Airbnb with kids! Our experiences! Read all the tips!
The first time our family encountered Airbnb was during our trip around the world. With Airbnb, ordinary local people rent out their apartments or homes to travelers. Thus, we have rented apartments in a number of places for our family and generally speaking, it was always good. Still, there are some advantages and disadvantages to renting an apartment this way. We will list these advantages and disadvantages based on the various experiences we as a family have with the concept.
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What exactly is Airbnb?
People who have a room, studio, apartment or whole house available can rent out this accommodation through Airbnb. In this way, nearly two million travelers sleep every night in one of the world’s 200,000 cities where accommodations are offered. The platform Airbnb brings together the supply and demand of rooms.
What to look out for in advance when airbnb with kids?
We have already written a blog once about what to look for when booking accommodation and most of the recommendations from that blog apply here as well.
What we also pay close attention to when booking an Airbnb accommodation are the reviews written about the accommodation and its host (hosts). If there are only enthusiastic comments here, the chances of ending up in a lousy accommodation are a lot less.
In addition, it’s a good idea to check with the host beforehand, so you know if the person communicates quickly and if they can speak English.
In addition, read carefully the accommodation’s house rules and exactly what the conditions to cancel are. This is different for each accommodation.
Five benefits of Airbnb with kids
Airbnb with kids #1: The size of the accommodation
We have stayed in several Airbnb accommodations and for families with kids, Airbnb is quite a godsend.
Often you rent an entire apartment with several rooms, so you sleep separately from your kids.
You can usually rent much larger accommodations with Airbnb than you can book a room with a hotel.
For example, during our trip through Sri Lanka, we slept in Nuwara Eliya in an airbnb apartment with two bedrooms and a living room.
Airbnb with kids #2: The price of accommodation
Accommodation prices are generally lower than hotels. So you often get more space for a lower price.
Especially in certain cities like Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto and Honolulu, the prices of a spacious hotel room were very high and we were able to sleep in a much larger accommodation through Airbnb for a lower price.
Airbnb with kids #3: The facilities
If you are traveling with kids, it is sometimes nice to be able to cook for yourself and not have to eat out every night.
In Honolulu (Hawaii) we had a beautiful airbnb apartment with two bedrooms, a living room, a super de luxe kitchen and two terraces, near Waikiki Beach. We also had a washing machine in addition, which allowed us to wash all our clothes ourselves.
We shopped for groceries at a cheap Walmart supermarket for two weeks and cooked our own meals almost every night and had delicious meals on our outdoor patio.
Facilities such as a kitchen and washing machine are often available at these accommodations and often not at a hotel. This also allows you to save money as a family.
Airbnb with kids #4: You live more among the locals
Vancouver is a beautiful city and our airbnb apartment here was in the middle of a neighborhood, where many families lived. This area was slightly outside the (tourist) center, but still within walking distance.
There were several playgrounds throughout the district, with locals having donated toys to the playground. As a result, our daughter played with the local Canadian kids every afternoon with the various pedal cars, kitchenettes and other playground equipment that each playground had.
A fine activity for us, as we were able to review the past day in the sun while enjoying a drink on a bench. We stayed over two weeks in Vancouver and we really felt like we were part of the neighborhood and less like we were actually tourists.
In addition, we often received good local tips from the homeowners, which in a hotel you often get less from a receptionist.
Airbnb with kids #5: The choice is much greater in a city
Because Airbnb’s accommodations are much more spread throughout the city, you can find accommodations on almost any street in most major cities. Hotels are often clustered in the tourist area.
Therefore, if you want to be close to that one beach or big playground with your family, for example, you are more likely to find accommodation nearby on Airbnb.
5 disadvantages of airbnb with kids
Airbnb with kids #1: Arrival can be tricky
Whereas at a hotel you usually check in at a front desk, this is arranged very differently at Airbnb’s accommodations.
At some accommodations you will be met by the host himself and at others you can use a code to collect a key from a key box.
In Toronto, for example, we had been given the wrong key code and as a result found ourselves in a lobby of a luxury apartment building at 1 a.m. without a key. The owners were difficult to reach (it was 1 a.m.), so we couldn’t get into our room until 5 a.m.. Especially with kids, this is very annoying.
Airbnb with kids #2: Contact with remote owner is sometimes difficult
Because the owner often lives elsewhere, it is sometimes difficult to have direct contact.
In our apartment in Hawaii, the owner lived in Japan. You could open the door of this apartment with your cell phone. One day the battery of the lock of the door was dead and we could not enter our apartment.
This left us standing at the door for more than an hour before we were able to re-enter our apartment with another key (which was in a key box).
Airbnb with kids #3: The service of a hotel is lacking
In most hotels, your room is cleaned every day. This is not the case in most Airbnb accommodations.
In addition, many hotels include breakfast in the overnight rate and Airbnb usually does not.
For us, these “disadvantages” are not a big deal because, on the other hand, there is often a kitchen with the accommodation and the price is often lower than a hotel as well. Towels for showering are provided at most Airbnb accommodations.
Airbnb with kids #4: Host can cancel stay
The landlord of an Airbnb accommodation usually has the right to cancel the reservation. Therefore, read carefully the reviews of other guests if this is the case with the accommodation in question.
It is obviously very annoying when this happens a week in advance. At most hotels, this is a lot less of an issue.
Airbnb with kids #5: The owner lives next door to the accommodation
At the Vancouver apartment, we rented a floor with two bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen, but this floor was in the owner’s residence.
As a result, we frequently ran into the owner and there were also personal belongings of the owner in the room where we slept.
Some travelers won’t find this a problem and may even find it an advantage, but we find a bit of privacy quite nice too.
It is therefore a good idea to look at several options when booking accommodation in a particular destination. So especially if you are traveling with kids, don’t just look at hotels, but try to alternate with Airbnb accommodation from time to time. For tips on what else to look out for when booking accommodation click here.