Airbnb now has more hotel rooms than many major hotel chains, and it’s an excellent option for family travel. In case you don’t know what we’re talking about, Airbnb is one of the companies changing the way we travel. Or at least, it’s changing where we choose to stay when we get there. But can you use Airbnb with a baby?
Really, Airbnb with a baby?
Remember, there are two options with Airbnb. The first is to rent someone’s entire apartment – so as long as the hosts are happy you have a child (there’s a box you can check to filter for family-friendly listings), and you think from looking at the photos (and perhaps asking the hosts a couple of questions) that the space looks like it’s relatively baby friendly acccomdation, then go for it.
When it comes to family travel, the more common approach is to rent a whole apartment for your own private use. This tends to work out quite a bit cheaper than a hotel suite (just one reason many players in the accommodation industry are slightly cranky with sites like Airbnb, rightly pointing out that these providers aren’t subject to the taxes or strict industry codes of hotels). It’s also a nice way to feel more like you’re in a “home” away from your own home. If the property owners have kids, you’ll probably find there are plenty of toys and books that they’re happy for you to use.
The second option is to rent a private room in a “regular person’s” home – yes, you stay in someone’s spare room via Airbnb with a baby. You may think that if you’re travelling with a baby, nobody would want to rent you a room, but you’d be mistaken: on Airbnb there are plenty of family-friendly renters (our founder Sue has done this quite successfully in Paris, for around $50US/$70AUD a night) – just double check when you book that your hosts really are happy for you to share their spare room with your under 1.).
Naturally, there are downsides.
Sometimes the key handover can be a bit frustrating (each host does this differently), and of course a private individual is more likely to cancel your booking than a hotel provider. Still, given the potential upsides for many travellers the negatives of Airbnb are but a small bother. After testing this model herself with her then 10-month-old, Sue is a big believer that this is a great option for families and yes, that Airbnb with a baby is a good accommodation choice.
Of course every day is not the only player on the market; it’s just the biggest.
There is also Roomarama, Wimdu and FlipKey, to name just a few. There are even sites like Kid and Coe which are like an Airbnb equivalent for family properties – a fantastic idea.