Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by worldoftravelswithkids
If you have never stayed in an Airbnb you might wonder what it is all about? Why do some people love them, and other’s not so much? With plenty of experience staying in Airbnbs we have provided this list of pros and cons of Airbnb’s – and things to watch out for.
It is true that Airbnb’s for families and kids work wonderfully. We love that apartments or houses offer extra space for the whole family to spread out, as well as a chance to self-cater. If you are traveling with a furry family member then Airbnbs can be very pet friendly. An Airbnb with pets can be an amazing experience. So far, we have had a range of experiences with Airbnb and believe that it is best to be well prepared.
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What Is Airbnb Exactly?
Airbnb is a website that helps someone looking for a home to stay in, connect with people renting rooms or properties. It is a great alternative for travelers who are looking for accomodations and perhaps, for numerous reasons, would want a more traditional home setting than a hotel. It is also a good alternative to hotels for travelers who are looking for longer stays, or that have more people in their party than one hotel room could accommodate. Also, Airbnb for kids can make traveling a great experience as it offers a more familiar home-like environment.
In this post, we use the term “Airbnb” but are referring to all sites –and private options like Airbnb. For example; Flip Key, VRBO, or Home Away, or Tripping.com also provides a search engine for all rentals.
Are Airbnbs Pet Friendly? What About Kid Friendly?
We love Airbnb and think it’s a great option for families! Especially families with more than 2 kids, and definitely for people that are looking for pet-friendly accommodation. In case you didn’t know, it can be very hard to find hotels or resorts that accept dogs or pets in general, so if you love traveling with your pooch, then Airbnb’s pet-friendly policies make it easier for you.
And, as we said, Airbnb with kids can be a great experience. Depending on the accommodation, it can offer children a setting they are more accustomed to. This can be helpful to minimize the amount of stress children can experience while traveling.
We’ve got a voucher for AU $50 when you sign up to Airbnb. Take the opportunity here!
Pros Of Staying In An Airbnb
Large Size Of Rooms
There are all types of accommodation on Airbnb! One of the benefits is that we often travel as a multi-generational family meaning that we need 2 or 3 bedrooms. With a range of personalities (and ages) in the group, it’s important that people “have their own space” while not being isolated from the whole family. We look for places that have bedrooms plus a common room like a lounge room that means that kids have space to play and everyone stays in good humor.
Airbnb for families is usually a good bargain, especially when traveling in a larger group. Why is Airbnb better than a hotel for larger groups? Well, instead of having to book multiple hotel rooms you can oftentimes find an Airbnb accommodation big enough for everyone.
A Fully Equipped Kitchen
One of the best ways to save money while traveling is to self-cater. Out of all the Airbnb pros and cons, this is an amazing pro. Having your own kitchen also means that you can prepare kids food that they like and at the times that suit them. Having this kind of routine while away from home keeps them comfortable (and therefore better behaved) In addition self-catering saves our sanity as eating out in the evenings with tired kids can be draining on everyone! Being able to self-cater makes Airbnb for kids a great choice.
We’ve often got apartments in downtown areas of cities where hotels or apartment hotels are 3 times the cost. It pays to do your research to get a good, yet safe location. Of the pros and cons of Airbnb, this can go either way if you don’t do your research and see where you will be staying.
Connection With The Local People
By staying in a home or apartment you get to see how the local people live. You meet them in the lifts or in the carpark. We have found that people are very friendly and will often chat (or vice versa). This connection with local people is a wonderful insight into people’s lives and a perfect fit for our travel style.
Also, not all Airbnb rentals are for the entire house. There are many rentals that are just for a guest house or private room within the host’s house. What a better way to connect with local people. Of course, the pros and cons of Airbnb private room rentals go without mention. Make sure you are reading reviews before booking a private room. You definitely want to make sure others have had positive experiences staying with the given host.
There is a whole range of prices with Airbnb, but often you find that the price is significantly less than paying for a number of rooms in an inner-city hotel (for example). Even though there are many pros and cons of Airbnb, in our opinion, the pros of staying in an Airbnb outweigh the cons by far.
