Since it soared onto the vacation scene back in 2008, Airbnb has transformed the ways that many of us travel, providing not only more comfortable accommodation, but also a way more affordable option in most cases. This is especially true for families who can face sometimes extreme per-person charges in more hotel-based accommodations than they would for an entire family apartment. The question is, with around 5.6 million active listings worldwide, how exactly are you supposed to choose the most child-friendly option for your needs?
After all, Airbnb apartments are hosted privately, meaning that some of them are most definitely not child friendly. In fact, as well as potentially exposing your kids to risks in spaces that definitely aren’t childproof, some Airbnb owners actively don’t allow children. This can throw a spanner into your search works, but the good news is that there are some simple enough ways to tell whether a potentially promising Airbnb is the right option for your family after all. And, we’re going to talk you through the best of them here.
# 1 – The host encourages children
As mentioned, some Airbnb hosts (especially those hosting in extensions, etc. on their own private residence) will actively state that they have no-children policies, and they’re well within their rights to do that. On the flip side, however, there are plenty of Airbnb hosts who will actively encourage stays with children, either through the language they use in their listing, or even the featuring of family scenes throughout their photo albums, etc. Considering that you can see this information at a glance, this is therefore a great and simple starting point for narrowing down on viable listings, and most definitely ruling out options that seem more geared towards adult couples or similar.
# 2 – Supplies are available on request
While hotels and other official accommodation establishments have a responsibility to provide you with things like travel cots and sterilizers, etc., the private ownership of Airbnbs means that there’s no obligation for these things to be on hand. However, if an Airbnb is truly kid-friendly, the chances are that there will be things like fully-equipped travel cots and even sofa beds, etc. for kids on request. Admittedly, it’s rare for an Airbnb to have every single thing that you’ll need, meaning that you will still want to think about packing lists and even how to choose the best travel play yard for your baby to ensure a safe trip. Still, as well as making your life a lot easier in terms of what you have to get in the car, the providing of at least crucial supplies can help you to rest easy that your Airbnb host is not only well-equipped but that there’s also a high chance they host plenty of families throughout the year.
# 3 – There’s outside space available
While most hotels will have at least some kind of sun lounge or pool area, Airbnbs that often take the form of apartments don’t always promise this same benefit. That can be a problem for kids who are often likely to play up if they spend long periods trapped inside, and it’s always worth considering as you browse listings. Admittedly, given that you’ll often pay a fair amount more for things like swimming pools and dedicated outdoor areas, families still looking to save money could benefit from seeking more affordable options like shared outdoor spaces, balconies, and even rural settings where it’s still possible to encourage the kids outside. In some instances, it may even be possible to find Airbnbs with access provided to a host’s garden including swings, slides, and other toys. In this case, you can certainly rest easy that you’ve found a host who’s going to provide precisely what your family needs.
# 4 – You’re near suitable activities
While many of us prefer to wait until seeing all of the leaflets/suggestions left by our Airbnb hosts before we plan a strict trip itinerary, it is also worth checking that you’re close to plenty of age-suitable activities. After all, as great as it might seem on paper, an Airbnb that’s in the middle of nowhere isn’t exactly going to keep your kids on board, nor is it guaranteed to be all that kid-friendly as a result. By comparison, accommodation that’s within close distance to everything from zoos to waterparks and other such fun activities is way more likely to both appeal to your family, and be well used to hosting families in a general sense. Luckily, while precise sign-in instructions aren’t accessible until you’ve booked, most Airbnb hosts will provide at least a location approximation in Google Maps along with their listings, and may even give you a postcode to research from. This means that there’s nothing to stop you from at least getting a feel for the location, and what exactly you could get up to during a visit there.