After our most recent Airbnb experience—six long weeks in a “quaint” farm cottage in South Carolina—I have gotten serious about figuring out the secret code for Airbnb rentals. I’ve decided that from now on, anything described as “rustic” or “quaint” doesn’t make the cut. And the reviews better RAVE about the cleanliness. If numerous people don’t specifically mention how clean a place is, then it’s not.
It’s A Learning Curve
Traveling 500 miles from Apalachicola to Landrum, we stopped halfway and spent the night in an Airbnb RV in Georgia on a little farm. It was clean and comfortable and made me miss our trailer.
Traveling without our trailer is a learning curve, for sure. For one thing, we no longer have the convenience of our own kitchen and bathroom trailing along behind us. On travel days with our trailer, we always took time for a leisurely lunch break in the luxury of our little home-on-wheels. And Magnolia had a break from her cat carrier to roam freely in the trailer while we fixed lunch.
We thought we had a good plan for car travel without a trailer. In the morning, we packed our lunches in a cooler. At lunchtime, we looked for a nice park where we could set up Magnolia’s catio while we enjoyed a relaxing picnic. But the park we had chosen was closed, and we weren’t having luck finding anything else. We ended up in the parking lot of the police department in a small town in Georgia, where the police chief came over to greet us and to make sure we were okay.
We’re still figuring out our travel day strategy. I’ll let you know how that goes.
A Quaint Farm Stay, Haha
Arriving in Landrum, the stairs to the cottage were rickety, but I thought, “Oh well, it’s quaint.” We opened the door, and sure enough, it was decorated in cute farmhouse style, just like the photos promised. Not so cute were the moldy pizza boxes beneath the kitchen sink and the grease pit of an oven. I contacted the owners immediately, and once again, it was an “unusual occurrence.” Right.
Once again, we were refunded our cleaning fee and we set to work. From the ceiling fans to the windows to the oven, we cleaned. We rooted out the kitchen cabinets, filling a giant trash bag with half-used bags of flour, partial boxes of cereal, old peanut butter containers, and other random junk, including a pair of pantyhose. Note to Airbnb owners: No one wants other people’s yucky stuff. We cleaned out the dust and dead bugs and relined the cabinets.
Meanwhile, Magnolia busied herself finding “treasures” under the bed, including rawhide bones and a cow hoof. (That was creepy.) And then she set up shop by the dryer, where she tried in vain for days to find the mouse that was scritching somewhere inside the wall. Honestly, I think she was having a great time.
After cleaning up the Airbnb, we settled in. And then the stinkbugs arrived. The three of us spent two weeks hunting stinkbugs that crawled in through gaps in the walls. Magnolia thought it was a fun game.
Click on photos for a larger image
Not Exactly The Pastoral Experience We Hoped For
In booking the Airbnb, I was seduced by photos of pastoral views of goats and horses, and the fact that the Airbnb was only 20 miles from where we’re building our home in North Carolina.
The photos, of course, did not show the highway intersection 150 yards from the front door. For some reason, that particular intersection is a magnet for immature jerks with souped-up engines and fart can mufflers (that’s the correct automotive term, LOL).
The noise wasn’t constant, but it was intense. The screaming engines and backfires happened at all hours of the day and night. Definitely not good for our nervous systems, which are already stretched a tad thin by the events of the past several months.
On the positive side, the Airbnb had comfortable furniture, a spacious kitchen, a great shower, and it was a bargain at the monthly rate. Would we stay there again? No way. But it worked well for our needs at the time.
Finding Fun Around Landrum
Despite the challenges of the Airbnb, it was in a decent location for exploring the area. We found several wonderful trails nearby that we hiked every day. Spring is glorious in the Carolinas, with waves of wildflowers on the trails. We enjoyed watching the foothills transform from stick covered hills to lush greenery, accompanied by abundant birdlife and butterflies.
Best of all, we met new friends Tom and Veronique on the trail who were traveling via Airbnb and exploring the area. You know how you meet someone and know immediately that you have a lot in common? We got together for a couple of hiking dates (that segued into lunch…coffee…wine tasting…accompanied by non-stop excellent conversation and lots of laughter). They’re back in Illinois now, but we’re doing our best to talk them into moving to the Carolinas.
