Organization and Planning

Our Secret Weapon for Travel

Traveling is a lot of work! And the more you know, the smoother it goes. If you’re anything like our family right now, you’re looking to pinch every penny you can! Just as it is work, travel is expensive. Luckily we have found our secret weapon:


I’m sure many of you have heard of Airbnb, but others of you haven’t. I want to give you all an inside look at our experiences with Airbnb and why we think it’s so great. And by the way – I’m not getting paid to write this. Just shows how much I love it!

Search Any Place in the World

Going to California? Airbnb’s got your back. Budapest? No prob. Hawaii? Got ya covered! Heck, you could go to Mongolia and stay in an Airbnb. When we search for an Airbnb in Redding, CA we can look in Redding and its surrounding cities, giving us even more options.

We are also planning on staying in an Airbnb when we go to St. George or Vegas for our 1st anniversary this summer 🙂

Just Like Home

Staying in an Airbnb is staying in someone’s home that they’ve prepared for travelers to stay in. You can rent a shared room, private room, or an entire house. We love the entire house option when we go see our step-son and the grandparents come along.

When we get a private room, we look for somewhere with a private entrance as well – that way we get the most privacy we can.

We’ve never done a shared room, but this option is good for the lone traveler passing through for a night or two.

Hotel vs. Airbnb

Hotels can be great for certain things, but when we go out to spend time with our son we want something home-y. When stacked against each other, I pull out Airbnb as a winner every time.

You don’t have to clean the home when you are at the end of your stay, check-in is flexible, and you can find anything from a couch to a 22+ person lodge to stay in.

Now, there aren’t things like room service or housekeeping, so if these are a must for you, stick to a hotel. However, having a kitchen in the Airbnb promotes grocery shopping instead of eating out or ordering room service, which saves money too!

With Airbnb you communicate one-on-one with your host. All the hosts we’ve had have been so accommodating and kind – you really get personalized service and the host makes sure you’re taken great care of.


  • READ REVIEWS! I never book anything that has less than 4 1/2 stars. I’ve not come across many that have poor reviews, but you’ll find them. And don’t just look at the number of stars – actually read what people have to say. Most travelers will leave a very complete review for those who will come after.
  • Look for Instant Booking. If you’re in a pinch or low on time, instant booking makes it so you don’t have to wait for the host to approve your request to book. That being said, most hosts are very quick to respond – often within minutes.
  • Keep your eye out for Superhosts. Superhosts have completed at least 10 trips for their listings within a year, rarely cancel on their guests, have five-star reviews, and have a 90% or higher response rate. These are the people you want to stay with!
  • Look at the amenities and house rules. Some homes on Airbnb will not allow children younger than 12, so this is one I always check for! I also always make sure that there is WiFi and a private bathroom (just cause that’s how we roll). This one is very subjective, but important to pay attention to.

All in all, Airbnb is a dream for us – our secret weapon! It’s saved us so much money and helped us feel at home when thrown into the life of taking care of a toddler.


kat v.