On February 1st, we arrived at our first Airbnb in Gainesville. It’s a cool little mid-century modern gem located walking distance to downtown and close to our favorite nature preserve. We were happily anticipating five weeks of relaxing and enjoying the abundant nature and cultural opportunities that Gainesville offers.
The reality has not been quite so idyllic, LOL.
When Reality Doesn’t Live Up To The Reviews
We opened the door, and I thought, “This is cute!” And then I looked closer, and thought, “This is disgusting!” The shower tile grout was thick with mold, there were giant balls of dog hair rolling around the terrazzo floors, elaborate spider nests festooned each corner, and the freezer had three inches of ice. The cockroach stuck to the front of the stove just about put me over the edge.
We’ve stayed in Airbnbs a half-dozen times over the years, and I know what to look for. Places that are attractive in good locations catch my eye, but a high rating for cleanliness is always at the top of my list.
Something obviously went wrong here.
Endless Days Of Cleaning
It was late afternoon and we had just driven 200 miles. I took pictures of the nastiness and sent a message to the owner. I will spare you those photos.
I told the owner the place was cute, but not the standard of cleanliness I expected from her stellar reviews. She was apologetic. Apparently, she had recently undergone knee surgery and her husband took over the cleaning. (He clearly needs to go to cleaning school.) We settled on a refund of the cleaning fee and the pet fee, and she agreed to have to have the area rugs steam cleaned. I set to work.
I cleaned every square inch of the apartment, including pulling out the appliances and cleaning behind them, defrosting the freezer, killing the mold in the shower, cleaning the air conditioning filter, and washing the terrazzo floors and baseboards on my hands and knees. It took me three exhausting days. I figure I made about $2 an hour for my efforts.
Meanwhile, Eric worked in our trailer on the street, preparing it for its final trip to the consignment lot. He meticulously cleaned it, made a few small repairs, and even polished the cabinets, giving it a loving send-off.
Saying Goodbye To Our RV
In late 2014, we bought our 27-foot Arctic Fox travel trailer, upgrading from our previous 21-foot Bigfoot trailer. It was perfect for our full-time travels, with all of the comforts of home. But we realized last summer that we no longer need such a big trailer.
Of course, after seeing our Airbnb, I had doubts about about giving up our comfortable, well-organized, and CLEAN trailer. But for a variety of reasons, we know it’s time to let go. It’s too big, it’s 10 years old and some expensive things could start to fail, and I’m not comfortable towing it, which means Eric has been the sole driver. (Actually, I would have towed it, but Eric was not happy that I only wanted to drive 45 miles an hour and refused to pass anyone, haha!!)
So with sadness, and much gratitude for nine years of glorious travels in our Arctic Fox, we bid our trailer a fond farewell.
Experimenting With A Different Style Of Travel
We’re in an in-between phase in our lives right now. We know for sure that we want to keep traveling, but we’re not certain as to whether or not we’re going to get another trailer.
We’re experimenting with long-term travel in Airbnbs. Which of course, requires fitting all of our belongings into a vehicle, including Magnolia, her cat tree, her catio, and all of our paraphernalia. And we want to downsize to a vehicle smaller than our truck.
This is my fear:
We Have Too Much Stuff
In planning for our Airbnb experiment, we pared down what we usually carry in our trailer to what we thought we might need for long term Airbnb living.
We brought our own cookware and utensils, because we don’t want to be stuck with ancient Teflon pans. We brought our own pillows, because…pillows. And of course, we brought our clothing, computers, cameras, and personal items. Our favorite gooseneck electric kettle and coffee grinder also made it into the category of “essentials for daily living.” And 16 jars of various herbs and spices (that’s half of what we usually have). Don’t laugh.
Once we hauled everything in from our trailer, we were appalled at how much we had. Witness my clothing below. It is ridiculous. And that doesn’t include what is hanging in the closet. The pile on the left will continue to travel to Airbnbs, and the pile on the right will go into storage until we get settled in our tiny house.
How in the heck did we fit so much stuff into our RV?
Between deep cleaning, dealing with our overabundance of stuff, trying to get organized, and recovering from selling our home and moving out, we are just now feeling settled into this Airbnb. Obviously, we have a big learning curve for Airbnb-style travel.
