Road trip accommodations should not empty our wallets but...
There was one place during the cross-country road trip where Mitch hung a machete and large camping knife from the bedroom door handle so we would be warned if anyone tried to “murder or sacrifice us to some extraterrestrial being” while we attempted to sleep that night.
He said that this particular place had a strange vibe but was otherwise “cute”. To me -- it was downright creepy.
Where was this?
Well, it was an Airbnb. For the record, my 2nd ever Airbnb experience.
In late December 2017 to mid-January 2018, Mitch and I travelled on a cross-country trip from West Palm Beach, Florida to Lake Arrowhead, California. And just for fun, we used some Airbnb rentals. Before this trip, I had never stayed in an Airbnb - so I had no expectations. After this trip, all I can say is that each experience was unique and a couple were down right shooketh or surprising.
For our journey, we didn’t use Airbnb rentals exclusively. What we did was a mix of hotels, Airbnb rentals and camping. Each day was unique as each day was planned either the night before or earlier in the day which added to the surprising feeling and enhanced that road tripping vibe.
The first and my first ever Airbnb rental was in Austin, Texas. It was a little difficult to find the actual apartment as there were several hallways in the building and we were so tired, a bit emotional and FREEZING. But, halleluiah -it was clean, well-kept and near the college. Furniture and decorations were modern, shower was nice and it had a hair dryer – a HAIR DRYER. Bonus, it was conveniently located just minutes from some delicious vegan restaurants and cool local areas perfect for exploring. IMHO the ratings on the website were accurate.
Our next Airbnb rental was in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it was a one bedroom unit that had been converted – maybe it was a divided building behind a main house but I’m not really sure. I think it was called a Casita. This place had great reviews but was older in the décor and it didn’t have a hair dryer in the bathroom. You read that – NO HAIR DRYER! AND that wasn’t the ONLY thing missing in the bathroom - The bathroom had NO DOOR.
As odd as the missing bathroom door is - that wasn’t the BIG WTF Moment of this place. That moment occurred when Mitch looked under the rug in the kitchen and there was a trap door. A TRAP DOOR. I AM NOT KIDDING.
Mitch put our suitcases on top of the trap door. Honestly, in this precise instance, I am SO glad that I over-packed my suitcase and it was so fricking heavy.
There was a definite creepy factor here as this was the night that Mitch hung the machete and large camping knife from the bedroom door.
This experience was so different from Austin. We survived as nothing terrible happened and exploring Albuquerque was interesting and we quickly located a vegetarian restaurant and had a truly awesome menu and food.
The last Airbnb rental was in Las Vegas, Nevada and we didn’t get a place for just us, we rented a room in a house with another human being with a dog and cat. If you watched our Instagram Stories, I’m sure you saw the cat. Well, you know that they say, “what happens in Vegas - stays in Vegas.” I’ll just say that I had hoped for an Austin type accommodation but it wasn’t going to happen. One word for you, maintenance. One example for you, the shower handle came off in my hand when I turned on the water. There was also the fact that there was no hair dryer. For real.
For the Vegas night, Mitch left his machete and camping knife in the car and we opted to just lock the door. We left super early after a very late night because well, it’s Vegas and frankly, we needed to eat some Taco Bell in the morning and get to California!
What did I learn?
· Read the reviews and stay according to your comfort level whether that means having the whole place to yourself or sharing a room in a home with others.
· Have a sense of humor, it will take you far especially when you discover there is no door for a bathroom or there is a TRAP DOOR in the kitchen.
· Bring a hair dryer – it’s not standard issue and probably my only regret the whole time --except for that snoring incident in Death Valley.
· Lastly, travel with a trusted friend – ideally one that has a machete.
Remember to dream, do and experience your life.
Thank you for reading - Wendy