairs from the apartment. It was not fancy, but we were able to save money on food by bringing along food and using the fridge and freezer, and I even brought my instant pot along and had dinner waiting for us in the evenings! For a business trip, it was perfect.
We used Airbnb on our Florida trip and absolutely loved the houses we rented!
The first house was a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house with a pool behind it that was just for us to use in Orlando! We were pleasantly surprised that the dining room table even fit our family (our current table is a really tight squeeze now). The house was clean, and had the basics we needed. It was in a gated neighborhood, and we felt totally safe there! We paid around $150 a night for this house, which I thought was an awesome price!
The second house was a block away from a beach a few hours away from Orlando. It was a smaller house than the previous one, officially it was just a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house, but they had a couch bed in a little room off the living room that we used. Even though this house was smaller, it was probably my favorite because the decorating style was exactly what I love!
Everything was shabby chic looking, in whites, grays, and vintage style. It was so adorable!
This was the master bedroom, I spent as much quiet time in here as I could, just relaxing after the convention. The guys watched a sports game together, and I think I came in here one night and watched a movie by myself. It was wonderful. 🙂
Part of the kitchen! It obviously had plenty of kitchen tools provided!
The boys found these hats in the shed, so they thought it was great fun to wear them while grilling dinner. 🙂
We loved our Airbnb experiences, and definitely plan on using them over and over again when we travel! If you have a larger family, it especially makes sense to check into this, or if you just want more privacy, the enjoyment of an actual house over a hotel room.
Here are some things you should know before going to an Airbnb house.
- Normally the host communicates with you really well on how to get into the house, check in and check out times. We only saw our host at the apartment we stayed at, a lot of the people that own these homes don’t live locally. I prefer to just be left alone, but I had to email the owner a few times and she always got back with me quickly, to answer my questions.
- Every house we stayed at had dishes provided to eat on, and silverware. The kitchen in Orlando had quite a lot of kitchen items provided (pots and pans, a blender, toaster, etc). However, only the basics are normally provided. I would suggest bringing along a can opener if you are planning on cooking, as 2 different times I really needed one, and it wasn’t there, or it wasn’t working well.
- You are responsible for providing your own toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, and trash bags. I suggest bringing your own from your house, instead of going out on the trip just to purchase these things. One of the houses provided trash bags, the other house did not. It’s just easiest to bring these things along, because you never know exactly what will be provided. All of the houses had an iron and ironing board, so I could have left my iron at home. Yes, I travel with my iron!
- While you have to leave the house in a clean and orderly fashion, a cleaning person is always hired to come in and clean after you leave. You don’t have to wash sheets and towels, or scrub floors before leaving.
- Make sure and read all the reviews before booking a house! Even if it’s a 5 star review with no negative feedback, you might find out helpful information about the house or area.
When you join Airbnb through this link, you automatically get a $25 credit to use towards your first trip! If you are traveling this summer, it’s a great option! We are already looking forward to the next Airbnb house we stay at!