P.S. Despite all of the work to get settled, we’ve been getting out every day for long walks, exploring the nearby nature preserves, and finding all of the cool stuff there is to do in Gainesville. We’re happy to be here!
Click on photos for a larger image
I was JUST thinking f you yesterday, hoping things were going well. I can see it’s not all happy things. I am very excited for your new little home. Well wishes.
Hi Christine, it’s been quite an adjustment! But things are looking up now that we have a clean place to stay. We’re really excited about our new little tiny home, too! Thanks for your good wishes. :-))
Good thing you capped all the bad stuff with really good stuff, the birds, the scenery, and that pizza!! Yummy looking! Maybe a cargo van is in your future???
Terri, there are so many good things about being in Gainesville! We’re having a great time visiting some of our favorite places and discovering new favorites…like that pizza! We’re mulling over our options for future travels, so we’ll take a look at cargo vans. I wonder how Magnolia would do as a van dweller, LOL?
We have bypassed Gainesville far too many times and really need to stop there for a change. It looks like a great place to be! Sorry to hear about the ‘clean’ reviews: people tend to leave loads of unearned stars in fear of retaliation. Looking forward to photos of your build!
Well, that’s a rocky start but hopefully it will work out okay. I am excited to see your new tiny home. As a full time mobile lifestyle, we too struggle with what the next chapter will be. Having lived in small spaces now for over 6 years, a house seems palatial and the work never ending. As beautiful as the place in Florida was, the price of the endless upkeep you wrote about seemed exhausting. Change is an adventure and sometimes emotionally challenging but I think you will have so much more freedom with your new tiny home.
We used to have a 40 foot Class A that had storage up the wazoo. All of it was full. Then we bought a house, that actually had less storage than the RV. That was painful, yet another downsize. Currently we’re in an AirBnB in Tucson for some sun. It looked so good on the screen. However, the skillets and pots are ruined, the toaster oven appears to be covered in beef tallow, the inadequate furniture is cripplingly uncomfortable, and the neighbor’s furnace wakes us up at night. So, you have my deepest sympathy for your current plight.
Whoa, it sounds like you’re having a similar experience in your Tucson Airbnb, Allison! It’s so annoying when the reality doesn’t match up to the fairytale reviews. I hope you guys are enjoying your stay—I think I’d throw that nasty toaster oven out!
This is a big experiment for us. We’ll see what the next three Airbnbs are like. Hopefully, no big nasty surprises, LOL.
Oh, holy hell, it was definitely a rocky start, Brenda. I thought about bailing but the reviews on other Airbnbs were not great. So we decided to stay here and clean, LOL.
We’re very excited about our tiny home adventure. As you said, the price of endless upkeep of a big house and a big piece of property really interferes with the freedom that we want. Hopefully, all of our years of full time travel have prepared us for tiny house life!
Jim, I think you and Diana would love Gainesville. We’ve stayed at Payne’s Prairie SP many times, and it’s not far from Gainesville. You would enjoy that gluten free pizza…it was the best I’ve ever had! We’re excited about our “tiny” build. But it’s nothing compared to what you and Diana have done in building your beautiful home!
Oh, that airbnb was disappointing indeed. I hope the rest are better (I had a great one in Chicago, except for the blinding night-time lights from the building next door). And I see by the pics you’re definitely finding the good stuff in G’ville, like Sweetwater! Looking forward to meeting you!
Fortunately, the Airbnb is in a great location, and now that it’s clean, it’s a fine place to stay. But I’m truly hoping I don’t have to deep clean every Airbnb we have scheduled. That was not fun! We’re loving Gainesville, and it was so great meeting up with you today. Hope to see you somewhere this summer or fall, Annie! :-)
What an interesting first experience sure hope this doesn’t continue throughout your migration.
Happy to hear you are on your way to many new experiences now you have many memories from
your Florida days. Have fun in Gainesville and talk soon.
Penny, “interesting” is a very positive way to describe the experience, haha! I was definitely not in the mood to tackle deep cleaning this place, but we really didn’t have any other viable options. But it’s all turned out for the best, and we’re having a wonderful time in Gainesville.
Being here for an extended stay is something we’ve wanted to do for a while. As you said, we have lots of good memories of Florida, and now we’re adding more! Hugs to you and Tom!
