Our Family’s First Stay in an AirBnB

Family at an AirBnB wearing SwimZip

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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.

Entrance hooks at an AirBnB

Stairs and wooden floor at an AirBnB

Shelving and white walls with various books at an AirBnB

Kitchen table and dining area of an AirBnB

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.

Rae Dunn Out of Office Mug on the kitchen table of an AirBnB

Beautiful bed and canopy decor in an AirBnB

Beautiful decor at an AirBnB in Florida

Beautiful headboard and decor at an AirBnB in Florida

Built in bunk beds at an AirBnB

Beautiful white and gray bathroom in an AirBnB

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!

Beautiful girl wearing her SwimZip halter swimwear

Beautiful girl wearing a rash guard and swimwear from SwimZip on a porch

Beautiful girl wearing a swimsuit from SwimZip on a porch swing

Family wearing uv protective swimwear from SwimZip

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?

Here are the links to each of their suits:
Falynn: Oversized Dot
Iyla: Tie Dye
Lucia: Palm Leaf Halter Top and High Waist Bottoms
Super Dad: Cannonball King Rash Guard and Palm Leaf Trunk Shorts

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?

If you're considering renting an AirBnB for your family, read about our first experience and whether or not we'll rent one again.

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Hello There!

I'm so honored that you've found us! I'm Heather, a Mom of 3 who blogs about parenting, food, occasional travel and how I overcame my daily struggle with anxiety. I miss sleeping and rely on coffee and laughter to get me through the day. I hope you enjoy and visit often!

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  1. I have to begin investigating AirBnBs rather than hotels for our getaways. I have heard incredible things about them. I like that we have the option to bring our little dog with us to a place that feels more like home.

  2. That was a great place to stay, I need to start looking into them instead of hotels for our vacations, I have heard great things from different friends

  3. Oh wow! What a beautiful place! And your family looks so happy!:) Thanks for the beautiful inspiration <3

  4. I stayed at an airbnb for the first time this past summer. It was great to have the space needed to enjoy with the family.. we were able to bring our puppy which is always a bonus for me. Thank you for sharing the experience you had with your family.

  5. Ahh I love staying in Airbnbs. It feels a lot more unique and personal than staying at a hotel. Looks like you guys had a great stay at a great one!

  6. That is a gorgeous place to stay. We love air bnb because it gives you more of a feel of how the locals live.

  7. What a beautiful stay! I have not used AirBnB but I’ve been wanted to try it for a while next time I travel. So happy you and your family had a positive experience!

  8. I am loving the look of this Air BNB and your re right it is adorable! I also love how bright and airy it is which make staking this much needed photos a snap and just love the look of the place in general. I am with you… very picky about where I stay as it has to be clean… and I mean clean. I cannot eat at a friends home that I feel is not clean…. it is an OCD thing that I have always had….so a place that I am staying in and eating in has to be like my home. This place lives up to that standard so I will or sure be checking out an AirBNB for myself and my family on our next vacation. So much nicer than a hotel 🙂 Thank you for the fabulous post!

  9. I’d say this was an awesome Air BnB! My kids have been asking for bunk beds but I’m still not ready to get them becasue they’re 5 and 6 and both want to sleep on the top. So that means i have to get 2 of those beds that sit up high wiht no bed under them. And honestly, even when we stay at resorts, we always put the dishes in the washer and run it. We tend to clean up a bit before we leave anyway, even though someone is going to come in to clean up after us – that’s just us.

  10. That sounds like an awesome experience! Except the fire alarm and the train running by…but these photos are so beautiful! I wish I could’ve taken these, but you did a fantastic job! 🙂

  11. I love Airbnb. There are such unique places, normally at a great price. You found such a lovely one – I love how clean it is.

  12. Oooo looks like y’all found a fabulous AirBnB to stay in! I’ve been tempted to give AirBnB a try. It would be nice to have a house and not stay at a hotel on vacation

  13. I have yet to stay in one, but will def consider it now after hearing about your experience!

  14. first of al what a fantastic photographs ! the airbnb also looks like a fantastic place to stay with family

  15. Reading positive feedback about AirBnB makes me want to book a slot this weekend. Happy memories!

  16. We are converts to airbnb too, even after a couple of early teething problems. I love being in a home from home (although they are always nicer than my actual home)

  17. Your overviews of Airbnb are so thorough and they give so much good information. I will def consider this.

  18. Loved the house you chose! I used to have my own in Barcelona and the people I met through that journey was absolutely inspiring.

  19. Oh nice post, great place for family vacation. Thanks for sharing your experience, love reading it.

  20. This one is so beautiful..! Such a nice place for the whole family. Thanks for sharing your experience..!

  21. What a fun trip..! Nice decors too..! AirBnb is so great..! Thanks for sharing your experience.

  22. That place looks quite amazing and some of the houses in Airbnb don’t look this good. Looks like you had a great time during your Airbnb stay.

  23. Family-friendly and pretty are my main criteria as well! You´ve found such a nice place! Love the decorations!

  24. What a gorgeous looking Air BnB! We tend to always book these now instead of hotel rooms as they’re SO much more homely 🙂

    Louise x

  25. Honestly. I’ve always been wary about airbnb. So I’m forever looking for success stories like this. Glad yous had a blast and I’d def reconsider booking one. Thanks for the post

  26. I love Airbnb and I’m thrilled to hear you had a great time. I personally think having the benefit of the space, kitchen and laundy beats a hotel 🙂 Nothing is ever perfect though I’m surprised the fire alarm went off in the bedroom. Sounds like you solved it and had a great time overall. Glad you got back into reading. Exciting. Great review.

