Since William was born I’ve had to adjust my travel expectations somewhat. I’m a firm believer that having children shouldn’t stop you from doing the things that you want to do, but it does mean you have to adjust and find something that’s suitable for everyone. Your needs are different when you’re going on a family holiday. Whilst he’s only two, we’ve already explored a vast range of different ways to take a holiday, from self drive vacations, to cruises. We’ve stayed in caravans, tents, hotels from basic to high end luxury, rented houses, cottages and apartments, slept on boats and trains and we’ve definitely had to search harder to find something suitable.
Most recently we spent 10 days with extended family in a delightful idyllic cottage that I found on Airbnb and it’s not the first time I’ve had great success finding the perfect family holiday for us on the platform. In fact it’s happened so many times that Airbnb is now my first choice when I’m searching for family holiday accommodation. Here’s why!
Airbnb offers enough choice to suit everyone
Because of the nature of the platform, where you connect directly to home owners and letting companies, there is literally something for everyone across tens of thousands of properties. If you want a secluded traditional wooden cabin then you can find it. If you want a high end boutique holiday apartment in the city, it’s there. You can search by location, and then filter out your needs, choosing properties by the beach, with a pool, with a barbecue area. Owners can say if their properties are suitable for children and whether it comes with a high chair and travel cot, so unsuitable properties are filtered out of your search, saving you time and giving you results that are relevant to you. I know I’ve gone to hotel after hotel only to find out that they’re rooms aren’t suitable for certain family sizes.
It’s simply the largest and most versatile way of finding a property that suits your needs, whatever they may be.
You can stay in unique places and properties
Hotels certainly have their charm and many advantages, but with Airbnb there are some truly unique opportunities to stay in places you wouldn’t otherwise. Places that are off the beaten track, or in special accommodation, from treehouses to traditional gypsy caravans to a modernized cave system to a home set in an old airplane – those are a couple I’ve seen whilst searching, although I’ve not been brave enough to stay in them (yet!). There are some genuinely interesting and unique opportunities that you simply will not find elsewhere.
If you want unique holiday accommodation that will give you amazing memories and experiences as a family, then Airbnb is definitely the place to start your search.
You deal direct with a person
In most cases Airbnb is dealing direct with the property owner, although in some cases it’s a letting agent. But either way you are connecting one on one with a real person who knows this property. You can send them messages easily, you can ask questions, you can make special requests – all through a system that stores your messages in an easy place to find so you don’t have to search through emails. In my most recent holiday, I messaged the owner to double check there was a travel cot and high chair, as well as to ask for some advice about the local area, and I asked what supermarkets delivered to the property, saving me time of having to log on each supermarket website and input the post code and try to figure it out since it was in a rural area.
It also meant that I could contact the owner whilst on holiday with any questions, such as the time my toddler turned off the hot water and we couldn’t figure out where the switch was! I think you simply get a more personal service with Airbnb than other holiday accommodation.
It has a robust review system
I love reviewing things as you can probably tell by this blog. I also really value other peoples reviews. Airbnb has an in built review system that is both easy to leave a review, and easy to read a review. I think that this gives a good idea of the accuracy of the listing and whether it can be trusted, which is really important when you’re spending a lot of money.
A lot of the time it is cheaper than a hotel, but the facilities are either on par, or improved, and the locations are a lot more flexible. We just came back from a holiday with three generations of family, 7 of us in total and it cost £140 a night. We had loads of space, a modern kitchen, four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a massive, safe garden and a fabulous location. We would need three or four rooms in a hotel and that would drive the price right up. In fact, in the area I stayed in (Bath), I couldn’t find a single hotel room for less than £150 a night. That’s just for one room.
When something is offering you more services, better quality accommodation, more memorable experiences, a more personal service AND it’s beating other options in price, you know it’s got to be worth a look.
I know I’ll certainly be checking Airbnb first for my future holidays. If you sign up to and then book a holiday experience through my AirBnB link, then I get a small referral fee.