Staying in Airbnb’s

“Travelling, it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”

Yesterday I wrote about how I landed in Europe last year with my 3-year-old for 16 glorious ways of slow wandering. You can catch up here.

During our trip, we stayed in Airbnb’s for the first time and I found it a BRILLIANT option to simplify our travel experience.

It’s true it’s better to live in a city rather than stopover and that’s exactly what it feels like when you rent an apartment that someone lives in.

LONDON

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In London, I was fortunate enough to stay with my sister in law so no Airbnb required. Even better I had pram partner to wander the city with.

Never a blue Sydney sky but I do love the excitement I always feel in London, so much green space in a big city and my first visit to the Borough Market, true market cheese love.

AMSTERDAM:

What’s not to love about Amsterdam? Canals, bikes, ‘lekker patat’, which translates to yummy chips and mayonnaise! I am slightly biased because we lived in Amsterdam for 3 years and had our first baby there.

Our apartment was in De Pijp district. The latin quarter of Amsterdam, a vibrant, funky area with cool little cafes and mostly locals. Airbnb takes you out of the tourist haunts which is what I loved the most about staying in them. Amsterdam is a small city which you can easily walk or if your game, cycle around.

Mostly, tourists stay in the hotels or hostels near Central Station around DAM square. It’s touristy and a bit grey, staying in a local area is a more colourful experience and who doesn’t want colour?!

BARCELONA

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This was my first time in Barcelona and we rented a bigger apartment here as we met up with my sister, mum, sister in law and her two kids. We stayed off La Rambla right in the centre, just down from the Antoni Gaudí masterpiece, Casa Batlló.

Having been on the road for a week now and with 3 little people, a stay at an Airbnb apartment certainly came into its own. Time to use the facilities of living in a home, washing machine, fridge, fully equipped kitchen, cot, highchair and all with the convenience of not having to buy the washing powder, pegs, olive oil etc. It is so much cheaper to travel when you can cook at home a little.

Holy Moly, Barcelona is something special, how lucky that Gaudí was given carte blanche to create, I marvelled.

ROME

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Aaah ROMA, not my first time here and certainly not my last. We booked a cute little 2br (mum was still with us) very close to the Trevi Fountain. It was on this little cobblestone lane, I know, divine. This was my favourite little place, maybe because of my ongoing love affair with Italy…a little bit of my heart lives there.

This was our fourth city so we enjoyed being able to relax at home a little more, again the beauty of a lived in apartment, facilities. Sometimes you’re lucky and there’s a really good shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom 😉 And boy it’s so much more pleasurable to pop the takeaway pasta onto a real bowl! What’s not to love about take away pasta in Rome? So simple and oh so delish and great with a Peroni.

PARIS

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Oh la la Paris! We stayed in Le Marais district, mainly because we have friends that live there. What a charming place to find ourselves. Randomly we ran into friends in a cafe, synchronicity, don’t you love that in a big city! The apartment we had booked wasn’t available so our hosts arranged a new one, a better one.

Lucky this was our last stop and just 24 hours as there was no washing machine in this apartment and it was tiny. Just a typical Parisian apartment apparently, be wary of that, don’t presume they have a washing machine. And steps, check steps, it was fine for us as we just had a backpack but each apartment had a few levels of steps and in Amsterdam…teeny tiny stairwells.

Airbnb is definitely my choice of accommodation for city stays. When we visit cities we are wanderers, so having a home away from home in a local area is perfect for us. I’m also a minimalist packer so throwing the washing on at night and hanging it while your out makes travel simpler. Travelling with kids and cooking a few meals is so much more cost effective and a little more enjoyable than always eating out. Euro markets are meant to be shopped at.

Booking an apartment is quite straight forward. Firstly, you sign in at Airbnb. (If you click there you’ll get a $35 credit towards your first booking, and I’ll get a little credit also, a little bonus for us travellers.) This is not a sponsored post,  just a little savvy saving there.

Then simply choose your area, select a few apartments, contact the owners and generally, they get straight back to you. Not every apartment is managed by the owner. In Europe, it seems quite common for a manager to look after a number of properties. This wasn’t a problem for me, in fact, it was helpful as they often had an office where you could store luggage or organise transport if needed.

A comfortable place to stay where we can explore and eat from our front door allows us to enjoy our stay in the slow travel style that we love.

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Simplifying has taught me to stay in the moment and I love my day to day life. Oh but my feet, they itch, I can’t help it – my Gypsy Soul!

How about you? Have you stayed in Airbnb? What are your thoughts? Do your feet itch?

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