The state of your rental upon arrival sounds like the husband had been “cleaning” it for a while!
Now that Hans and I no longer have an RV I find that every trip I try to pare down what I bring only to find that we still fill the car with too much stuff. It’s kind of embarrassing to lug so much stuff into our friends homes as we hop from place to place! If we ever go to Europe for an extended trip I am determined to pack only ONE bag…wish me luck!
Lisa, that was my thought exactly—I think either the husband had been cleaning this place for a while, or it was just an excuse. Although apparently there had been someone in here for an extended stay before we arrived, so maybe things really did go downhill during that time!
I’m glad I’m not the only one who packs too much stuff. I’d like to pare things down to one bag, too…but that’s probably not realistic. I’m trying to remember how I traveled in Europe for a year with only one bag! I’ll let you know if I remember, LOL.
Happy Valentines Day! You are living our life … one reason we did not return to Mexico Beach this year was the decline of the former lovely space. I fully understand and applaud your persistence versus resistance. Sometimes we must go with the flow and remember we are blessed with options and choices. We will take a plunge next year with an unseen rental, arriving armed with cleaning supplies and optimism. So happy you connected with Michael, he’s a gem and needs us this winter for his posting, we promised to be back next winter to help him, perhaps y’all will be in the area in 2024 too.
Love your blog.
I hope you had a sweet Valentine’s Day, Sharyn. We kayaked on our favorite river and had dinner at a wonderful local restaurant, so things are definitely looking up in Gainesville!
That’s so interesting that you found that your place in Mexico Beach isn’t as nice as it formerly was. I hope your rental next year turns out to be better…I like your attitude of arriving armed with optimism and cleaning supplies, haha! And you said it well, we’re so fortunate to even have the option to travel as we do. We’ll plan to be in the area in 2024…it would be wonderful to do Audubon volunteer work with you and Jamie and Michael again!
Seems like they should have paid you to stay at their Airbnb. I hope you will be honest in your own review, when the time comes.
It will feel better once you’ve settled in a bit, and grow accustomed to the space. I’ve found that extended stays are nice, once the newness wears off (not that I’ve done that a lot).
A Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Eric!
Sheila, they got a stellar deep cleaning job out of me! But I needed to do it to feel comfortable staying here. At least the owner refunded our cleaning and pet fee. I feel somewhat conflicted about how to review this place…she definitely tried to make it right, so I want to acknowledge that. I just hope I don’t have to do this much cleaning in our next Airbnb. I’m glad we have three more weeks before we leave here. :-)
I hope you and Bruce had a lovely Valentine’s Day, too. Miss you!
I say you deserve a pass on the amount of clothes you are hauling around since your Airbnb sojourn will cover six months, multiple seasons, and multiple states. Shorter trips would involve a lot less variety in clothes (I hope, since we’re planning to travel light this summer). All the rest is just good practice for tiny house living. You may find you can pare down your stuff over the course of the next six months. In any case, we’re glad you are finally settled in and taking advantage of what G’ville offers. Keep those fabulous bird pics coming!
Shannon, I know that you consider yourself somewhat of a minimalist, so I appreciate that you don’t think I have too many clothes with me! Truly, I was shocked when I hauled in armload after armload of clothing from our trailer. I don’t have anything that I don’t wear…but I really would like to simplify if we’re going to adopt Airbnb travel long-term.
As you said, this is good practice for our upcoming adventure in tiny house living. I’m not sure that the closets in our house will hold as much as our RV did. Which makes no sense at all. Anyway, we’re loving Gainesville, and know that you guys would enjoy it here. It’s wonderful to have grocery options other than the Piggly Wiggly, haha!
We have the same trailer and I want to invite you to come visit and show me how you organized all that stuff! Best of luck with your further travels and with this time of massive transition. Thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. It really is inspiring.
Hi Nancy, I love to organize! LOL! It really was amazing how much we carried in our Arctic Fox. And it never felt stuffed! I loved how everything fit so well into our trailer, and how well-planned the storage was. We added wire storage shelves in some of the closets and cabinets and that made it even better. I hope our tiny house will have storage that’s as efficient and well-thought out. We shall see!
