Throughout the years we have stayed at various Airbnbs and other rental apartments when travelling. Years ago I would simple go through the complete list with apartments in search of the right place. However, this can be extremely time consuming considering the amount of apartments on the market.
A time ago I changed my search strategy, which has saved me a great amount of time and ensured that we always end up staying in great places.
My criteria when searching for a rental apartment
Set a price range
First and foremost I set the price range. Yes, dreaming about and looking at those large, beautiful apartments is fun, but if it’s not going to be a reality it is just time consuming. So start by setting a realistic price range, so only places within your budget appears in the feed.
Location, location, location
I work in the hotel business and the most important word in this industry is LOCATION. I always start by researching for what I want to do in the city, what restaurants I want to eat at and which shops to visit (here I use everything from Instagram, my personal network and websites). Next do my research of transportation; is there easy access to/from the airport? Or should we have the cost for a transfer in mind?
With these things on my mind, I limit my search to a certain area (this is where the map function on Airbnb is handy).
Now that I have the two most important parameters in place, the fun starts! The things below are very individual, but here is what I look for when browsing through apartments:
Lots of daylight
As we live in Northern Europe where the weather is more grey than many other places, I am a real sucker for light and sunshine. We have very large windows at home and lots of daylight. I am not comprising on this when travelling.
This is obvious. Since you are actually moving into someone else’s home, the cleanliness is top priority. White sheets and light colours are my favourite when browsing through accommodations.
I like the place to have a local feeling, which is one of the main reasons I like to book through Airbnb. Scandinavian design is super popular around the world, but honestly; I prefer not to be surrounded with the same design as I do back home. I like a local feel and I like to be surprised.
Now that we have a baby, I have added these new criteria to my list
This might be the most important new criteria! There have to be minimum steps in the entrance and an elevator. I once stayed in the most charming little Airbnb in Le Marais in Paris with some friends. Whoa, that would never ever have worked with a baby and a stroller! There was a tiny tiny spiral staircase and we even had troubles getting up with our suitcases.
A tip can be to look for wheelchair accessible apartments (this is a facility that can be ticked off using the filters on Airbnb)
Balcony or hallway
I now look for places with a balcony or a hallway for the stroller, so we won’t have the stroller in the livingroom all the time (this applies especially for long term stays).
An extra room
It doesn’t necessarily has to be an extra bedroom, as the baby can sleep with us for now, but the time for studio type apartments with just one big room is over… unless, we want to go to sleep at the same time as our baby boy…
Using the criteria above, we have just booked the most amazing apartment for a five week stay in Barcelona in Spring. Find it here and notice the beautiful floors!