Vacationing has never been more flexible thanks to the popularity of Airbnb. You get more space, more interaction with fun and knowledgeable locals, and a real feel for the authentic side of whatever city you happen to be in.
That said, private homes offer different amenities than more traditional lodging, so you’ll need to be strategic when deciding what to bring with you.
1. Laundry Soap
One of the biggest perks of Airbnb stays versus a big-budget hotel is the ability to do laundry. You can pack lighter and reuse a couple of outfits over the duration of your trip (goodbye, exorbitant checked luggage fees).
Check with your host to see if you’ll have access to the washer and dryer. If so, a small zippered baggy with powdered detergent or a couple of laundry pods is all you need to whip those rain-soaked jeans and sweaty gym socks into tip-top shape again.
2. Your Own Bed Linens
Most Airbnb’s are clean and well-maintained, but sheets can be a bit of a question mark. Even if you’re sure the bed linens are freshly laundered, you may be concerned about having a reaction to a laundry soap your skin isn’t used to. Not all hosts are going to spring for a good-quality product with a high thread count, and if they do, you could see an added charge.
You’ve already invested in the softest sheets possible for your own master retreat at home, so you might as well roll them up and bring them on the trip. Worried about space in your luggage? Pack just the pillowcases, so at least your head will rest easy.
3. Power Cords
Don’t expect your host to lay out chargers for your phone, tablet and laptop. If you plan on powering up, come prepared, and if you like to lay in bed and surf or stream, an extension cord will make it much easier in the event you’re booked into a room with minimal outlets.
4. A Lot of Respect
This isn’t a hotel. When you book an Airbnb, you’re staying in someone else’s home, and that comes with a different set of rules. Be mindful of going in and out at all hours and definitely moderate your noise level.
Keep things clean, wash dishes as you use them, and don’t expect the maid to sweep up your beard clippings after your morning shave. The best guests are the ones who have fun without compromising the comfort and happiness of others.
5. A Small Gift or Token of Appreciation
Again, Airbnbs are different from those big chain hotels and more formal accommodations. While a gift is most certainly not a requirement, leaving behind a postcard from your hometown, a small jar of your signature apricot jam or just a heartfelt thank you note is a sweet thing to do. It might even help garner you a higher star-rating after your trip concludes.
Lastly, here’s one more thing you should take: your host’s advice. Locals know the best spots, and spending a few moments listening could lead to a ton of incredible memories.