Oh dear I’m sorry you had a rocky start to your new adventure – I guess it proves no matter the style, there’s always something! The owner is fortunate to have had you as a tenant to get their place in proper order – seems they owe you a lot more than a cleaning deposit :-) I bet Eric was even more inspired to get the trailer spic and span! A little tug at the heart strings seeing it for the last time, having been such an essential part of your wonderful lives. Glad the location is full of fun and beautiful places to see, your weeks there will fly by I’m sure. While the bed looks full, the number of items isn’t really that bad (cut yourself some slack girl). I bet rolled up tight those items fit nicely :-) AirBnB is an “interesting” way of travel between hotels and RV living so I imagine it will take some tweaking to get it right for the two of you. It still all sounds very exciting and I’m definitely taking notes for the future!
Jodee, even with the rocky beginning, we feel like we’ve made a good decision to try out Airbnb style travel as we wait for our tiny home to be built. There are definitely some great things about Airbnbs (more space, great showers, location to fun things) but there’s nothing like RV travel for having your little home wherever you go. :-) We may very well end up with a tiny trailer. Looks like we’re miniaturizing our lives in every way, LOL!
I honestly wear all of those items of clothing, and I don’t think of myself as having too many clothes. But it looks like such a huge amount all laid out on the bed…and there’s a bunch of stuff in the closet and I have another big bin in our storage unit. 😳
I agree with the above comments – that Air BnB owner owes you a lot more than a cleaning deposit. That’s just ridiculous. Especially when it wasn’t cheap to begin with.
The next few months will definitely be educational for you as you figure out how you want to travel. Like everything, each option has its positives and negatives. RV travel can be exhausting but having your own stuff in your own space and not having to worry about whether things were cleaned properly is huge. And having a smaller trailer will make it much easier to find campsites. I think I’m already on Team RV, but I’ll be interested to hear what you find as you clean your way across the southeast. LOL.
Also – I’m gonna need to see those pre-cleaning pics. :)
Hahaha, yeah, apparently I am cleaning my way across the southeast! I did not sign up for this job! But after cleaning up after the cleaning crew in our house and cleaning this Airbnb, I’m beginning to wonder if I somehow got appointed Cleaning Queen when I wasn’t looking.
Laura, I’m going to be very interested to see how you guys travel in Europe. And I’m very interested to see how this next few months plays out for us, and whether we opt for another trailer or if we will find that Airbnbs work for us. I’m not willing to lower my standards of cleanliness, so I guess I just need to be even more vigilant about my selection process for Airbnbs. If the reviews don’t rave about how clean a place is, then I’m going to assume from now on that they won’t meet my standards. A 4.9 out of 5.0 on the “cleanliness” scale will no longer be adequate. :-)
So sorry to hear about the bumpy start. You just never know what to expect from Airbnbs, no matter how great the reviews. I so relate to your herbs & spices comment. Every year I say that we don’t need to bring so much of our own food, as Florida has stores, too. And every single year, I’m disappointed to not be able to find what I want, and we end up back at home with double of most everything!
Eric’s nature walk photos are amazing. So glad you’re enjoying that part of your Gainesville experience.
We’re likely to be there in the next day or two for a grocery run. Hope to see you soon!
LoL at Laura — “cleaning your way across the southeast’ 🤣🤣🤣 I, too, would like to see the pre-clean pics. This blog should be your review!
I don’t think 32 spices is too many. I have at least 10 types of flour alone, not one of ’em with gluten.
I hope the rest of your air BNB travels don’t involve all that damn cleaning, but it helps the rest of us understand and make future travel decisions. Thanks for taking one for Team Travel!
Joodie, I cracked up at Laura’s comment, too. 😂😂 I am documenting this crazy adventure in our lives so that I have some memory of what we’ve done, and I’m absolutely delighted if it at all helps other people. Our friend Sharyn offered great advice when she said they’re going to arrive at their Airbnb next winter armed with cleaning supplies and optimism, LOL.
I had a hard time paring down our herbs and spices. Believe me, I will replenish them when we move into our tiny house. Ten flours? Wow! I only have almond flour. I need to learn from you.
Hey Karen, we would love to see you two! Let’s make a plan to meet up! I know you need to come here to stock up on food, because the grocery store in Cedar Key is terrible. Or at least, it was the last time we were there…hard to believe, but the Pig in Apalach is better! LOL.
