You might remember that I wrote about being a nervous traveller earlier this year. Part of the post was about how I find staying in “normal” hotels a lot less frightening than B&B:s or AirBnB:s – to me, they feel more straightforward and less uncomfortable as I’m not staying in someone else’s home.
Still, I’ve always been really intrigued by the concept of Airbnb – I imagine it helps you to get more of a local experience and to see areas you might not otherwise know to visit. My friends who swear by it say that they’ve always got great local tips from their hosts which have then helped make their holiday even more special. And yet, even after hearing all this praise, I’ve still always gone for hotels…
But! Two weeks ago, finally, I stayed in an Airbnb with my three friends on our weekend trip to Dublin and you know what? I loved it! It was a kind of soft landing into the world of Airbnb:s for me which helped: my friend booked the house and handled all communication with our host, plus we never actually met up with the owner – he gave us a code with which we retrieved our key from a little safe by the house.
Our Airbnb was a little house (the red door in one of the photos above!) in Dublin’s up and coming Stoneybatter area, and I loved it so much. It looked very recently renovated on the inside and consisted of a little kitchen (with all the modern appliances), a big bathroom with a rainfall shower (so much love!) and a cosy living room as well as two beautiful bedrooms upstairs. There were little personal touches everywhere: the beautifully folded towels on the bed, the Dublin guidebooks in the living room and a little folder full of information about the house and the surrounding area. I loved it so much.
Staying in this specific Airbnb felt almost like staying in a little self-catering boutique hotel – everything was very sleek with lots of personal touches. There was beautiful artwork on the walls and the decor itself was such a lovely mix of staying true to the roots of the house and making it modern and easy to navigate at the same time.
Most of all, though, I loved having a little home base to come back to after a long day of walking around and sightseeing. We were only there for 2 nights, but it started feeling familiar very quickly, in a way that a hotel room would not. We especially spent a lot of time in the kitchen: in the morning having a coffee and tea with fresh pastries from the nearby supermarket and in the evenings, cooking dinner and drinking red wine.
Would I book an Airbnb again? Absolutely! Am I still a little bit nervous about the process? Yes, a little. As I didn’t deal with the booking process of this one myself, I’m still slightly unsure of how it all works. We also never met our host (although he was very helpful via the phone and gave us lots of tips!), so the “checking in” process felt more like a self-check-in to a small hotel rather than someone’s home.
But, that said, I’m now determined to look for Airbnb:s as well as hotels when I next go on holiday and go from there – I think Airbnb:s could be especially great for longer holidays to help save money and lessen the feeling of homesickness with their familiar, more homely feel.