Tips for Finding the Perfect Airbnb for Your Vacation

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Know What You Want

It’s important to have a general idea of what you’re looking for. What is the purpose of your stay? Are you looking for the cheapest option or are you interested in a unique getaway? I like to look for places that are very different than my own home with unique features. The great thing about staying at an Airbnb is immersing yourself in the culture of that area and staying in a place that reflects just that. Hotel rooms are pretty cookie cutter but with Airbnb, you can stay at some really cool places you may never have the opportunity to see. Make a check list and find a place that ticks off all your boxes; air conditioning, on-site parking, bath tub, skylight etc. You can get as creative as you want because the options are limitless.

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Plan Ahead of Time

I recommend traveling with a plan. Do a few quick searches online and scope out the sites and restaurants you’re interested in. Make sure your Airbnb is in the general area of the places you want to visit or is at least a good midway point between them. This will really help narrow down your options. If you’re headed on a road trip and will be bringing a car, make sure to check the listing or ask your host if there is on-site parking. And if you don’t plan on having a car, look for other means of transportation in the area such as buses, trolleys or city bikes.

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Pay Attention to Photos

The quality of photos can tell you a lot about the space. Blurry photos with poor lighting can often mean the host is trying hide something. If there are a lot of close-up photos of random plants, pillows etc. it’s a sure sign something is up. Of course, this can also mean the host is simply a bad photographer but take that with a grain of salt. IPhones can take great photos even in low light so there really shouldn’t be an excuse for bad pictures especially when you’re paying someone for their space. You want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and you expect to get what you see in those pictures. Try to find listings that show all the rooms. If the bathroom isn’t shown, odds are it’s small or in poor shape. Small details like this can really help guide you in your search.

IMG_5572Read the Reviews

If a listing has less than five reviews, it’s either new to the market or it’s not a wanted space. Find out. What are people writing about? You can easily find out about the cleanliness and condition of the space from reviews. Most people don’t hold back if they had a bad experience. Reviews are very helpful for small details you won’t get from the listing. For example, if you have a bad back you may want to see if anyone writes about the firmness of the mattress. Another comment I love seeing is about the shower water pressure. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than a half assed shower. Other things to look out for are any complaints of pet odor or any small children living above or below if the listing is in an apartment building. Traveling can be stressful enough, you don’t need a crying baby keeping you from a good nights rest.

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Netflix and Chill

I always like to keep my eyes out for listings with added perks! Some hosts like to go above and beyond to make their guests feel more than welcome. A fully stocked kitchen with snacks and drinks or access to a guest Netflix account are just a few cool add-ons you can find. You can find out about these perks by reading reviews or even asking the host.

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Get to Know Your Host

Some of the best experiences stem from an awesome host. I know many of us prefer not to interact with strangers but there are definite benefits to sending a simple message to say hello. If your host is cool, they can recommend restaurants and bars tourists may not know about. Airbnb also has an “experience” option. If your host offers an experience, it might be worth looking into. You can learn about the culture of the area your in or just make a friend in another city!

 

Evil Eye Accent Wall: DIY IKEA HACK

Last year I painted my room completely white. I’m talking white walls, white furniture, white curtains, the whole 9 yards. I needed a change from my gray walls and orange accented pillows I slept in for the last four years. I wanted something more “adult-like” and something I wouldn’t get bored of after a few months. The great thing about having a white room is being able to decorate it with whatever color palette you want and being able to change up the entire look and feel with only a few throw pillows. But the bad thing about having an all white room is having to actually decorate it. My mom had hesitations about my all white room because of its #hospitalvibes but I knew I would be able to make it my own. Unfortunately, up until now I haven’t been able to really make it that. Call it interior design block.

Last week I was strolling through Ikea, aka the land of the meatballs and home of the lingonberry juice. Ikea finally introduced some new artwork to their collection and it was very refreshing seeing something other than an oversized Audrey Hepburn, a foggy bridge, and a London landscape with a double decker. You know exactly which paintings i’m referring to and this is how we know Ikea was long over due for some newness. In the corner of the art section, I stumbled upon some decals from the new SPRIDD collection, a limited edition print-based collection of vibrant must-haves perfect for modern nomads. One decal pack in particular caught my eye which contained two abstract looking eyes, a nose and a mouth. Not exactly sure who would want or need a face like this on their wall but I immediately thought of an Urban Outfitters pillow I saw a some time ago.  Evil Eye Ikea Hack 4.jpg

Unfortunately the pillow is no longer available but here is similar option if you are in the market for an eye pillow. This decal pack is not available online and is only sold in certain Ikea stores so if you’d like to pick these up, definitely call your local Ikea ahead of time to see if they carry them before you make the trip. Each pack is $10, a steal in my opinion for such a large sized decal. I bought three packs. In total, I spent $30 on this wall.

In order to make sure I liked the final look of the wall, I played around with the placement of each decal before completely committing to sticking them on. I took a pair of scissors and cut each decal out to have separate pieces instead of one large sheet. Then, I put two piece of tape on the back and stuck them on the wall where I thought they would look great. Once happy with the placement, I took off the back piece of paper on the decal and stuck each onto the wall for good. Although they are sticky, they are not so permanent that you cannot remove them without ripping off chunks of paint. Just remember, each time you remove them, they will lose a little bit of their stickiness allowing them to eventually peel off the wall before you are ready to take them off. So my best advice, have someone stick the decals on and have a friend watch from a far to make sure the placement looks good before committing to a spot.

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The overall labor of this project is so minimal, it’s hard to even call it a “project”. For $30, I was able to completely transform a bare space into a cool tumblr-esque accent wall giving my room the character it was missing. And although these eyes are “eye catching”, they are minimal enough to match any other patterns or textures I may add to my room in the future.

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Let me know in the comments if you like how this mini project came out and if you would ever consider giving your room an accent wall like this.

xo,

Nicole