We are loving Gainesville for all of the reasons we came here. There’s so much to do, I’m not sure we’re going to be able to fit it all in. But we’re going to do our best! Hope to see you soon.
AirBnBs are expensive then to arrive and find yours in that condition must have been so disappointing. I’m glad you took up for yourself and that the owner was accommodating! We stayed in one a couple years ago in eastern Oregon—the described “backyard oasis” was a weed infested, nasty, dirt patio that overlooked a stockyard! The cigarette butts in the old coffee can took the cake. I sincerely hope the remainder of your lodgings are much better!
Janna, how in the world could someone advertise a weed infested patio overlooking a stockyard as a backyard oasis?! Too bad there isn’t any regulation for truth-in-advertising for Airbnbs. Reading reviews helps, but only if people are honest. And even if they’re honest, people have different standards (although no one would have thought this place was clean, just as no one would have ever described your nasty patio as an oasis, LOL). We’re really hoping our next three Airbnbs live up to what they’re supposed to be.
Laurel, I love reading your posts….always a way to fit in the negative happenings for a learning curve. It’s interesting that cleaning and CLEAN have two meanings. Glad you could sort it out…..we are slowing downsizing but still have no idea when we will make that move. Travel is still high on our list yet we return to wonder why we need all this space!!!!! Aiken is home in so many ways…..
We just returned from Trinidad-Tobago. LOVED it and the 146 new birds added to our list. Now, to download all of those 6 SD cards….AHHHHHH. Why was I so trigger happy!!!! I have a pic 3 guans with their head feathers UP!!!!! Exciting to catalog all of these pics!!!!!
Peace as you settle in and know our yard is always ready for you. You have an idea of what the future camping vehicle will be….perhaps just a smaller trailer. Every time we see a FOX on the road our minds wander to you guys!!!!! Looking forward to your next post….Magnolia has found the perfect perch!!!!!
Julie, we’ve had a few too many learning curves the past three years. I’m ready to just coast for a while, LOL. Magnolia is always good at finding the most comfortable spot. We can take lessons from her!
We know we have lots of travel in our future, but we’re not yet sure exactly what that’s going to look like. Your travels sound fabulous…146 new birds! That’s incredible. I know exactly what you mean about taking too many photos and then having the job of sorting through them all. We would love to see those photos! We need to get together and you can give us a photo tour. :-)
Ew, I’m so grossed out by your description of the filthy Airbnb. ICK!! I agree with several others who said that the owner is pretty dang lucky to have had someone like you who reacted with grace and a heck of a lot of cleaning. You deserved more than just a cleaning deposit refund. And as much as I like giving good reviews and being a “nice” person, it probably is more fair to subsequent guests to know what you encountered.
I also agree with another friend of yours who suggested you buy a van. I know they are expensive but you can occasionally find good used sprinter-like vans here and there. I had a client in Portland who found a great one that they inexpensively re-configured to suit their needs. The price was so good (this was pre-Covid) that they paid to have the van driven down to Ashland. Then you could sell the truck and get a little EV or hybrid or smaller car which would make you feel a lot better on all those days you are not traveling.
Love the bird photos! All I’ve seen lately are Lessor Goldfinches and one little Yellow Rumped Warbler!
Geez, your friend Michael is going to develop a bad back carrying ALL those lenses and binoculars! Cute photo though.
PS I don’t think you have very many clothes at all. I think I’m not a good candidate for a tiny house… Hahaha.
Happy BnB days to you for the next few weeks. Hope it becomes way more relaxing!
Janet, we’ve thought about a van, but then tried to imagine what it would be like with Magnolia. She does not travel lightly! Where would her cat tree go? And the litter box is always an issue. The small trailer we’re looking at has a cabinet where we could hide a litter box just like we did in the Arctic Fox. :-)
Although I’m kinda tired of making decisions at the moment, it’s also exciting to have all of these new possibilities opening up. It’s going to be an interesting adventure living in a tiny house in a tiny house community…including figuring out how to organize my clothes!
Wish you could join us here for the birding. It’s fantastic! I especially love all of the Florida wading birds.
Sounds like a Chrysler mini- van with a trailer hitch for a bike rack may be in your future!
