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We've been using Airbnb with kids since 2013, and today I'll tell you some of my tips on how to use Airbnb for families.
Airbnb for Families — How to Use Airbnb with Kids
There's lots of information out there on how to use Airbnb, but most of it is for couples and single travelers or the Airbnb hosts themselves. In this week's episode, I want to talk about how to use Airbnb with kids. There's a lot of opportunities on Airbnb for families, but it helps to follow a few rules to get the most out of the service.
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I've written an extensive post on getting the most out of Airbnb, but how to use Airbnb with kids is still one of the most common questions I get from readers and listeners. That's why this week I decided to make an audio version of some of my main tips on how to use Airbnb for families.
Airbnb with Kids / Airbnb for Families
One of the first things I discuss in the show is our experience with Airbnb. We've been using Airbnb with kids since 2013 and have had great experiences using Airbnb in multiple countries, including:
I discuss some of the benefits that Airbnb for families has over a hotel. These include savings and more "at-home" feeling.
Some people are concerned about safety with Airbnb, but I think that if you know how to use Airbnb properly, then you are able to find the right places to stay.
Tips: How to Use Airbnb with Kids
I try to run through some of my best advice for using Airbnb in this episode. Almost all of this Airbnb advice can help anyone, but some of it is specifically designed to help families learn how to use Airbnb to their advantage.
I break down my Airbnb tips into three main categories:
- Search: How to Use Airbnb
- Contacting the Host: How to Use Airbnb
- Final Research and Double-Check: Contacting the Host
Search: How to Use Airbnb
When you use Airbnb for the first time, it's important to play with the search functions to see what your options are.
Remember to keep your search broad at first. Don't refine your search so specific that some perfectly good accommodation is filtered out. If a kitchen is required, then go ahead and click that box, but try to leave some options open. For example:
- Beds vs Bedrooms: You may need three places to sleep, but sometimes one bedroom may have two beds, or there may be a sofa bed. You can save more money using Airbnb with kids by choosing this way.
- Internet, Wifi & Laptop-friendly workspace: Some Airbnb hosts only check one of these boxes, even though all three may apply. Fiddle with each one to see if you get different results.
In this podcast, I give a few more examples that work well when using Airbnb for families.
Contacting the Host: How to Use Airbnb
This is a very important part of how to use Airbnb for families or anyone else. Airbnb isn't like a hotel, where you just click a button to book a room. Sometimes it's important to contact the host and introduce yourself first. That way, you can ask for specific details about the accommodation and possibly ask for a discount.
Three specific details I ask for are:
- Confirmation of internet speed (both download *AND* upload speeds)
- Availability of two sets of keys (Keiko and I both want our own set)
- Ask for the address of the accommodation (Airbnb doesn't provide — host may or may not offer)
- Specific details on appliances and amenities (Does the stove work? Are there clothes hangars in the closets?, etc)
I'm sure that that last one may seem bizarre to some of you, but we had some early Airbnb experiences that made us wish we had asked earlier.
Final Research & Double-Check: How to Use Airbnb
For this final step in Airbnb for families, I suggest going over your shortlist of Airbnb choices and then doing a little final research before making your decision.
A few things we check before booking:
- Proximity to good things (supermarkets, public transport, etc)
- Proximity to smelly and/or noisy places (wet markets, churches/temples/mosque, karaoke bars, etc)
- Host's familiarity with long-term stays (when applicable)
Conclusion: Airbnb with Kids
This is just some of the advice I'd give to traveling families considering Airbnb as part of their travel plans. We've certainly found it a rewarding experience. Do you have other Airbnb tips to share? Tell us about them in the comments.
Disclosure: This post on using Airbnb with children and tips on how to use Airbnb for families may contain affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase, book a room or book an Airbnb using my links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.
Full-on family travel fundamentals. Epic Education Radio is interviews, stories and advice for people who decide to make travel a priority in their family's life...and for those who want to. Tune in each week to hear stories and advice from new traveling families, and hear how they've handled various family travel-related issues like education, socialization, working, budgeting, accommodation, road-parenting, safety, technology and more. We talk gear, websites, apps and other resources for traveling & nomadic families, and answer questions from those who would like to do something similar.