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After hearing so many great things from our friends about renting an AirBnB vs staying in a hotel, we finally took the plunge and rented one last week. I should start by saying, that I am super picky about places we stay, for a few reasons. First, it has to be family-friendly. When you have three kids, you have to take all kinds of things into consideration. Next, the decor has to be pretty. Unfortunately, when we go on these little vacations, it’s not a vacation for me. I still have to work. My job is to take pictures and write and I need a beautiful space to do that in. Finally, it has to be in a safe neighborhood. Obviously I don’t want to have to worry about crime when we are sleeping in someone else’s home. So I downloaded the AirBnB app and started searching. It wasn’t long before I found the cutest home in Stuart, FL with everything we wanted!
The home was built in 1913 and was oozing with charm. They decorated it so thoughtfully, exactly how I want our home to look. The walls were white and bright and everything was very inviting. I was surprised and pleased to find a stack of Rae Dunn bowls in the kitchen cabinet. For those that don’t know, I have a tiny obsession with Rae Dunn. It’s amazing how something so small could make me feel so at home.
Was our AirBnB Family Friendly?
Under the stairs, we discovered a secret space with a play kitchen that Falynn was over the moon about. It was fully stocked with the cutest wooden food toys, plates, trays and everything her 6 year old heart desired.
One of the rooms had built-in bunk beds and a lego table with plenty of legos to play with.
Outside, was a beautiful pool, surrounded by a child-safe net so we didn’t have to worry about anyone accidentally falling in (though my girls are pretty decent swimmers).
Was our AirBnB Fully Equipped?
From cleaning products to soap, the closets and shelves had everything you may have forgotten, which was wonderful! While we didn’t forget anything because I’m an overly-thorough packer, it was nice to know that we wouldn’t need to make an emergency trip to the store, had we forgotten something.
The kitchen had just about everything you need, if you choose to cook. There was even food in the fridge and pantry, though I wasn’t 100% sure that was for us, so we didn’t touch that.
Was our AirBnB Worth the Price?
There is a specific hotel that we normally stay in when we visit this area. The rate for this AirBnB was basically the same as that hotel. So for the same price, you have an entire house (and pool) to yourself. I’d say it was a great deal. Our hostess was always available and answered any questions or concerns quickly. She really thought of everything that would make her guests feel at home.
Was our AirBnB Clean?
Absolutely! Aside from the freezer, which could have used a wipe down, the home was very clean. In fact, it was cleaner than our own home, if I’m being totally honest!
How was the Location of our AirBnB?
We were just outside of downtown, which was the cutest little area of shops and restaurants. We loved trying the local restaurants, one of which had the yummiest pizza. There were also a number of ice cream shops, coffee shops and chocolate factories in the area. We weren’t far from the mall and a number shopping centers either. We had plenty to do! We even got to visit with some friends who happen to live just miles from the home.
The One Thing I Didn’t Realize I’d Love in our AirBnB
The home had only one television. It was in the living room, downstairs. For a family that is used to falling asleep with the tv on, on a regular basis, I thought this would be a challenge. But let me tell you what it did. For the first two days, I didn’t watch tv at all. I was able to read a couple of chapters of a book that I threw into our suitcase at the last minute. I rarely make time to read, so it was amazing for me! It almost made me want to get rid of our bedroom tvs in our home!
What was the Outdoor Space Like at our AirBnB?
The outdoor space was much bigger than I anticipated. There was a swing on the front porch (something I dream about having in our own home one day). The girls spent a good portion of our time there. The property had a decent sized driveway with a covered parking area on the side of the home. In the back, was a back porch, a large pool and a garage which they use for storage purposes. There was plenty of space to entertain and a decent sized grill.
Although we have a pool in the house we are currently living in, the girls spent as much time as they could in the AirBnB pool. We were gifted some new bathing suits from our friends at SwimZip, so they were looking their best, even though the privacy fence kept anyone from seeing them. What I love about SwimZip (besides the owner Betsy, who I had the pleasure of meeting years before her Shark Tank appearance), is that not only are their swimsuits high quality, but they also offer UPF 50+ protection all day long. I’m completely in love with the new prints and styles!
Love their UV Protective Swimwear from Swimzip?
Were There any Negatives to Staying in our AirBnB?
While our stay was memorable in all of the right ways, we did have a few issues. I’m a crazy-light sleeper. I have bionic ears. I could hear the train, which was at least a mile or two away, running throughout the night. Everyone else got a good night sleep, so had I brought ear plugs, I would have too.
The wood floor upstairs had a cracked area, which Iyla’s sock got caught on a couple of times. We did have some holy socks but our feet were unharmed.
On the second night, the fire alarm in the girls room went off at around 3am. We made sure there was no actual smoke or fire and once Super Dad got it to stop, we closed our eyes to try to fall back asleep and it went off again. That happened 3 times before he made the executive decision to take the batteries out.
There was no microwave in the home. I know that might not be a big deal to most (and we did have the oven), but when you have kids, sometimes they aren’t patient enough for the oven.
When you leave the home, they ask you to put the dirty towels in the washing machine and run it, and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it as well. We were required to pay a $125 cleaning fee, but found ourselves spending most of check-out morning cleaning the home and doing the dishes and laundry.
Would We Visit an AirBnB Again?
For our first AirBnB experience, we couldn’t have asked for more. I definitely think we will rent another AirBnB when we travel in the future. Have you rented an AirBnB before? What was your experience like?