Hey Regis, you guys definitely have a sweet set-up with your van and your bikes! Maybe we need to look at a van and see if it will accommodate us and Magnolia (mostly, Magnolia). Hope you’re both doing well!
❤ Sending love.
How wonderful to experience the warmth of FL every day
Kathryn, as you know, Florida is perfect in the winter! I hope all is well in your life. ❤️
Loved seeing the Limpkin. I saw them for the first time when we were in Gainesville in 2019. I walked that same path and heard them screaming. Had to look them up. Loved that preserve and the photos brought back some sweet memories. Such a tough start to your new stage in life. You write about it with such a sense of humor that when I read it out loud to Mo we both laughed. I know it wasn’t really funny to experience at the moment, but it made great reading. Life isn’t always perfect and your experience is a great reminder of that. I do hope it gets better, and Gainesville is such a lovely place to visit, I hope you get to enjoy it now that some of the tough beginning stuff is over. Hugs to all three of you. I do love that cat!! Oh, and I never got my last couple of posts up to the wordpress version of my blog, but it is over there on blogger at least, in case you don’t get any kind of notices of that. In all your spare time now that you are living in an AirBNB. LOL
Sue, I love knowing that you were on the trails at Sweetwater Wetlands! It’s such a special place. We’ve already been there seven times in the past two weeks. And we almost always see a Limpkin, along with dozens of other species. I thought of you and Mo a couple of days ago when we kayaked on the beautiful spring-fed Ichetucknee River. Wish you were here to kayak with us. :-)
I’m glad you and Mo laughed when you were reading this post. I was laughing when I wrote it…of course, it was much easier to laugh about how awful this place was in retrospect. I spent a sleepless night our first night here searching for a different Airbnb. When I couldn’t find anything better (except one for $25,000 a month!!) I mustered up the fortitude to start cleaning.
Hugs to you three, too!
I know that the initial glimpse of the Air B&B was shocking, but I have to admit that your description of everything had me LMFAO! Please forgive me. You handled it well, and I’m certain that the cleaning was an overwhelming task. Now, you can enjoy Gainsville which is a lovely area. We’re in Las Cruces, NM today where it is snowing of all things. After reading about your stuffed trailer, Helen and I decided it is time to clean ours out since we won’t be going anywhere today. Loved this post. Looking forward to following y’all along. Take care. Joe
Joe, I’m glad you got a good laugh out of this post! Honestly, being able to laugh about the challenging situations we find ourselves in is what keeps me from just blowing it all up and walking away, LOL. I am so done with cleaning, and moving, and packing, and decluttering. I am definitely ready for fun, and Gainesville has an abundance of all of the fun things we enjoy!
I hope your weather has improved and that you’re enjoying your travels and your freshly organized RV. :-)) I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures! Safe travels, and say hi to Helen!
Glad to hear you are getting settled and venturing out to see the beautiful nature around Gainesville. We were at Sweet Water Wetlands a few weeks ago. Our son-in-law, Danny, was the first Park Ranger there when it first opened several years ago. He works for the Alachua Conservation Trust now. We visit Gainesville quite often to see our daughter and grandkids! The 4th Avenue Food Park downtown is a casual place to get a bite to eat and sit outside. There are several venues to choose from. Sometimes there are local musicians that play. Friends that grew up with our kids own it as well as locally roasted Opus Coffee. They have an Airstream there that you can get all kinds of good coffee!
I’m sure you have scoped out all the nature trails, parks and springs in the area. A beautiful time of the year to go exploring! We probably won’t be back up there until late March but if we do we will get in touch. Enjoy your time there! Linda Mayfield
Hi Linda, I’m so happy to hear from you! How cool that your son-in-law was the first park ranger at Sweetwater! It’s been one of our favorite parks in Florida since we first discovered it. I’ll bet he was the ranger then, but we didn’t know!
Thanks so much for the tips on fun things to do in Gainesville. This is such a great town! We will definitely check out the 4th Avenue Food Park and Opus Coffee. I wish you and Max were going to be here while we’re here. We would love to see you. We went kayaking on the Ichetucknee on Valentine’s Day and it was a perfect day. And we’ve been to Sweetwater 7 times in two weeks. We should have bought an annual pass, LOL. Love to you and Max!
