Everyone looks forward to a family vacation, but planning for it, especially when there are so many new choices in transportation, lodging, reservations and more, can be overwhelming. After the decision about where to go is resolved, the next hurdle is where to stay. Factors to be considered usually include location, space, amenities and, often most important, the budget, which is where Airbnb comes in. Here are five reasons why it can work well for families.
Save Money on Accommodations
Airbnb.com is all about short-term vacation rentals. Through their online service, people can rent and/or list homes and apartments throughout the world, with accommodations that suit families or groups, usually at a lower cost than at a hotel or resort. Their research, conducted by Harris Poll in 2015, found that a family can save an average of US$131 per day by booking a home instead of hotel rooms in five of the most popular U.S. destinations.
More Space for Less $
According to the Harris Poll, Airbnb guests preferred having the several rooms a rental house can provide for a single or multi-generational family (those surveyed report that 34% travel with grandparents) or for a group of friends (20% of those surveyed).
Kitchen Facilities Save on Restaurant Wear n’ Tear & Costs
Additional homestyle amenities help keep the budget down. Having a kitchen that allows you the option to eat “in” whenever you choose — even if it’s just breakfast and snacks — is the number one amenity desired by 40% of families surveyed by Airbnb. Kitchens also make travel with allergies and restricted diets much easier.
That doesn’t mean you have to skip celebratory meals and / or food trucks. While we enjoy eating out on vacation, doing so at every meal stresses the wallet, the waistline and the schedule.
Group Spaces Help Families Bond
Families say they also enjoy conveniences such as sharing common spaces like family rooms and back yards, especially when grandparents are along for the trip. Having laundry facilities at hand, and getting perks such as free WiFi, swimming pools, and hot tubs found in some homes are also popular pluses.
Over one-third of Airbnb guests report that due to the savings involved, their vacations can last longer, or they can travel more often than if they stayed at a hotel or resort. Or, my favorite, they can use that extra money for a special meal or activity that the whole family will remember forever.
Living Like a Local
Airbnb says “you don’t go there, you live there.” What an inspiring idea.
Interest in experiential travel with more immersive experiences is on the rise, and 78% of those surveyed believe that cultural and educational opportunities are important when choosing a destination. Living in an apartment in Paris or a house in Portugal gives your family the chance to interact or play with neighbors, speak (or at least listen to) their language, shop at the local cheese store and bakery and, in effect, pretend that this is your home.
Within the United States over 250,000 homes that welcome families are available through Airbnb. Across the world, they have over 3 million listings, 70% of which are described as family-friendly. They connect guests and hosts in 190 countries and 65,000 cities, with 160 million guest arrivals to date.
Ideas and Advice from Airbnb Frequent Stayers
The Airbnb “spokesfamily,” also known as The Bucket List Family, has been traveling the world and living in Airbnb rentals with their toddlers for almost two years. Here are some practical tips from these experienced Airbnb-ers as well as the company itself.
? Be upfront and specific on your needs when it comes to booking an Airbnb. Ask the host if they can meet specific needs for your family –- washer/dryer, a crib –- to ensure a hassle-free stay and to maintain some normalcy in your routine. And don’t forget to use the family-friendly search option — 70% of Airbnb homes globally and 66% of U.S. homes are family friendly.
? Be creative in your searches! Airbnb offers all kinds of accommodations: treehouses, castles, private islands, urban farms, beach rentals and much more.
? Instead of trolling through review sites, ask your host for local recommendations; from restaurants or where to get the freshest produce to cook your own meals, playgrounds, or even babysitters.
? Also, when looking for activity suggestions, use geolocation tags on Instagram to see what the locals do in the area.
? Be sure to write reviews of your Airbnb experience. Families can get to know their host by filtering through detailed profiles and confirmed reviews, ensuring safety and satisfaction.
? Some of the best vacation memories come from experiences that are truly unique to an area. Whether it be buying fresh bread, eggs and milk daily with locals from a little truck on a Swiss mountainside, or staying in a castle in Scotland like a princess, the memories of these shared family experiences are like no others in the world.
We’re about to try our first family Airbnb in Maine, and can’t wait. Visit Airbnb to find your temporary home away from home for the next vacation, and you may come back ready to learn about hosting guests at your home.
Photos Courtesy of Airbnb
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.