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Benefits of Airbnb for European Family Travel

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When planning our 3 1/2-week trip to Europe, we had a big decision to make: stay in hotels, at bed and breakfasts, or in rental apartments and homes. Ultimately, we chose the latter, because of the benefits of airbnb. Let me explain...

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I typically stay in hotels when I travel and had lots of loyalty program points that would have helped reduce the cost of our European family vacation. However, as we researched hotels and tried to use the points, we learned that we'd need two rooms each night as one room in most hotels would not accommodate our family. This cost-prohibitive lodging choice was not an option for our family of four. Having stayed in two different apartments previously with airbnb in Paris and New York, I looked into the benefits of airbnb for our family vacation to Europe.

I knew the benefits of airbnb at a high level. Primarily, you could get into the heart of where you really wanted to be for less money. But, it felt like a lot of research and like we'd be gambling with having trusted experiences like we'd get if we went with a well-known hotel brand.

After much consideration, we went for it. And we are so glad that we did. The benefits of airbnb added a ton to our fabulous European family experience.

Benefits of Airbnb

10 Benefits of Airbnb for European Family Travel

We stayed at nine different airbnb properties during our trip—mostly in historic districts or city centers, but some in more remote places, like right on the beach. Here are the key benefits of Airbnb we experienced when traveling through Europe as a family:

  1. Benefits of Airbnb for European Family VacationStaying at Airbnb locations allows your family to live like the locals. Whether you are in an apartment in the city center or in a house in the countryside, you are in someone's residence and get to feel as if you live there.
  2. Through the decor of the various places you stay, your family gets to see different styles, giving you a glimpse into people in that region's design preferences.
  3. Unlike staying at hotels, you can do your own laundry, which is such a benefit when traveling from country to country, when packing light, or when staying many days in one location. (See our recommended packing list to understand why having the option to do our own laundry was such a big deal.)
  4. You often have much more space than your family would in a regular hotel room... and at a fraction of the cost.
  5. Your entire family can stay together in one place. In many European hotels, the rooms accommodate two with an added cost for a roll away. This means having to book two or more rooms to accommodate your entire family. With airbnb, you can all stay together in a comfortable apartment or home without the added expense or separation required by many hotels.
  6. You have a full-sized kitchen, decreasing your food budget. Your family can go grocery shopping together. Then, you can use your kitchen to eat breakfast in, prepare lunches for on the go, have a place to take leftovers, and have a place for snacks.
  7. You get to meet hosts that often give you a local’s perspective, including recommendations, for must-see sights, restaurants, and more.
  8. Your family can stay in the heart of cities/destinations without paying the high prices you’d typically pay for prime real estate hotel spots.
  9. What is really fun is having your family stay in random, odd spots: boats on canals in Amsterdam or beach houses, like the one we stayed in, that are literally 25 feet from the water at high tide in Portugal's Algarve region.
  10. Parking is often included, saving you money.

For family travel in Europe, the benefits of airbnb far outweigh those of staying in traditional hotels. That said, you do have to keep in mind that you will not have housekeeping, that not all hosts or locations are created equal, and that there will be no room service. Going into your experience knowing the benefits of airbnb and doing the most in advance to plan for a successful stay is key. Check out our tips here for choosing the best properties.

Want to know additional benefits of airbnb? Check out my post on TravelingMom.com with additional tips and pics from our trip.

This post, focusing on the benefits of aibnb, is the second in our series of how to plan for a family trip to Europe. Check out the other posts in this series, including what to pack for a family trip to Europecar rental benefits and 10 things to know before you rent, the perfect tours for your family's travel itinerary, planning your vacation on a budgethow to get around Europe with a family, and must see places in a variety of European locations.

What are your tips for booking lodging for family vacations?

Disclosure: I was NOT compensated in any form or fashion for staying with airbnb on our European family vacation. These tips and my glowing recommendation are based on my personal opinion, having paid for the nights and after trying all lodging options presented in this post.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.

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