We’ve had a couple of recent “not-up-to-standards” cleaning issues with AirB&B and VRBO. Seems like everyone has an excuse. I think people are cutting corners where they can … if someone does not complain, they get away with it.
Erin, that’s so interesting that you’ve also had less than positive experiences with Airbnbs! They charge cleaning fees on top of the nightly fees, so it’s unacceptable for them to cut corners. I’m definitely going to speak up and expect compensation if a place isn’t clean. But I sure hope our next place is clean, because I don’t want to have to deep clean like this again!
So good to hear that you did get everything packed and moved. What a chore! So sorry to hear what you walked into in the new place. Ugh! I’m sure the place is cleaner than it has ever been. It looks like a cute temp home. Nice to see that Magnolia has made herself right at home…haha! Love seeing all the birds that Eric has been sharing on Instagram. Enjoy your new home spot!
Pam, I think you’re right that this place is cleaner than it has ever been! It’s very cute, but it sure did need a deep cleaning. I found out today that the person who was here before us stayed for 2 1/2 months, so that could explain the level of ickiness. After all of our packing and moving, I was not prepared for days of cleaning. :-( But it’s all good now!
Magnolia has definitely made herself at home. She’s a good little traveler (for a cat, haha!!).
After 5 months of airbnbs, we are ready to get back in our little trailer for a while. We have beautiful stays in Ecuador and Peru but the furniture got more uncomfortable as we headed north. It is all an adventure. You found some treasures in Gainesville.
Hi Deb, you guys sure had a grand adventure! We’ve been thinking about Airbnbs for international travel. I guess I need to look for reviews that highlight “comfortable furniture” as well as “cleanliness.” Welcome back to the U.S. and happy travels in your comfortable RV!
Don’t ask me where I’ve been that I missed this post because I don’t know. I was dumb founded to see 54 comments. But I’ll add my little but to say I LOVE the opening pic of magnolia and cannot believe you had to clean AGAIN after working days to get the house ready for the new owners. I sure hope you don’t find this problem with all air B&B’s if this is the travel style you are taking on. I wonder how many years of air B&B you can do for the price of your trailer?? So glad you are loving Gainesville. Who knew?? Not me, for sure.
Sherry, weighing the cost of a good quality new trailer (plus campground fees plus storage fees) versus Airbnb fees is definitely one of the factors we’re taking into consideration for travel going forward. There are many things we miss about RV travel, and many things we’re enjoying about staying in this Airbnb. Of course, if I have to clean every Airbnb like I did this one, that is a big demerit against Airbnbs!
We’re loving being in Gainesville. I think you would like it here. Magnolia says thank you for noticing her. :-))
It appears that only Magnolia is sitting pretty and stress free during this transition. Wow, I did not know you have added a new monicker for you, “Cleaning lady.” I must have missed the reasons why you are selling now, when you could have been happier living in your little rig while waiting for your other tiny house to be done. Im sure you have tick off the + and – in your decision making process.
At least you got refunded for your cleaning fee, I too wont be happy if I have to be on my knees cleaning up somebody else house.
As long as the feathered wildlife are there to keep you happy.
The joy indeed of Airbnb living!
Haha, Magnolia pretty much makes herself comfortable wherever we go, ML! We’re glad she’s a good traveler, because she could make us miserable if she was unhappy.
We couldn’t find any place to stay in Florida during the winter in our trailer, so we decided to go the Airbnb route. You know how it is getting campground reservations in Florida in the winter…impossible unless you plan a year in advance! It’s all working out really well (after that stupid cleaning binge, haha). We’re having a blast in Gainesville!
I’ve been a little “off” lately and haven’t kept up commenting on blogs…..but know I’m here and reading each post. We’ve never used airbnb for a non-beluga vacation. VRBO is the way we’ve always gone and have had pretty good luck with that site, with one slight exception. Looking forward to seeing you in NC!
Oh, Sue, I completely understand how you would be feeling more than a bit “off” after losing sweet Lewis. We’re very excited about seeing you two in June, but it’s hard to imagine that Lew won’t be bounding up to say hello. 😢
After our initial rough landing in Gainesville, we’ve been really enjoying being here. And although there’s nothing quite like having our own trailer, the Airbnb has ended up working out well. Wish us luck on our next Airbnb adventure!