7 Fun Travel Things

Is it time for a vacation yet?  I am sure we all get excited at the thought of experiencing something new!  Or at least I do, I would be down to eat strange foods, stay in a foreign place, and climb coconut trees!  

Here are 7 fun travel things worth talking about.

Fun Airbnbs

Crazy Airbnb Rentals

Are your eyes in love yet?  Airbnb provides homes and adventures for all!   

Do or Don’t, Travel Pillows

Pillows for airplanes

This is still debatable… But I think I am a fan!

Hilarious Airport Moments

Airport moments you don’t expect to see

What a sight to see!  

 

How to Climb a Coconut Tree

Lessons of climbing a coconut tree

Climbing a coconut tree was on my bucket list, how about yours?

 

Hostel Stories

Stories you have never read before

Now this is something I have not tried yet.  How many hostel stories can you tell?

 

Road Trips

The worst and funniest of them all

My personal favorite!  I love road trips as long as I am not the driver.  

Fruits From Around the World

Exotic fruits here

Did you know fruits were this exciting?

 

Have you experienced anything fun, weird, or completely off the wall?  If so, please share your fun travel stories with us!

 

Love, 

Christina

 

 

It Was My First Time Being an Airbnb Host and Here’s What Happened

My first Airbnb hosting experience, ever.  I never stayed as a guest at an Airbnb home or let strangers pay to stay inside my home prior to becoming a host.

One day, my best friend Chris suggested I become an Airbnb host and list my home.  During this time, Airbnb’s popularity was growing and a few of my friends were successfully hosting their homes.  They said it was an easy way to make money while they were away from their home on vacation.  

Yep, they convinced me to become an Airbnb host.  Of course, it didn’t take a lot of convincing because I’m always open to new ideas. 

My Home

My listing consisted of an entire three-story home, my bedroom, my sons’ bedroom, and a spare room.  Plus, a full kitchen, mid-size living room, playroom, basement, deck, and porch.  

First, I went on a housecleaning mission to prepared for upcoming booking.  I felt like Eddie Murphy in Big Momma’s House when Big Momma cleaned the entire house, made breakfast, and took care of the kids, at the same time.  I cleaned, scrubbed, and dusted for hours.  After all, my home needed to sparkle!

Everything seemed perfect, I created towel animals for each room, laid out extra toilet paper in the bathroom, and displayed the Wi-Fi information in a frame

It was showcase time.  I took pictures of each room, posted the pictures, and went live as an Airbnb host.

  

The Waiting Game 

Next, I waited on a reservation to happen.  After two days, I thought maybe I did something wrong because my house was not booked yet.  How long did this process take?  What should have I done differently?  These are the questions I asked myself as a new Airbnb host.  Then, it occurred to me, my house was brand new, and no one likes being the Ginny pig, especially when traveling.  When least expected, I received a text message and app notification, telling me about a guest reservation.  At this moment, I felt excited, but skeptical.

Other Plans

Since I listed my entire home as being available for guests, I could not leisurely come home and spend the night in my bed.  Luckily, my son and I had a vacation planned in Portland during my guests’ stay.

My First Reaction

A million thoughts went through my mind when the date became closer.  I wondered, who are these people, how will they leave my house at checkout, will my house end up trashed?  What if they throw a party, wear my clothes like Maid in Manhattan, and maybe sneak out with a pillow or two of mine?  I needed every pillow because one pillow just isn’t enough.  At least five pillows better be on my bed when I come back, I thought.

The Guest Arrival

A van rolled up with two ladies and a man, they were from New Jersey and came to see a baseball game.  After we met, I shared a short story of the neighborhood, home, and mentioned some of my favorite attractions like the Grandview of the city. 

Finally, I passed off my key to one of the ladies and left for vacation. 

Checkout 

After the guests checked out, I came back home, and couldn’t believe my eyes.  Everything looked as I left it, the lockbox held the house key, the beds and beddings were still there, and the place remained spotless.  I thought no one would take my sons’ nerf guns or Spider-Man video games, but I still checked.  Fortunately, all his toys remained in their original place.  All in all, I felt excited and eager to be an Airbnb host again.

My Overall Thoughts 

Being an Airbnb host created an opportunity to meet new people and learn new things.  Many guests told me their traveling stories and gave me good reviews.  One review said, “Thank you for the great stay, you made us feel welcome and your home was pleasant.  Also, we really appreciated the cold water made available to us.”  This review made me feel good and overall, my hosting experiences were rewarding and enjoyable.

 

 

Boat Homes – A Lifestyle Worth Knowing About

What is a boat home?

Boat homes have unique characteristics and are very interesting.  A boat home is a house constructed on a body of water.  These homes range in size, from 800 sq ft to 5,000 sq. ft.   In addition, a few of these homes have an architectural build beyond belief!  Similar to a land built home, many floating home plans have one to three stories, multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, decks, and rooftops. 

The lifestyle 

A boat home lifestyle is for someone who lives for incredible water perks such as beautiful water views, private islands, personal docks, and close communities.  In terms of communities, most of these homes are near club house, restaurant, and simple stores.  Most importantly, these homes offer easy access to bodies of water.  The perfect homeowner is someone who loves water activities such as kayaking, boating, and jet skiing.   Above all, floating homes are an incredible of real estate.  

