You may have noticed that I love to travel. I’m not one to sit still for too long. I love that sense of adventure and discovery, but travelling can be expensive what with flights, accommodation, eating out, transport and those extra, unexpected costs that you don’t factor in when planning your trip. So how do we make it more affordable? The answer: Airbnb.
This month we travelled to Croatia. After our exhausting, nightmare journey (which had a silver lining) we reached our destination after 23 hours (it obviously doesn’t take that long normally). Read all about what happened here.
Flights to Croatia can be expensive if you’re not quick off the mark. It seemed hard to justify such spending for only a couple of days, so like many of the other guests, we decided to make a holiday out of it. Three years ago I visited Croatia for the first time. I was blown away by the beauty of this country and I knew exactly where I wanted to revisit this time around. We would start at Split.
Route: Knock (Aerlingus)- London Gatwick (Easyjet) – Split.
We knew it would be an expensive few days at the wedding – wining and dining with friends and staying in a hotel in Dubrovnik. Something had to give. I suggested we try Airbnb for the first leg of our trip. BEST DECISION EVER. Having tried and tested this service, I can’t recommend it enough. It is hassle free and as soon as you confirm booking you can email or text the owner of the house/apartment straight away and interact informally.
There is no shortage whatsoever of Airbnb hosts in Croatia. There is something to suit every budget and taste. You can rent out individual rooms in someone’s home or rent the entire apartment for the duration of your stay. Although we scrolled through some of the nicest, art deco pads, we agreed that all we’d needed was a basic room as we’d be out and about all day. If you’d like to save a few pennies or Kuna, but don’t want to scrimp on style then Airbnb is for you – the modern-day traveller. Depending on the time of year, you can rent a room for a less than €30 a night.
The places we chose turned out to be just perfect – better than you could imagine. The locations were really ideal and each place had an ensuite and seaview. The norm in Croatia is: the host waits for you at the ferry, helps you with your luggage and walks/drives you (depending on distance) to their home. It is such a warm welcome when you arrive in a foreign place. I found the Croatians to be so so nice, helpful and friendly and they have great English. Now, there are always exceptions! We found service in Dubrovnik to be poor in terms of waiting for the bill after a meal and staff slow to top up drinks. I did feel a little bit ignorant not being able to communicate in their language.
Hvar: Dani & Andrew
Before we arrived in Split we had asked our hosts to tell us the ferry times and price to Hvar. This made our lives so much easier as we knew what to expect and didn’t have to go searching online. As soon as we arrived at Split we got the next ferry directly to Hvar. It costs 80 Kuna (approximately €11). The company: Jadrolinija. It’s supposed to take one hour, but it can take 1hour 20 minutes. Sure enough upon arrival, there was Dani waiting with a placard with our names. The apartment was right in the heart of the old town of Hvar. We walked the short distance from the ferry and Dani helped us with our luggage. The climb up the narrow side street was worth every step. As promised our room looked over the Adriatic and we had everything we needed: space, comfort, fresh towels, teas and coffee, filtered water, double bed, air conditioning. Dani gave us so many suggestions as to what to do during our stay: areas worth visiting and restaurants worth eating at. Renting a boat and island hopping for the day was a highlight and it’s all thanks to Dani. She even booked the boat for us. We loved Hvar and wanted to stay an extra night. Dani and Andrew were full and most places were fully booked due to Ultra festival, but Dani arranged that we’d stay at her friend’s house – less than five minutes walk away. Both places were really affordable (€50-€65 per night between the two of us) and we couldn’t have asked for nicer hosts.
Kuna –> Euro (divide by 7.5)
Next, it was on to Korčula, another favourite island. We spent a whole day here and stayed one night only as we had to get to Dubrovnik to meet the wedding party. We made the most of our short stay diving, snorkelling and soaking up the sun. While we were in Hvar we booked our accommodation. This was yet another perfect location. Toni’s father met us off the ferry and it was only a very short walk to our room. The setting was beautiful with a stunning seaview. Again, the room was as described, very affordable and we couldn’t have asked for more pleasant hosts. They had put together a folder with things to do in Korčula. We swam right at our doorstep and it was handy to pop back for a quick change for dinner in the evening.
Reminiscing makes me want to go back in the near future.
I had heard a lot about Airbnb and I was totally convinced of this service after seeing the photos of my brother’s short-term apartment while working in San Francisco.
I hope I’ve given you an insight into Airbnb and convinced you that it’s a great option for your next trip. Discover your options here.
Thanks for reading & safe, happy travels!