Last weekend we tried out Airbnb for the first time.
If you’ve not come across them yet, it’s a website service, where you’re able to find properties to rent for a holiday or short trip. Airbnb manage the payments and bookings, but then you deal direct with the property owner. They have properties all over the world, often interesting and quirky so you get to stay in some fabulous homes on your travels.
We went off to Bournemouth for the weekend for the eldest daughter’s Cheerleading competition, and I thought a house would be better for us than a hotel. When you have a family it’s often easier to have separate bedrooms and more space, particularly if you need to spend hours preparing a child for the competition! Our house was in a little town called Fordingbridge in the New Forest, just 30 minutes from the coast.
Our first experience of using Airbnb couldn’t have gone better.
The 2 up 2 down cottage had been renovated to create a beautiful 3 storey home full of character and charm. Adding a porch, a kitchen extension and converting the loft space had created a really spacious cottage that easily accommodated us, a family of 4. There was even a downstairs loo – perfect.
The girls had the top attic bedroom and loved it. It was pretty, spacious, with wrought iron bedframes and a lovely array of games and activities. We were only sad we couldn’t stay longer, but it was a very cute moment when I discovered R lying on her bed, reading a new book we’d treated her to from the local bookshop.
We’ve stayed in plenty of rented cottages across the years, with and without the girls, and what struck me about this booking, was the attention to detail, and how the little touches really made it feel like a home.
And just to reiterate what I said earlier, it’s staying in a cottage over a hotel that makes the holiday or trip a little special. On Saturday morning, we were woken by the girls (admittedly rather early) to let us know they’d made us breakfast and it was all ready downstairs. They’d set the table, made the coffee and served the croissants. What a treat!
When I was little, I remember my mum making special holiday breakfasts for my Dad and us. It usually included lots of bacon and sausages and it’s always been a very fond holiday memory. I’ve tried to recreate that with our girls, making an effort with holiday breakfasts, hoping to give them special memories too. It seems it’s caught on and they know that making a special breakfast is all part of the holiday experience.
So, a big thumbs up to our first Airbnb trip, and here’s to many more in the future. Our host left us lovely feedback (we tidied and cleaned up before we left – a must in a rented home I think) and she was a dream to deal with.
If you’re planning your next trip and looking for accommodation, do check out Airbnb and see what interesting homes you can find. And if you like the look of our cottage you can see it on the Airbnb website here.
An Airbnb collaborative post