There’s no denying that Airbnb is the way of the future. While luxury hotels certainly have their appeal, many are choosing to opt to stay in an Airbnb when travelling for the unique experience they offer.
Brisbane makeup artist Lily Brady has long been a fan of the Airbnb experience since a holiday to New York allowed her to live like a local in a loft apartment for less than the cost of 5-star hotel. Since that stay, she was hooked and has since gone on to stay in over 20 listings (and counting), recently starting her own Instagram page to share her experiences with her eager followers.
From luxury five bedroom homes on the canals to cosy cottages in the mountains and an airstream perched right on the beach, Lily and her partner Jared have tried them all. Their latest stay was a houseboat over the Easter long weekend.
We caught up with Lily to talk all things Airbnb.
What led you to start your page?
I started @Brisbane2bnb around 8 months ago while travelling for work. Being a freelance makeup artist, I often found myself booking into Airbnb’s when doing jobs far from home. During one of my stays, I posted a photo to my Instagram story and had a heap of people asking where I was and to send them the link so that they could stay too. This continued to happen over my next few visits to Airbnb’s, so I decided to start a page of all the places I stay so that others can enjoy them also. Sometimes, people just don’t have the time to scroll through the hundreds of listings on Airbnb so hopefully my page makes picking the perfect home a little easier.
Will you be taking the business to other states/countries, or are you keen to keep exploring what there is to offer in the local area?
If the opportunity arises for me to check out Airbnb’s in different parts the country or the world, count me in. I jump at any chance for an Airbnb holiday. I love how unique every experience can be; being in a part of the world I haven’t been to before would only make it more special and memorable.
How long have you been using Airbnb for?
I stayed at my first Airbnb in New York in 2013 it was the most incredible loft apartment with huge glass windows and wooden floors. I felt like I was off an episode of gossip girl but for the price that you would usually pay for a standard hotel room. This is when I realised how fantastic Airbnb was, such affordable prices but the chance to live like a local.
What are some of the common misconceptions associated with it?
As far as misconceptions I think a lot of people don’t realise how private Airbnb’s can be. When booking, I always select the “entire home option” which means having the property to yourself. I often have people saying to me “isn’t it weird being in someone else’s home with them” but, for me, this is never the case. Contact with hosts can be as minimal as just making the booking, sometimes they meet you with a key and show you around, other times there is just a drop box. One thing I have always found though is they always have a very helpful manual that answers any questions you can think of and are always happy to give you local hints and tips which definitely maximises the experience.
What’s the most amazing place you’ve stayed? What features did you love about it?
My favourite Airbnb I have stayed in would be “Absolute beachfront Glamping – Sunshine Beach” It is a restored stylish Airstream caravan beachfront in sunshine beach and it was breathtaking! The caravan had private beach access, air conditioning, a hammock between two palm trees and the best part of all is that we could watch whales jumping in the ocean from our bed. It was truly incredible and unforgettable!
Any bad experiences so far?
I haven’t yet had any bad experiences using Airbnb. I am very careful when booking stays and make sure I read the description very well and check reviews from previous guests so that I know exactly what I’m getting myself in for. So far, so good!
What do you look for in an Airbnb?
When endlessly searching Airbnb for new places to stay, I always look for unique and stylish spaces. I don’t want to feel like I’m in a hotel or at home, I like to feel like I’m in another little world for a few days. I found when I used to book hotels I’d think “oh well we only have to sleep there, it doesn’t have to be anything special” when booking Airbnb’s, I book them intending to spend a lot of my time there relaxing and enjoying the space. I always look for good reviews when booking so that I know I’m in for a great time.
Have you ever listed your own place?
I haven’t listed my own Airbnb but it is definitely a future goal of mine. I always leave holidays feeling so inspired and have hundreds of ideas up my sleeve so watch this space haha!
Do you have plans to turn this into a full-time gig, along the lines of a travel blogger?
Travelling and staying in incredible houses as a full-time gig would be amazing. If my page took that turn, it’s definitely not an offer I’d refuse. (If you are seeing this Airbnb, hook a girl up) hahaha but honestly, I’m just enjoying the ride no matter what direction it takes. I’ve met some great people over the past few months. Every house has a different story and I love that.
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