If it wasn’t for AirBnB, our family would not have travelled to Europe.
As a family of five on a tight budget, booking two rooms in a hotel was not an option. And eating out with young children three times a day is not only expensive but a challenge I would not want to deal with on a daily basis.
Our Paris AirBnB apartment. Photo by Mamma Loves Travel.
I’m sure you’ll agree that we all want our family holidays to be as painless as possible and memorable for all the right reasons. Your accommodation can make or break your trip.
In part 2 of a series of posts about AirBnB (you can find part 1 here), I share with you some more tips and advice for booking an apartment, drawing on our recent experiences:
1. Find an apartment in a building with an elevator.
Unless you enjoy dragging suitcases, tired kids and a pram/stroller up flights of stairs.
2. If you can’t find an apartment with an elevator, then book one that is on a lower level.
Many buildings in European cities are centuries old and without elevators. Find an apartment on a lower level: your legs will thank you!
3. Close to public transport.
When you’re carrying all that luggage, you don’t want to walk miles.
4. Close to a supermarket/grocery store/market.
We visited our local supermarkets on a daily basis and bought food as we needed it, so it was handy being close by.
5. Read the house rules properly.
In addition to the apartment description, ensure you read the house rules. We (stupidly) didn’t do this, and one of the apartments we booked had a 2pm-5pm noise curfew. Yep, that was so much fun with 3 kids. We had the neighbour downstairs complain about the kids making noise. We ended up checking out of the apartment after two nights and found something child-friendly.
6. Stay in the centre of town where possible.
Find the part of town with the sights and attractions you want to visit most, and find accommodation in this area. You will save time, energy and money travelling around and the atmosphere will be more fun (unless you dislike noise and prefer a quiet, residential area). Yes, apartments that are more central will cost more, however you won’t need to spend as much on transport. While in London and Paris we spent a fair bit of money on train tickets.
Million dollar views at family-friendly prices- Split, Croatia. Photo by Mamma Loves Travel.
7. When in doubt, contact the owner prior to booking.
Don’t be afraid to ask the owner questions prior to booking. Can they let you check in earlier? Will they let you check out later? Is the location child-friendly? Do they have a special cot/bed for younger children? Is it a noisy apartment?
8. Book your apartment for the night before you arrive.
This is a helpful tip for when you are travelling, say from Australia to Europe. If you are arriving at your destination early in the morning but check in is not until the afternoon, then I would strongly recommend booking the apartment from the night before you arrive. Let your owner know that you will be arriving the following morning, that way you can leave the airport and go straight to your apartment.
Our London AirBnB apartment. Photo by Mamma Loves Travel.
9. Book an apartment with air conditioning or heating (depending on your season of travel).
Keeping the kids comfortable and happy is the number one priority for a successful trip.
10. Does the apartment have all the facilities you require?
Depending on your personal requirements and preferences, facilities and services that may be helpful include a washing machine, dishwasher, cable TV and free wi-fi.
The view from our Paris apartment. Photo by Mamma Loves Travel.
AirBnB is a great way to book accommodation and makes travel accessible for so many families. Taking these tips into consideration will help you book a suitable apartment for your family.
Would you like a $34AUD credit towards your first AirBnB booking? Click HERE for further details.
Disclaimer: Please read the AirBnB terms and conditions before deciding to book, and take into consideration your own accommodation and travel needs. I also receive a $34AUD credit for every reader I refer who meets the terms and conditions of the referral.
If you have any further questions about our experiences with AirBnB, or you would like to enquire about some of the places we stayed in, please send me an email or leave a comment.
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