In The Foothills Of The Blue Ridge
During our long stay in Landrum, we made field trips to several nearby small South Carolina towns, all located in the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Tryon has been one of the South’s top equestrian destinations for more than 100 years. Morris the Horse first appeared in 1928, and is a giant version of the wooden toy horses made there.
Landrum was the least interesting of the little towns in the foothills. But there’s an enormous furniture store downtown with multiple showrooms filled with gorgeous Amish-made furniture. We ended up custom-designing and ordering most of our furniture for our tiny house. Had we not been staying in Landrum, we never would have known about the store.
We ordered our sofa, occasional chair, bar stools, end table, small glass-front buffet to hold dishes, chest of drawers, and a desk. It was fun and consuming to figure out what we need and what’s going to fit into our tiny house, along with choosing the styles, type of wood, stain, hardware, and fabrics.
Sadly, not everything is what it claims to be. You gave us beautiful photos. Enjoy.
Christine, I’m starting to think that some people’s idea of “clean” just doesn’t match up with mine! But it’s hard to believe that anyone is okay with moldy pizza boxes, LOL. So glad you enjoyed the photos. :-)
New friends and a cute town! We found affordable Airbnb means crappy furniture or not so tidy.
Sigh. I think you may be right, Deb. I’m grateful that all of our Airbnb’s have had comfortable furniture, but our two long-term stays definitely needed deep cleaning before we were comfortable settling in.
Hi Laurel, We’re loving following your travels and adventures… including the Airbnb mis-adventures (we’re currently Airbnb hosts and our homes are super-duper clean! And…I’m still trying to find the code as well for when we rent).
We are currently in Charleston, SC visiting family. Heading thru NC to VA next week for a wedding celebration. It’d be so fun to see you guys if you’re around. We’d love to know how you came to land in the tiny-home community in NC after living in Ashland and on the road.
I’ll leave my info below. Please be in touch :)
Miriam & Andy
Hi Miriam & Andy! We’re delighted to hear from you two! We would love to see you.
You know how much we loved Ashland, and we always planned to return. It was the wildfires, drought, and smoke season that pushed us into selling our home there. We’ve always liked Western North Carolina, and felt like it was a good place in terms of a moderate four-season climate and so many of the things we enjoy (hiking, great local food scene, lots of art and music, and more).
We’ve been intrigued with the idea of tiny house living for years and when we found this community, it seemed like a perfect fit. We figure we’re well suited for tiny house life after so many years in our RV. :-) I hope we can get together and catch up in person!
We’re looking for a housekeeper. Please send resume. Just kidding, but I’m sure you’re overqualified by now. You and Eric timed the wildflower season perfectly. Red and pink Trillium are my favorites. The wild azalea is gorgeous. Looking forward to following you as the move-in date gets closer. Hugs to Magnolia. Joe
Joe—hahaha, NO. As much as I like you and Helen, I am tired of cleaning.
We did time the wildflower season perfectly, didn’t we? And now that we’re in Flat Rock, we’re getting to enjoy all of the wildflowers all over again because we’re at least 1,000 feet higher. Magnolia says thanks for the hugs! Hugs back to Mortimer!
Most of the time we’ve had good experiences with AirBnbs. However, couple of months ago, in order to have a leisurely trip to the mainland, I stayed at one in Mt. Vernon that said it was a “Green”, vegetarian space, and a former artist’s studio. Pictures looked good, and being an artist myself, thought it would be a great place. What they didn’t tell you is that the gas furnace for the entire house was in the space (woke me up all night long with it’s clicking and whooshing), the toilet was in a separate location from the bathroom sink and shower, and was in the hallway to their laundry room, and you couldn’t lock the door between the rental, and the main house. Got my money back from that one, then she tried to leave a negative review on our listing as visitors. Had to complain to AirBnb, and the review was removed.
It was clean though. Hopefully, you will find your new home spic and span, and won’t have to do too much cleaning before you get there. You are so close.
Safe travels to the three of you.
