See an infographic of these tips here!
I’m not sure if there has been a better travel innovation in the last few years than Airbnb. I can’t imagine staying anywhere but Airbnb with kids. Airbnb for families seems kind of like a no-brainer. You can rent a place in a family friendly area, with all the amenities of home. Most importantly you have separate bedrooms without having to break the bank for a suite in a hotel. I don’t know about you but in our family no one sleeps if we have to sleep in the same room.
There are a few tips and tricks to using Airbnb. As someone who browses Airbnb for fun (really), I feel like I might be just the person to share some of these tips with you.
1. Search first WITHOUT Dates
So the natural thing to do is enter your location, city and hit search. From my experience, the best Airbnb’s are found with a bit of flexibility. So if you are willing to be a little flexible with your dates, and maybe even stay one night more, you will find much better options. So enter your destination and see which places pop up first. You might luck out and be able to fit into their schedule.
Note: Usually the best Airbnb’s show up at the beginning of the search results, they are the ones with the most experience and with the highest rating.
2. Make Wishlists
This is essentially how you don’t lose the awesome Airbnb you just found. It’s also useful for planning future trips. Here is an example of one of mine. It was super useful in planning our trip to Copenhagen.
3. Start searching early
Sometimes I get on Airbnb and search for a popular city and all I find is subpar rentals. Why? Because I’m searching a week before travel and all the good ones are taken. Sometimes you luck out and find an opening, but if you want a great place I would buckle down and start searching early.
4. Have a profile that makes you look like a real person
People are renting out their homes and apartments, so you want to make sure that you fill out at least some of your profile. I’ve rented our home before, and I always felt less inclined to rent to people who didn’t even have a picture. Airbnb is more personal than hotels and that’s a good thing, don’t be afraid to open up a bit.
If you’re looking for a kid friendly rental chances are you’re going to be renting from parents.
5. If you only do one thing: Read the Reviews
The reviews on Airbnb are a plethora of information. I’ve found fun things to do in the city I’m visiting just from reading the reviews. Look out for reviewers that are similar to you (ie families with kids) so that you know the rental will be a good fit.
6. Location, Location, Location
So there are some places that have the most beautiful photos and you think “Sold!”. Don’t forget to check and double check the location. Trust me, it’s no fun staying in a beautiful place with nothing to do. (cough, cough Trezzone, Italy).
Make sure to scroll down to the neighborhood feature and check if there is anything that is interesting for you to do within walking distance.
7. Make sure your Airbnb accepts kids
Click “more filters” right under the price range slider and click the “Family/Kid Friendly” box. Not all Airbnb’s are good with kids, some just logistically would not work well. For example, I saw a loft with a very un-kid friendly staircase (read: death trap) in Victoria, Canada.
Hope that helps with your kid-friendly Airbnb search!
Bonus tip #1: if you rent an Airbnb from a family your kids usually get to play with the toys in their place. Now our kids complain if we stay in a place that doesn’t have toys because they’ve come to expect it.
Bonus tip #2: usually Airbnb rentals have everything you might need, but if you’re traveling out of the country I would buy an international voltage converter.
If you’re traveling to Europe, check out our guide of things to do with kids in Switzerland, I really think it is one of the most underrated travel destinations!
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