Vacation Rentals

Airbnb Review: The Best Airbnb in Boulder

Summer in Texas is...brutal to say the least. In August you become so sick of the hot weather that the only option is to escape! And escape we did :) Last year I decided that I really wanted to bring our dog, Brew to Colorado so he could 1) go to another state and 2) enjoy some mountains and cool weather. We drove from Austin to Boulder and obviously had to stay in an Airbnb to accommodate Brew. A few people laughed about me wanting to take my dog to Colorado, but Brew tragically passed away just a few months later and this trip was one of the highlights of his life for us and him. It's why I really encourage people to never put off traveling to see the ones they love. 

I started searching for Airbnbs pretty early because the good ones ALWAYS get booked quickly. I found Grant and Alex's Boulder guest house and picked it for a few reasons.

1. Location- If I am going to stay in a rental I want to feel safe in the neighborhood and I want to be close to where I want to visit. This Boulder Airbnb is located walking distance to Pearl Street and many hiking and biking trails. We walked to grab coffee, lunch, take a hike and we only really ever got in our car one or two times the entire trip. 

2. Design and Decor- I am a hotel lover (obviously), so it takes a lot for me to want to stay in a rental instead of in a hotel. I love when an Airbnb has a beautiful design and decor to match it . This rental was absolutely impeccably decorated and had everything you could possibly dream of (coffee, tea, fresh milk and eggs, spices, etc). 

 I borrowed this picture from their Airbnb listing because it looked a lot different with my bags and clothes everywhere :)

I borrowed this picture from their Airbnb listing because it looked a lot different with my bags and clothes everywhere :)

3. Reviews- I always read at least 10-15 reviews before I  will stay in any property. I don't mind if the listing has a few bad reviews, but I want to make sure that I fully understand what it is really like before staying there. The reviews for this property were impeccable, which is what tipped the scale in me wanting to stay there. 

I was blown away by the actual rental! It was as beautiful as the pictures and the reviews were spot on. I will also say that Grant and Alex were unbelievable hosts. They can provide great tips for the area, but they also painted a little picture of our dog Brew that I still cherish and keep with me. 

If you are looking for a great vacation rental in Boulder, I highly recommend this one! 

Tips for Planning a Family Vacation

I absolutely love traveling with my family. Because we live in different cities, it is the perfect opportunity for some uninterrupted family time. Of course, planning a family vacation isn't always easy :) I just finished planning one for my family and I learned a few things along the way.

1. Pick a resort or vacation rental over a basic hotel- The whole point of a family vacation is time together. At a basic hotel there aren't many spaces for together time. I always recommend either staying at a resort that has good communal spaces or trying to find a vacation rental to accommodate everyone. This will give your family the most together time.

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2. Pick a place that has something for everyone- My family has members as young as 6 months and as old as 61 years old. A vacation is a huge commitment both time wise and money wise for my entire family, so I wanted everyone to be happy. The only way for everyone to be happy is to go a place where there are activities for everyone. We picked a beach location this time which has great water slides and pools for my nephew but also has great food and spa for everyone else.

3. Don't over plan- With a big group it can be tempting to over plan, but don't. Enjoy each other's company, enjoy meals and try to relax while you are with your family.

I can't wait for our upcoming trip as a family. What are your best tips for traveling as a family?

Should You Stay in a Vacation Rental?

On two of our last big vacations (Kauai and Punta Mita) we split our time between staying in a hotel and staying in a vacation rental. I LOVE LOVE LOVE big, beautiful hotels and resorts, but sometimes it is just so nice to be in a "home" while you are traveling. My criteria for staying in a vacation rental are as follows:

1. Can I stay in an area I couldn't normally afford by staying in a vacation rental? When we were visiting Princeville in Kauai all of the hotels were extremely expensive! I really wanted to spend a few nights in Princeville because of the beautiful greenery, Napali Coast, etc, but I didn't want to waste our whole vacation budget on a hotel. We were able to find a really nice vacation rental for about half the price of a hotel. We had just spent the other half of our trip at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, so we were OK giving up more resort time for being able to explore a new part of the island. Plus this vacation rental still had an ocean view and a pool, so it was basically like a resort.

2. Can I spend more time with the family/friends I am traveling with in a vacation rental? This one is a HUGE reasoning for why I love vacation rentals. After the wedding we attended in Punta Mita, my family flew down for a week of vacation. My nephew is two years old so being in one big house versus a hotel was perfect for us. We were able to relax as a family, eat meals together, play games and laugh all while my nephew was sleeping!

The view from the rental was almost exactly the same as the view from the St. Regis. And it DID NOT suck.

3. Will it be nice to have access to "home" amenities like a washer/dryer, kitchen, snorkel equipment, etc? This was big for us in both Kauai and Punta Mita. In Punta Mita it was amazing to have a kitchen to cook meals together and to have access to snacks for the beach and pool. In Kauai we were able to use the condos washer/dryer to wash all of our swimsuits and we also borrowed their snorkel gear and beach chairs. It was really nice to have some of these more home like items with us on vacation.

Do you love staying in a vacation rental? Do you prefer a hotel! Share below and let me know your favorite destinations for vacation rentals!