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.
And if you’re an Airbnb host, or are planning on becoming an Airbnb host, these tips can help you have a better experience.
More tips for booking an Airbnb apartment
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.
This post is part of the I Blog On Tuesdays link up with thanks to Essentially Jess, and Weekend Wanderlust with thanks to Outbound Adventurer.
31 thoughts on “10 Tips For Booking An AirBnB Apartment”
Sound like great tips for booking any kind of family holiday accommodation! I’m super jealous, I would love to go back to Europe and show my boys what the rest of the world has to offer. #teamIBOT
Yes Haidee you could definitely use these tips regardless of the type of self-catering accommodation you choose. Thanks for stopping by!
These are great tips. We are yet to use AirBNB but definitely want to for our next O/S trip so thank you for sharing them,
Thanks for stopping by Vicki and I’m glad you found the tips useful.
Great tips! I believe this also applicable to any apartment booking, as I had experience #1 & #2 – the opposite of it. We stayed high and climbed 4 flights of stairs for 3 days. Being the mummy, eventually was the one climbed the most stair in one day, y’know there were things that forgotten to bring out, etc;).
I didn’t hook with Airbnb in the end for my recent trip to UK, due to some uncertainty and there are non-refundable service fee for each reservation made. Being budget, I had to be bit more prudence.
That’s fair enough and yes it is one downside to AirBnB, you need to be fairly certain you will be travelling otherwise the cost to cancel makes it expensive. Thanks for the tip 🙂
I love airbnb and they are usually the first place I look for accommodation.
Great tips. I hope to be able to use them one day.
We stayed in a lovely self-contained loft flat in London through Air BnB in May – these are all great tips. Our flat was on the 4th floor of an old Victorian that had been split into flats – and there were a LOT of steps (LOFT flat should have been a clue!).
Ah yes, the good old loft! Our London apartment was ground floor but there were two Croatian apartments we stayed in that were on the 4th and 5th floors. A great workout for the legs!
Great tips! The practical bits to look out for when booking an apartment! Love it – especially about that lift! 😉 I’d be sharing this on our facebook wall.
Coincidentally I just wrote a piece on booking apartments / b&bs from one of these online websites too – only i focused a lot more on the “soft” aspect of choosing which host to actually book with – haha! Mine’s at https://kidsonboard.net/blog/tips/tips-on-choosing-holiday-homes-from-airbnb
Great minds think alike! Thanks for sharing the link to your post, it contains great tips that my readers will also benefit from 🙂
I haven’t used Air BnB yet but I do have possible places favourited in the app! I wonder what the 2-5pm noise curfew was for? Which country was that in?
Hi Vanessa, noise curfew was due to the retired couple living downstairs having a siesta each day. This is NOT the norm in Croatia 🙂
Great tips! We’ve used AirBnB a couple of times and been pleasantly surprised both times. It’s so much cheaper than staying in hotels and having use of a full kitchen and laundry makes a huge difference too, especially with little kids.
I agree, never underestimate the importance of a kitchen and laundry when travelling with kids. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
I haven’t used AirBnB…yet. But I have booked a house through it for later in the year in Hawaii. It was great to search through everything on offer and find something that met the needs of our group.
There are lots of options available with AirBnB, glad you found something to suit your needs. Have a wonderful time in Hawaii!
We’ve used AitBnB a few times in Bali and had magnificent accomodation for a fraction of the cost of equivalent standard hotels. The last trip I found an amazing place on a similar site called Homeaway. The best part about not being in a hotel there, is just being able to let your kids run wild at all hours. I’m always very conscious of how much noise my kids make around the pool at resorts.
We had a terrible experience with AirBNB last month when we tried to book an apartment in London. The first place we tried to get I was turned down. Later to find out that the so call owner wasn’t the owner. His account had been hacked and someone was using his name and email on a profile. The second place I email the owner and they told me it was available. I was told to send a wire transfer for our week stay of $1800 to an AIRBNB wire account. It turns out that it wasn’t AIRBNB, and they stoled our $1800. Apparently, this happens quite a bit. I’m a little reluctant to try using them again in the future.
Carmen I have heard of such scams happening in London. If someone requests a wire transfer, I think that should ring alarm bells. Was AirBnB able to help you recover the money that was stolen? Thanks for sharing your experience. Good to be mindful of such scams and yes I don’t blame you for feeling reluctant.
#9! At very least, be sure to ask about air conditioning & heating. More than once we’ve discovered the local’s idea of hot or chilly is very different from ours. Good tips all around! Glad to find you via #WeekendWanderlust!
Yes, forgot about that one and very important (especially when travelling with kids)!
Try Wimdu.com they are very good for apartments aswell they r huge in Europe .We used them in spain a fair bit excellent
Thanks Mark, I’ve never heard of Wimdu.
This is a great list of tips, Natalie. You’re right about the cost of family travel – not just hotel accommodation, but eating out three times a day as well. Plus it’s nice for the kids to have a base for a few days where they can destress and decompress from their adventures. I’d never had thought to check if there was an elevator in a building or not – it’s just something I’d presume would be there. We used airbnb to book a self-contained room in Seoul for a week and it was fine, exactly as advertised.
Thanks Sandra! Many European buildings are old and do not have elevators.
I’ve only heard great things about AirBnB. Would love to try it for a holiday to Europe or the States. Good tip too on booking the night before arrival. I know I’d just want to get to my destination and crash!
I’m going to be trying out AirBnB for the first time this weekend (I’m very slow on catching on with the new ‘it’ things) and I’m a little anxious but I’m hoping it will be a good experience. If things go well I’m sure I’ll look into AirBnB for my next trip as well! Thanks for the tips!
All the best with your experience Bryna! Thanks for stopping by.