Ever tried homestays with Airbnb?

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Being a regular traveler, Bed and Breakfast stays were always an available option. But an option that I never really exercised. Homestays are a very appealing and pretty cheap solution than the normal hotel route and perhaps sometimes even more pleasurable if the hosts are sweet, charming and friendly; however a big no for me. When we were planning our Florida trip a few months back, we decided to stay at a hotel in Miami but try the homestay option for our next stop – Pensacola. Since my husband was planning it and he thought it would be an exciting option, I was open to giving it a shot. We decided to explore the Airbnb alternative as it seemed to be jumping out in all our online searches.

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Airbnb and the selection of beautiful places to stay at, amazed us in entirety. Pensacola is a beach place – white sands and blue waters to be specific, so it was just a requirement of a lodging space for the night. But on seeing the available options, we were intrigued to figure out the best possible place we could find. The Airbnb prices vis-à-vis the hotels in the area were very cheap and that was an added attraction and advantage too. We figured a Lake House in Pensacola. Just imagine – a beach place and a homestay on the lake. It seemed like the perfect two-day holiday for us, at Pensacola. This was a beautiful and in a way very exotic house on the lake, run by a retired couple. Well, not really run by them. It was their house and we were guests for two days. So it was practically living with them, sharing their space and nearly being a part of their family.

The house was exquisite. It was tastefully done with every little attention paid to detail. And it was huge!! The couple were charming and very caring and sweet. I was fascinated just with the idea of them being so open to sharing their own personal space which they had created with so much of love and devotion. Since all their kids had moved out, they were alone and more than happy to share the house with their guests. There was everything that one would need and could think of. Well, it was home after all and very well taken care of at that. The room was very comfortable, the bed was very cozy, the bathroom was well stacked with all the required amenities and there were fruits, chocolates, breakfast bars and water in the room. Moral of the story – everything that you would need for a pleasant stay – just like home – home far away from home, with a lake in tow.

The icing on the cake was the welcoming and pleasant disposition of Robert and Frances – the couple we were staying with. They were incredible hosts and helped us out in getting to know the area well, things to do in Pensacola, directions to the beach and other places of interest. They ensured that breakfast was laid on the table before we woke up and the coffee pot was running so there would be coffee available for us the moment we woke up. Wow, I think sometimes even at home we don’t find such comfort. It was really satisfying. Ofcourse, lest I miss the most important part about them. On a hot day, when they both would be bored and needed to cool off, they would just step out of the house, walk into their garden and climb down one step right into the lake for a nice swim on a sunny day. Now, need I say anything more? Do check out the pictures of their house here.

Even today, when I think of it, the whole experience brings a smile to my face. You must try Airbnb when you plan your next travel.

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Featured Image is a picture of an English Castle for which accommodation is offered on Airbnb.  Image copyright of the host and Airbnb.

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