Have you guys seen AirBnB’s Superbowl ad?
Airbnb ♥ Amsterdam
I was super nervous using AirBnB for the first time. We were taking our first trip abroad with SJ to Amsterdam. I must have reached out to dozens of owners asking annoying questions like “is there a lot of street noise? Do you have a sheet for the crib? How close is the park by foot? Where’s the nearest grocery?” Amsterdam has no shortage of wonderful rentals with responsive, friendly hosts. It’s the perfect family-friendly European city despite its red light district and weed culture.
Jan was the best. His place was perfect for the three of us. After a long-haul flight he had a typical Dutch breakfast of ham, cheese, whole grain bread and fresh jellies waiting for us with an early check-in. He is well deserving of his 110 perfect 5-star ratings.
Home & Away to Provence
Last year I booked this property in Robion, France.
There were 9 of us so it had to account for varied discerning tastes. Close enough to vineyards, walking distance to a boulangerie et magasin de legumes but quiet, spacious with modern amenities and a heated pool. This 5 bedroom, 4 bath property did not disappoint. Even with 35 5-star reviews, it exceeded expectations. We had a minor issue with the Internet upon arrival, but Sebastien took care of it immediately. He greeted us with wine, provided weekly cleaning and gave us excellent restaurant recommendations.
Road-trip North Fork
I used Vacation Rental by Owner for a long weekend getaway to Long Island North Fork, Orient. We spent 4 nights lounging around this New England style home and blissfully enjoyed the outdoor dining veranda. It was fall, so SJ enjoyed the haystacks and pumpkins at Harbes Family Farm and seeing the goats in the boat at Catapano Farm while the adults indulged in local North Fork wineries.
Bermuda was our “test run” flight with SJ for the first time. Just a 2-hour flight from Philly, it’s still considered foreign travel. I booked us a suite at the Newstead Belmont Hills Resort.
The place was enormous! Our New York studio could have fit in one of the two bathrooms. In fact, SJ’s Pak ‘n Play fit nicely in the master bathroom. Yup, you read right. It was dark, quiet and had a fan. A perfect spot for a well-rested child. We enjoyed breakfasts out on the deck which later turned into
glasses bottles of wine after SJ went down with a breathtaking view of Hamilton Harbour.
Bath for Two
For a trip to the UK back in November 2011, I opted for a local vacation rental company called Bath Holiday Rentals. Pre-SJ, we went modern with a one-bedroom in the heart of downtown Bath. I loved the convenience of this clean, comfortable and cozy flat. Jay was taking a 5-day bread-making course with the renowned Richard Bertinet and I spent 5 days shopping, visiting Harry Potter’s house, getting up close with Stone Henge, seeing the real-life inspiration for Thomas & Friends, and I said shopping, right?
Onto the Next
We’re off to San Sebastian in May! I booked us a 2 bedroom apartment in the Old Town with a local rental agency, Feel Free Rentals. So far they have been very responsive and helpful in their suggestions. They even booked us a babysitter for a special dinner we have planned. Unfortunately, they require us to pick up the keys from the office instead of meeting us at the property. After an over-haul flight and transfer from Bilbao, it’s the one bit that I’m not looking forward to. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Tell me, what are some of your favorite or not so favorite vacation rentals? I’d love to know!