  27. We love Airbnb! We use it more than hotels. Mostly because we end up traveling a lot with friends and family. If it is just the 2 of us we get a hotel… but we love doing couple trips and when 6 or 8 of us all get together an Airbnb is essentially for the ease and comfort of our stay! We each get our own bedrooms but have communal areas that we can all spend time together which is the whole point of traveling together!

  28. We are going to have to try out an Air BNB. I have wanted to go somewhere and hotels just are too expensive and tight for the whole family.

  29. Looks like a great space!! And that you had a relaxing time! I’ve never tried Air BnB before, but maybe I should!

  30. This was such a lovely Airbnb that you stayed at! I’m glad that your family had a great time on your trip.

  31. I have always thought about AirBnB as an option while booking my hotels but somehow never got down to doing it. As long as the toilet is not shared as I have noticed in many, it should be fine. This property that you all stayed in is very nice. Nice pics.

  32. WOW! That is one HELL of an Air BnB! Looks like it was quite the experience, too. I would totally stay at a place like that.

  33. I’ve been curious about this too. I’m also picky about the places we stay. I totally want to try an airbnb now!

  34. We are staying in our first Airbnb this weekend. I love the idea of only one t.v. I definitely will be doing some reading.

  35. I’ve heard about AirBnb a lot. But i am so glad to learn more about it from your experience! I think I should use this rental service too!

  36. That is amazing! I have thought about trying an Airbnb but have been hesitant. I love your review, I may have to look into them more seriously!

  37. The AirBnB home looks beautiful. I have stayed in a couple of AirBnB’s and it is always a gamble on the atmosphere of the house. Sometimes renting out just a room is amazing connecting with the locals but can also be an invasion of personal space. It looks like you had a great time relaxing and creating space to get out of your home routine

  38. I have never stayed there before. Looks like a really beautiful place though. I would certainly think of staying there sometime too.

  39. interesting how you weren’t sure if the food was for you guys or not. i think i’d have the same concerns if i did an airbnb aka what is off limits and what is for us.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  40. I like the idea of having a whole house to vacation in. Sometimes hotel rooms make me feel cramped and uncomfortable, but this AirBnB experience of yours was just wonderful!

  41. I have always wondered about AirBNBs. We have thought about buying an additional home to rent out as one but were not 100% sure what it entailed.

  42. I think this AirBNB is a rock star. I love the decor. I wouldn’t have left, it feels so peaceful there.

  43. It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation. I haven’t traveled in several years but when I do we usually stay in a hotel. If I was planning a week-long vacation, I think staying in an AirBnB would make a lot more sense so that we had the comforts of home and a bit more privacy. I’ll have to keep in mind when booking one in the future so that I will ask if they have a microwave. Maybe this particular house didn’t because it is older.

  44. My family and I have not stayed in an Airbnb. That looks like comfy house though and looks like you enjoyed your stay!

  45. I am a light sleeper too. That train noise would wake me up for sure. Such a beautiful room to stay in though!

  46. Lucky You! It looks like a great place to stay. My First Stay in an AirBnB was not so good. I’m glad you had one with your family!

  47. This is pretty awesome! I wouldn’t think I would enjoy only one TV either but the benefits actually sound like I may try and look for that specifically in the future for this purpose! I have never rented and air bnb myself so I loved hearing about this experience before doing so!

  48. We stayed in a vacation rental from Homeaway for the first time during our recent trip to Europe. It was great. I loved having more room and being in a residential neighbourhood. I’d totally rent a house or apartment again!

  49. Your family is beautiful for starters. I have not stayed in an AirBNB yet but seeing your experience makes me want to try it. You really covered all the details I want to know about.

  50. This sounds like a really great and affordable way to take the family on vacation and stay somewhere cozy. Great Ideal

  51. This house looks beautiful! I think renting a home or apartment is the best way to go if you have more than 2 people. We’ve stayed at over 10 places and all of them were great except for one. (The non-ideal one wasn’t booked through a national agency.)

  52. We love AirBNB! They are a staple down on 30A where there aren’t hotels to stay at. This house is decorated so nice!

  53. What a gorgeous space!!!! I LOVE those bunk beds. We are never going to be able to stay in a hotel again after doing Airbnbs with toddlers who need their own rooms to fall asleep! haha

  54. We usually rent a house through AirBnB when we go on vacation. I love the many advantages of the service. We haven’t had a bad experience with the service!

  55. OMG that house though!! It looks amazing. Love the bunk beds and the Cape Cod kind of feel that it has. Very peachy. Everyone looks like they had an amazing time too. I need to try Air B N B. We haven’t done this yet as a family which is surprising given how much we travel. I just needed to hear from someone else that it is good and reliable.

  56. I have never stayed in an Airbnb but this looks nice. I like all the space but no free breakfast is a deal breaker for me.

  57. This looks like a great home to stay in. I always hear about AirBnb but I haven’t tried it yet. I need to! I’d prefer it to a hotel.

  58. Other than the alarm going off which is unusual it sounds like the accomodations were great. The pictures look like it was very clean and comfortable and the smiles looked like you had fun.