Using Airbnb on our roadtrip to California
Over the course of our ten-day journey, Ben and I stayed at five different Airbnb’s.
Overall, I loved Airbnb. After a long journey through Texas, we arrived at our Albuquerque Airbnb. The neighborhood was somewhat sketchy, but the adorable kitchen and the decorative antique cameras made me too happy.
The next night we stayed in Flagstaff. It is about an hour and a half away from the Grand Canyon National Park. I definitely suggest staying in one of the park’s lodges if you have a chance. The sunset and sunrise are worth watching. Unfortunately, all of the Grand Canyon lodges were booked due to it being Memorial Day Weekend.
Our Flagstaff Airbnb was similar to our Albuquerque Airbnb in that it was located in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood. However, the Flagstaff Airbnb did not have nearly as much charm. When booking an Airbnb, make sure to really study the photos, its location and the reviews.
Our third Airbnb was everything Airbnb is supposed to be. It was located in Fredonia, AZ. Fredonia is located in North Arizona (near Colorado City, AZ). And yes, my silly assumptions while shopping for groceries were correct! I later learned that Colorado City is an infamous polygamist town. Many, many women with babies, long jean skirts, several gigantic, unfinished houses with few windows, etc.
Back to Airbnb. We stayed in one of four bunkhouses our host Cindy had constructed after she had stayed in an Airbnb, so the rooms were specifically crafted for Airbnb.
Our room had two chairs, a small table, a space heater and two bunks. Cozy. Outside there were two bathrooms, a shower, two fire pits, a propane grill, a variety of cookware, a microwave and a small refrigerator. We were set. Ben grilled burgers and made a fire. I drank wine and handed him chips and salsa. It was perfect.
Later, another Airbnb couple joined us. They were recent graduates making their way to San Francisco. They drove all the way from Pennsylvania! They were nice. It was fun learning about their experiences traveling. It felt similar to meeting fellow travelers at a hip hostel in Europe.
In the morning, we packed up and ate breakfast. Cindy dropped by with her pup Mimi and poured us coffee. She talked about her greenhouses and how much she and her husband enjoyed living in a rural area. I was just in awe that she could grow and subsist off her own vegetables.
Overall, a wonderful experience which also happened to be our least expensive night. $35/night!
The next night, Ben and I stayed in a townhouse in Washington, UT. Our host was a flight attendant, so he left us little amenities everywhere. He had one dachshund and one visiting dachshund. Adorable pups. If you held up a treat for one of them, she would keep rolling over until you gave it to her. The other pup loved fetch and had little duck feet, so he was just adorable.
The Washington Airbnb was nice, but not a particularly special experience. We made it “special” by grilling fajitas, constructing margaritas and cooking terrible queso.
The next day, Ben and I stayed in Las Vegas for two nights at the Aria, a silly, gadget-y hotel and casino. The beds were nice, so we caught up on sleep. Losing money and spending too much on mediocre drinks and food didn’t amaze me.
Thankfully, we returned to an Airbnb in Bishop, CA after Las Vegas. It was our last Airbnb. Lovely but meh. It was not nearly as great of value as Fredonia or Washington, but that may have been due to the region. The Mammoth Lakes area is expensive in general.
In conclusion, Airbnb was a great way to travel “cheaply” and experience more. I definitely suggest others to try it out. Just make sure to do your research before you book!
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Links to my favorite Airbnb’s:
Originally published at blog.ericaannreed.com.