> 1) Use the filters to decide what kind of accommodation you want. (entire house, entire apartment etc.)
> 2) Also put on the filter that you want superhost only. (These are the properties that have gotten very good reviews.)
> 3) Look for a place in or close to the neighborhood you want to be in.
> 4) read the host descriptions and the guest reviews carefully.
> 5) Look carefully at the cancellation policy.
Tag Archives: Airbnb
> 1) Use the filters to decide what kind of accommodation you want. (entire house, entire apartment etc.)
We did wake up to blue skies which was a welcome change. Outside our sweet little Airbnb casita, we sat beside the pool (not heated so too cold to swim in) and looked out across the green lawn and tall palm trees to the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It finally felt like we were in California (or Tucson). After a nice chat with another Airbnb guest from Rochester NY (by way of Sparta, Wisconsin) and our very nice hosts (she from Dublin, he from Illinois) we set out for a day at Joshua Tree National Park, about an hour drive northeast.
En route we stopped for a very good breakfast (huevos rancheros, mike’s mess – scrambled eggs with goodies) at the rustic Crossroads Cafe in the town of Joshua Tree, then onto the park visitors center where a very nice ranger originally from Romania gave us some great recommendations for short hikes and drives in the park. We also discovered that Dirck is now at the grand old age of 62 able to get a year pass to any national park for $20, cheaper than the $30 one day pass to Joshua Tree.
The weather was nippy (glad I brought my light down jacket) but the sky clear, albeit not always blue, and we spent several hours hiking and diving past the strange Joshua trees, which look like giant bristle brushes used to clean the inside of bottles. Dr. Seuss must have visited. We felt like we were walking The Lorax. The strange giant boulder formations (skull rock and jumbo rocks) were cool to see and we took two easy 1 mile walks (Hidden Valley, Barker Dam). We had a spectacular views from Key Point of The rugged San Bernardino mountains and in the distance the Salton Sea and even Palm Springs. Like Palm Springs, there were also telltale signs of flooding at Joshua Tree but the water had receded by morning in both places, fortunately.
Dinner was delicious ribs, steak, red rice and margaritas at Pappy and Harriet’s, a large ramshackle honky tonk place in Pioneertown, a strange forlorn community high in the mountains on a former film set for westerns. A band was setting up for a sold out show and tons of cars made the climb up a rough mountain road, with some sections covered with dirt after receding floodwaters. Unfortunately it started raining on our drive back to Burbank. Next trip: idlewood.
Mystery solved. I think. The picturesque seaside town in Maine that was known for its photography program -that we stumbled upon some 35 years ago – appears to be Rockport. It definitely wasn’t Rockland, which is bigger. We had an easy drive up the coast from Boston. About 3.5 hours to Camden but we stopped en route, first in Freeport where we dodged the hordes of shoppers at LL Bean and a whole lot more and got a takeaway lamb deli sandwich at Bow Street Market (which our Maine transplant friend Lisa recommended) then onto Brunswick where we did a quick drive by Bowdoin College and a cool old building downtown that’s used as an arts center.
In Rockland, we parked near the harbor at a long breakwater with gorgeous views of the bay and a white sailboat out in the blue water. But it is made of slabs of granite with large deep gaps in between and after a short distance, I chickened out and we walked back. I am still a little shaky walking with my recovering broken arm and last thing I need is to fall. We took a lovely back way to Rockport where I had my ah ha! Moment and then another back road through the woods past gorgeous houses overlooking the water and fields with “white-belted” black cows (that have a white band around their middles). Downtown Camden looks charming — our Airbnb definitely is.
We found our host tending to spectacular dahlias (my favorite) in the little garden in front of our sweet one room wood cottage (the birds nest). Inside it’s decorated with nice little touches, a pretty quilt and curtains and little tasteful prints. I am sitting on a cushioned Glider on our red brick patio with table. It’s chilly but clear skies (for now) and I definitely need to get a sweater or sweatshirt. So happy to be here.
Check out the story below from Realsimple.com about a new way to pay for an Airbnb that should make it easier to share a rental with friends, which we often do. A related issue we’ve run into: How to share the tab in locations around the world with English friends who pay with pounds while we pay with dollars – not just lodging but car rentals etc.?
The photos are from our recent Airbnb adventures!
Airbnb Is Making It Easier to Plan Your Next Group Getaway
Maybe it’s time to book that reunion with your friends?
By SARAH YANG November 28, 2017
Friends in a Cabin
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
The next time you plan a vacation with a group of friends, you won’t have to worry about reminding someone to pay their share of the rental house and the inevitable awkwardness that comes along with it, all thanks to Airbnb’s newest feature. The accommodation site just launched split payments, allowing groups to pay their own portion of a reservation through Airbnb.
RELATED: The Most Wished-for Airbnb in Every State
When consumers were asked what feature Airbnb should launch in 2017, one of the biggest requests was a group payment method. A recent Airbnb survey found that 79 percent of American travelers have been on multiple group trips in the last five years, but sometimes there are issues that arise when it comes to payments. About 38 percent of people reported that they were not fully paid back from a group trip, and 52 percent of travelers said they had to front $500 or more for the trip.