Cons Of Staying In An Airbnb
But… there are cons! At the end of the post, we will share a few tips to minimize these potential issues.
Dealing With The Owners
Staying in an Airbnb is a more personal relationship than if you stay in a hotel that has policies and procedures. We have had some absolutely lovely hosts that feel more like friends; we have had some less pleasant experiences as well. These incidences do leave you with a ‘sour taste’ in your mouth.
Even if your host is lovely there are moments where you can feel a little uncomfortable – say, you can’t find the bath plug for the kid’s bath at 11 pm? Do you contact the owner or not?
Cleanliness Standards Are Different
Airbnb’s are sometimes not professionally cleaned. Actually, sometimes their cleanliness standards are lax. As long as it’s sloppy vs really dirty we haven’t said anything but again, it leaves you with a slightly awkward feeling. There are others that are most definitely professionally cleaned – it is a mixed bag! Again, this is one of those Airbnb pros and cons you have to weigh out. Like we have mentioned so many times, make sure you are checking reviews. If others have mentioned the place is dirty, chances are you will encounter the same.
Things Can Be Broken
Airbnb’s are not seamless hotels where you are paying for a certain standard of accommodation. In most places, we have needed to hunt around for certain things. In others, we have been surprised when something doesn’t seem to work properly.
Sometimes The Situation Is So Laughable You Need To Just Chalk It Down To Experience
Arriving at a place on a 40 degree Celsius day amidst a flurry of messages from the owner to say that the air-conditioning hadn’t been fixed. Or in another case, the bath flooding the whole bathroom floor. We shake our heads at this one: The mother of the owner turning up on the final day to do an inspection and accusing us of taking the spare sheets!
Pros And Cons Of Airbnb For Family Travel – How To Avoid Issues
- Read the reviews. Sometimes if you are going to get a ‘gem’ it might not have the recommended 10 reviews. But read them and try to figure out whether there are any common trends or if someone is excessively glowing or negative. If they are negative, did they have unrealistic expectations? We would still rent a place with less than 10 reviews if we liked it.
- Write to the owner, and ask questions. This is not fail-safe: but ask a few questions and see if you get a rapport with the owner. If things are not feeling “right” via messages or email then we would take that as a message not to rent the place!
- Research the area. Look at google maps, even post on forums if you must. There is someone out there who is likely to know if you are booking for an area you shouldn’t (as in somewhere unsafe or unsavory).
- When you arrive, take good note of any damage. Take photos IMMEDIATELY. This is a MUST! We have been sent bills after our stay for things we supposedly broke. We were able to show photos and thus avoid paying for things that weren’t our responsibility. Of all the pros and cons of Airbnb’s, this can be one of the biggest cons. This is definitely a reason why staying in an Airbnb can be less than perfect.
- Linked to #4, put any communication in writing/ text, especially in regard to the damage that you have found. We had a particular owner tell us things via phone, but then send us a bill via Airbnb. We were able to produce our messages where we had reported the damage.
- Insist on a check-out procedure with someone in person. Again, you can go through any issues then and there, just like you would at a hotel. Airbnb’s ARE different from hotels, you need to act responsibly or ethically – ‘fess up if you broke something! Think of the next person that might come and stay!
After writing the pros and cons of Airbnb, it seems like we are focusing on the negative. However, we are more just providing you with some ideas of how to get the best out of your Airbnb experience. They are a bit of a gamble, but they have mostly paid off for us!
The Verdict – Pros and Cons of Airbnb’s For Family Travel
Airbnb can be a really great, cost-effective alternative to staying in a hotel or resort. They work well for families, people traveling with pets, or those travelers looking for longer stays. However, as you can see there are many Airbnb pros and cons that should be considered before booking. Make sure you do your due diligence to find out exactly what you are getting yourself into by checking reviews, the area you will be staying in, and even communicating with the owner before booking.
More Family Travel Resources:
We’ve got a voucher for AU $50 when you sign up to Airbnb. Take the opportunity here!
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