Tips for choosing an Airbnb on your next vacation – from a Seattle couple who stayed in 270 of them

With some people still trying to make one last summer trip this travel season, and many still working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, recent reports indicate that more people are stay longer in rental accommodation and Airbnb. Demand for vacation rentals has skyrocketed and has remained high since the lifting of pandemic restrictions earlier this summer.

Michael and Debbie Campbell, a retired Seattle couple who call themselves Senior Nomads, have stayed at over 270 Airbnbs in 85 countries in the past eight years. Here are their tips for choosing a vacation rental that will meet your needs.

Know your priorities and do your homework

“I think the reviews are really important. Read between the lines. Look carefully at the photos, ”says Michael Campbell. “We never had [serious] problem; in 270 Airbnbs, we’ve been particularly lucky or very good at finding the right spot for us for our budget, ”says Debbie Campbell.

“Location is really important… pay attention to where the place is on the map,” says Michael. “The more homework you do, the better your experience will be. “

What’s on the checklist? For the Campbells, it’s an outdoor space, a big kitchen table, a central location in a big city so they can take public transport and walk as much as possible – for health reasons and because they think it’s the best way to see a city.

The couple always ask the host about potential sites before booking.

Be realistic and respectful

Sometimes people idealize their getaway, especially if they are on a rare vacation. “Airbnbs are not nirvana, not hotels,” says Debbie. “These are someone’s homes and expectations should be tempered in some ways. Be respectful as a guest. Someone has opened their house to you, whether it’s managed by a property manager or not. Leave a review right when you’re done.

Integrate downtime and be open-minded

The nature of vacations is that they are too short. You “rush to the airport after having to finish the last project at work, then hurry up and enjoy the next two weeks,” Debbie explains. Regardless of the length of a visit, Debbie recommends that people “allow time to reduce stress on your travels to allow for serendipity.” Don’t plan every moment, because that’s where the magic happens.

“Be flexible,” Michael agrees. Cultures act differently. “Go with the flow. It’s not what happens, it’s the way you react, ”he says, noting that they remember“ we are the stranger ”.

“Having a strong dose of curiosity is what leads to growth and a broader understanding of the world, as well as empathy, understanding and kindness,” says Michael.

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