The new split payments feature was created to solve these problems (and prevent any fights with friends). The trip organizer will request to book a listing and the reservation is put in an “awaiting payment state.” The trip organizer’s portion will be charged and others in the group will have 72 hours to pay their portion of the reservation. This new feature will only work with listings that qualify for split payments—and it will be available in 191 countries and territories and more than 44 countries.
After a quiet night at our airbnb in Rogers, we dropped in at the hip happening coffee shop in downtown Bentonville, Onyx, which was buzzing, on a Sunday morning no less. After a few jolts of caffeine, we drove north through Missouri, passing what seemed like many road signs advertising Jesus, guns, churches and anti-abortion.
Stopped for gas in Lamar and toured a local outlet of the “Beef Jerky Warehouse,” which had more varieties of jerky than imaginable and some interesting T-shirts. We were taken aback, while reading a little wall sign about Lamar’s history, to see a casual mention of the KKK meetings (once) held in town.
In Kansas City, where the fall colors were most spectacular, we had lunch with a favorite relative, Uncle Kenneth, on the Plaza at the Parkway Social Kitchen. Not bad. Particularly appreciated the servers, who were gentle and kind to our elderly relative, which was much appreciated. The drive home to Iowa – where the trees also have turned fiery reds, yellows and oranges during our one week away – was also uneventful.
Another “hit” (vs miss) as expected in this perfect little north Arkansas town brought to you by Walmart. This is our second trip to Crystal Bridges and the museum continues to vow. The setting, deep in the woods; the architecture, a dramatic series of curvy buildings in and around a small lake; the art work, a fantastic collection of American art, especially the last 50 years or so; a classy restaurant dining room with terrific food; what’s not to like?
The drive north from Hot Springs, especially the initial stretch on two lane highway 7, was spectacular. Curvy winding roads up and around and down woods-carpeted mountains, really gorgeous.
After the museum, we visited the 21c museum hotel downtown, ultra modern with a museum on its walls of very interesting art and a stylish restaurant called Hive where we had a drink, sitting under a big piece of plastic orange honeycomb with a big toy bee hanging out in it. Tonight we had an excellent dinner at Oven and Tap downtown– edamame, meatballs, fried chicken. Can’t complain.
Tonight we are at airbnb # 6, all good. It’s a nondescript little house in a suburban subdivision in nearby Rogers, with a comfy bed and bath and the owner is away camping so again, just us.
Cotton fields/Tula, Elvis Birthplace & Johnnys drive-in/Tupelo, and Avondale neighborhood/Saw’s Soul Kitchen of Birmingham
Alabama at last. Wanted to come here for ages, not sure why but my friend Kathy Jones Is from Mobile which may have contributed to my curiosity. We are staying in yet another great Airbnb in the Avondale neighborhood, in a lovely old wood house with a big front porch on a street with well-renovated old once-modest homes. Yet another “historically hip” neighborhood east of downtown, akin to Cooper-young in ’emphasis, East Nashville, Silver Hill in Albuquerque and wherever we were in Salt Lake. I seem to be drawn to these places… call it the Royal Oak factor (my parents had an art gallery in this suburban Detroit city, an outpost of coolness before the whole place turned hip.
But I’m afraid that the NYTimes 36 Hours Birmingham sort of oversold the city, as Dirck politely put it. Nothing has bowled us over beyond the 16th Street Baptist church where the infamous bombing that killed 4 girls during the early 1960’s still stands regally. We walked around a very quiet downtown (on a Wednesday morning) and read civil rights signs that are part of the walking tour here, which was interesting but we skipped the big civil rights museum because we spent hours at the Memphis one.
We did have a good soul food/smoked meat sampler at Saw’s Soul Kitchen in our neighborhood and the Sloss furnace, a former industrial site for producing pig iron, now a museum) taught us about Birmingham’s reputation as “The Pittsburgh of the south.) The Red Mountain hiking area through the woods of an old mining area wasn’t terribly interesting or scenic and the trails were poorly marked so never made it to our destination (Grace’s Gap).
About half of this 19th century Avondale airbnb house is off bounds and being renovated but we have all the rest of it to ourselves, and there is plenty of space. Two bedrooms, a bathroom, a lovely sitting room with an old fireplace, comfy couch, interesting paintings, wine and fresh bread awaiting us. So nice. We got here at about 5 and quickly set out on foot to explore, landing at Naked Arts, a good crafts gallery. The owner, who still has a Belgium accent although she’s lived here for decades, suggested a good street to walk on and a good restaurant (39th street to 41st street, where we ate at Avondale Brewery— delicious grilled sandwich with pork belly, fried egg and cheddar cheese; a salad with greens, bacon, watermelon, feta) and there was a talented guy singing and guitar-playing good covers. We also had excellent soul food the next day at Saw’s.
