Wednesday, April 23, 2014

And now the flipside: Airbnb as a guest

So you guys have read before about how we listed our place on Airbnb and even a follow up post on what it's like to be a host. So now let's do the flipside: what's it like being a guest on Airbnb? For our trip to Tarragona last week, we picked this beautiful place right in the heart of the city. It was bright and modern and had all the conveniences of home including tv, pots and pans, and even an elevator (score!). The owner, who lives upstairs, was super considerate and hospitable. He picked us up from the train station, set up a travel baby crib, was in constant contact with us, and even stocked the place with fresh fruit prior to our arrival. All together, it was a very comfortable and enjoyable place to hang out but there were a few downsides as well not specifically about this particular apartment but with the Airbnb set up as a whole, so I thought I'd mention a few things here.

Basically when you use Airbnb, you're staying in someone's home. Whether anyone lives there or not, you have to be respectful of other people's property (duh, right?) and clean. This is different and can be a bit more stressful than staying at a hotel. Think about it. If an ashtray breaks at a hotel, you wouldn't freak out about replacing it. If you leave a hotel without washing the dishes, making the bed, or picking up towels off the bathroom floor, the hotel won't think you're a total slob. Or maybe they would think that but they wouldn't give you a negative review like an Airbnb host can.

During our stay in this place, keeping Roman from getting into any shenanigans and messing up someone's home was perhaps a little bit more effort than we had previously thought. He heard a lot of, ´Don't touch that, it's not yours!' and 'Stop playing hide and seek in the blinds, you might tangle them!'. I also made sure to cover the cream colored sofas in the living room with beach towels so that Roman's sticky yogurt fingers or chocolate milk mustache wouldn't make a stain.

Another thing was that since nobody lives in this place year round, there was absolutely nothing we could distract or entertain Roman with. There were no toys, no books, no movies, no magazines, nothing in the closets (the little one likes rearranging things in closets), basically nada. And we had only brought a few things with us for him to play with so we had to buy a few cheap toys while we were there so he wouldn't be so bored in the apartment. It really made me wish that the places on this website were more affordable because I'd love to stay in a house where a child lives.

These are not big cons by any stretch, they're just minor things to think about before you become a guest and if you're bringing a curious, adventuresome toddler with you. Like I said, we did end up having a great time here and were very glad we picked this place. Plus! there was one thing about this place that Roman absolutely loved:

The balcony! At our home in Barcelona, we don't have one so the little one was fascinated and enchanted by this place that was outdoors but not quite. He spent many a morning sitting out here sunning himself like a chubby little cat. He liked to wave to people in balconies opposite us and woof back at the dogs that were barking in the courtyard. I'm pretty sure the balcony experience was the one he most enjoyed from our trip. Little ones, huh?


  1. I love the pictures of Roman on the balcony! Too cute! He's gonna be so bored with our stairs next time he comes over. lol