(Image from floatinghomes.org)

Boat home locations

Floating boat homes exist in the west coast, places like Oregon, Settle, and California.  To put into perspective, you might be familiar with the floating home showcased in the movie, Sleepless in Seattle.  

Have I seen any in real life?

During my visit to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington I viewed many boat homes and am surprised on how comfy and cozy they appeared.  Of course, I snapped a few photos and envision myself living in one.  Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to meet a boat homeowner.  However, I am confident they love their home on the water lifestyle.  

 

(Image from CNN.com)

A rare gem!

Boat homes are precious gems above water.  Above all, floating homes are a site to see and a dreamers home.

Is An Airbnb Stay Better Than A Hotel?

Is an Airbnb stay better than a hotel stay?

 In my opinion, yes!  Now, I will share my Airbnb experience as a guest staying in a Portland home.  Similar to every family budgeting on vacation, we needed a comfortable home, suitable for five people.  Therefore, I decided on a cozy Airbnb home with two bedrooms, a futon, one bathroom, and a nice kitchen.  A mom needs her kitchen if you know what I mean.  

You can find more information about Airbnb experiences at http://www.airbnb.com. 

Describe the Airbnb Home.

To start, this one story guest house had yellow and brown siding, a similar brown colored fence, and a one car driveway laid out in front of the house. After parking our rental, we unlocked the guest house through the side door and walked inside the home. A smile came over our faces as we ventured through the house!  These rooms were like a set up at IKEA and filled with friendly and welcoming decor, what a sight to see.  Of course, we were satisfied with the home.  

On the other hand, “what ifs” remained in my mind.  What if something happens?  Could one of the kids fall into the floor?  Who will help us with a room key if we lose it?  Of course, we wonder the same things while staying at Motel 8 or the Hilton, right?    Good to know I am not alone.

What Happened?

Fast forward a few days, the whole family was enjoying the perks of staying in an Airbnb home.  We enjoyed having our own space and room to move around.  Then, things took a slight turn.  One morning we all woke up without water, not one drop.  On the positive side, we had three bottles of water.  However, we discovered three bottles of water doesn’t last long when being shared among five people.  Next, we contacted our Airbnb host and the Airbnb customer service line.  Our host gave us a heads up on when the water would work, he said two hours.  Moving forward, we contacted an Airbnb representative who compensated us with a free meal.  

We dined at Tin Shed during our vacation in Portland, Oregon, for FREE!  Time Shed is a dope brunch spot in the Alberta Arts District.  Then we came home to working water, what a blessing!. 

Rate the Airbnb Experience.

In conclusion, we had a great time and made many memories in Portland.  Plus, we all had a five star airbnb experience minus a few hiccups while staying in an Airbnb home.  Everyone was ready to pack up and venture back home.  We organized our things, placed the house key back in its place, and headed to the airport.  Back home to Pittsburgh, we came.  

For more pleasurable experiences in Portland, visit their website at https://www.travelportland.com.

Have you stayed in an Airbnb home?  What was your Airbnb experience like?

Love Always, 

Christina 

5 Easy and Cheap Moving Tips

How to move with 5 easy and cheap moving tips.

I finally graduated after 204 years of school, let’s say 200 years, to be more exact. Yes, school was over and it was time to move. Next destination, Pittsburgh. Unlike my life, I wanted this move to be smooth and efficient.

My first thought, time to open the monsoon like closet in the living room and start packing. This clutter closet was part of my True Life submission, “I didn’t clean out my closet.” Unfortunately, my clip didn’t air and I’m still waiting on my big break.

Who knew moving was so involved? Am I the only one not raising my hand? Ok, ok, stop worrying about me. After learning the hard way, I came up with a helpful plan for everyone. This is where the 5 easy and cheap moving tips come into play.  Whether it’s your first time moving or you want some advice for your 50th move, these moving tips are free for the taking. Tip worth mentioning, buy at least 62 sticks of deodorant.

5 Easy and Cheap Moving Tips

 

1. Boxes, boxes, and more boxes for FREE

You are reading FREE and it is true! It is important to realize, there is no need to spend money on moving boxes. Save your money for real expenses like ice cream or popsicles after the big move. There are more than few places who give out UNLIMITED amounts of boxes. Check out Wal-Mart during an overnight shift, K-Mart, and all other stores close to your home.

2. Garbage

I cannot stress this point enough.  Save yourself time in the long-run by sorting through your things. I know this process can be heartbreaking, but say goodbye to unwanted things. Comparatively, this feeling is glorious.

3. Label boxes by content

Then, take the easy route without doing anything extra and pack everything room by room. I know how hard this is, my ADD kicks in and next thing you know, I’m on the ceiling. Labeling boxes and packing room by room will help you stay organized.

4. Pack a backpack because will NEED it.

There is no need to go overboard, pack a few essentials. Start with your toothbrushes and toothpaste. If anything goes wrong, you can smile your way out of it. Pack enough clothes for a few days, think about work and everyday clothing. Above all, pack a bottle of energy and sunshine.

5. Have fun

Don’t forget about having a little fun during your move. If you ask me, hiding from my son in moving boxes and popping bubble wrap was the best part of my moving experience. I still don’t think Carter liked me jumping out of boxes like a jack in the box, but who’s to say.

My personal Golden Globe: Moving for me meant accomplishing my squat challenge goals!

Hope you enjoyed these 5 easy moving tips.  What were your challenges when moving?

 

Love always, 

Christina