During our morning in Oxford, we enjoyed our fantastic Airbnb in the countryside , which had the most comfortable bed! And then we enjoyed the huge second floor screened in porch where we ate homemade coffee cake, left for us by our host, and watched the sun stream in through the pine trees. We walked past the chicken and rooster house on the property to a big workshop where the co-owner, a metal worker, was making big sculptures. Nice guy and he suggested a great drive nearby where we did, as promised, see fields of cotton near the tiny town of Tula ready for harvest and post-harvest cotton compressed into large “modules” about the size of a mobile home. We continued on a pretty back road (highway 334) to Tupelo, where we enjoyed Elvis’s birthplace and church, which was surprisingly interesting. Screens dropped down on three walls of the tiny church for a film reenactment of a Pentecostal service, complete with a young impressionable Elvis. Facts I never knew: Elvis had a twin. Stillborn, sadly. Also, Elvis’s dad Vernon spent time in jail. A bad check. We ended up eating burgers at nearby Johnny’s Diner, sitting as fate would have it, in Elvis’s booth, eating delicious burgers that arrived wrapped in waxed paper. Old school.
Almost forgot that we visited the home of another very famous Mississippian – William Faulkner. Rowan Oak couldn’t be more different than Elvis’s humble home. It’s a lovely white columned gentlemen’s estate with a giant trees lining the path to the front door.
National Civil Rights Museum/Memphis, Memphis BBQ/not on Memphis, City grocery, Square Books and Snack bar in Oxford, MS
I went to the Lorraine Motel where MLK was murdered for the third time today and was amazed to see that a woman who was protesting a proposed civil rights museum on the site back in 1989 was still there with her protest signs. She apparently thinks it memorializes the murderer. I disagree. I was as impressed today as I was during my second visit to the site (when it was a museum) about 9 years ago with Noah. It does a powerful job of laying out what led to the Civil Rights Movement and eventually MLK’s murder, with a dramatic finale: the (now glass-enclosed) motel room where MLK was shot on the balcony.It was poignant to visit this place now, with so much racial unrest. Still.
Tonight we are staying in another really cool Airbnb in the woods south of Oxford,MS. It’s on the ground floor of a house in a rural area with an unlikely contemporary art gallery (the Tree House Gallery) on the edge of a two lane winding country road. We have our own apartment with not one boring piece of furniture, artwork or rug. Shabby chic, interesting art everywhere, antiques, rugs from foreign lands. It’s a treat. And there is a huge screened in porch above us that I hope to linger on tomorrow morning.
Not surprisingly, my stomach is rebelling from all the rich food we have been eating. We tried another BBQ place recommended by locals (Memphis BBQ in Horn Lake, MS) but didn’t like it as much as Central BBQ – atmosphere was too fast foody. In Oxford, we stopped to browse in the charming and very Southern square at the famous Square Books and had a beer on the second floor balcony of The City Grocery, a beloved second story old bar overlooking the square (which reminds us a bit of Franklin, TN) and ate rich food at Snackbar nearby (fried oysters in a creamy sauce for me and dirck and I split “Vietnamese coffee ice cream” which had thru-the-roof butterfat content. My stomach is starting bubble up again just thinking about it.)Locals were raving about new places — Saint Leo’s (for pizza) off Oxford’s Square and Grit in the tiny town of Taylor (famous for the Taylor Grocery, a southern restaurant in a building that barely looked open anymore (part of the charm, apparently). Sadly, it wasn’t open on a Monday.
The Grand Rounds Byway, Minehaha Avenue, Midtown Global Market, Spoonriver, Westin, Guthrie – Minneapolis
Another surprisingly gorgeous day and we used it well, spending most of it on our bikes pedaling Grand Rounds Scenic Byway from one lake to another, (Lake of the Isles, Calhoun, Harriet, all the way to Minehaha Falls.) Much of the city seemed to be on the trail, as they should be and we again appreciated the orderly layout of the trail, with separate trails for bikers and walkers and the cycling trail divided by direction. We also found a perfect diagonal Street with a clear bike lande (Minehaha Avenue) to get back to the Midtown Greenway and our Airbnb, doing a great loop.
At the Midtown Global Market, we all tried various ethnic foods (excellent baba ganous which I don’t always like at the Holy Land; brioche for breakfast from Salty Tart Bakery; Indian tacos from a stand in the southeast corner etc). dinner was at Spoonriver, next to The Guthrie. Very good salads, burgers, desserts. (The Vietnamese Salad with grilled shrimp and lemongrass was a standout).
The play we went to see was odd (Refugia) but it was a treat to be in that building again. High drama decor with a blood red theater inside a dark deep blue glass building. Next time, I hope we can go up to the ninth floor observation area. (It was closed for a private event.)
At intermission, nature produced even better drama as we watched a storm move in over the city from the deck out side the cantilevered portion of the building. We capped things off with a drink at a Westin Hotel that was once a bank, with Art Deco reliefs, fixtures and carvings beautifully restored. So happy Noah gets to live here!