Sheila, that Airbnb you were in sounds awful! I always look for places with lots of reviews, and I wish reviewers wouldn’t just focus on how “cute” a place is but would be honest about noise or weird quirks like the toilet being in a separate, not private location. I’m glad you got your situation resolved with Airbnb. We thought about finding another place, but it’s challenging traveling with a pet…and we didn’t know if we would be going from bad to worse.
We’re in a great place now, which is a relief, since we’ll be here for three months. Hugs to you three!
Darned airbnb comments anyhow. With the system being such that the property owners can rate the renters, it sort of puts a damper on giving an honest review. The customer definitely has to read between the lines when looking for a place. THe last one we stayed at had SIX Glade Plug-ins going. I thought we had either walked into a florist or a funeral home. :)
LOL! One of the first things I do is to remove Glade plug-ins. Why do people use those awful things?
Jim, I wish reviewers would be more honest, too. I try to write balanced, respectful reviews. If a place isn’t clean when we arrive, I give them a low rating on cleanliness. And although I always talk about the positive aspects of a rental, I also note if there are problems, like loud traffic. So far, we’ve gotten stellar reviews from our Airbnb hosts. I think they’re happy that we deep clean their units.
We have never stayed in an Airbnb, but one of my good friends uses them quite frequently and has had good and bad experiences. It makes sense to want to scour one from top to bottom when staying in one for a long period as you do, but it shouldn’t be necessary. How frustrating!! BTW, I agree that having one’s own private bathroom when traveling in an RV is a big plus.
Gorgeous red trilliums! My girlfriend has cultivated several varieties in her beautiful garden here, and they seem to be doing well. I love the photo of the bluebird. Great shot!
Isn’t it fun when you meet new friends who just click from the moment you start chatting? We’ve experienced that several times while on the road and are actually spending a month traveling with one couple when we head up to Canada at the end of the month.
Love that hobo quilt. I have a “Kind Woman Lives Here” wood plaque that a friend gave me years ago. Just a simple engraving of a cat. I love it.
I love your fabric choices for your new furniture. The desk is beautiful. If I lived closer, I’d buy one for my office space! I’ll bet you’re happy to have that item checked off of your To Do list.
Thanks for the update!
Hi Lesley, I love that you have a plaque with the hobo cat engraved on it! I had never seen that before. We’re planning to get one for our new tiny home. Can’t resist the kitty. :-) I’m so glad you like our furniture choices. We spent a lot of time in that gorgeous furniture store—there were thousands of options and we had fun choosing.
I’m envious that you’re traveling for a month with friends to Canada. I look forward to reading all about it! We did a month-long caravan style road trip several years ago with good friends and have many wonderful memories of that time together. It’s so interesting how we know almost immediately if we want to spend more time with someone. We’ve met a number of people in our travels who have become “forever” friends. I sure hope we can meet up someday in person with you and Rod.
We disliked the AirBnB experience so much that we bought a park model in Tucson. It’s basically a tiny house with the neighbors really close to you. We’ll still be traveling with a U-Haul trailer, but at least we won’t have to swamp it out when we get there. You’re in a really beautiful part of the country, as always, your photos are delightful.
Allison, congratulations on buying a park model! I can certainly understand why you decided to do that. Your Airbnb experiences were pretty dismal (but funny, because you are hilarious)! It makes perfect sense to buy a park model in Tucson since that’s where you want to be every winter.
We’re delighted with our decision to move to North Carolina. So far, it’s all that we hoped for, and more. We want to continue traveling part-time, so Airbnbs are still in our future unless we opt for another trailer. I just hope I get better at reading between the lines of reviews, LOL.
While the rental was a bit of a bust, I do think that staying in the vicinity of your new home was a really smart idea. You’ve gotten a leg up on finding the local trails and discovered great places to look for flowers and birds next spring. Plus you have a feel for several of the cute little towns in the area. I say that’s time well spent.
The Amish furniture is stunning and I’m sure your custom crafted pieces will be gorgeous. It’s exciting to see so many things coming together after a long process (renovating and selling the prior home, planning the new one, etc.). Now you are getting to the really fun part, I think!
Thanks, Shannon! It does feel like we’re starting to get to the fun part of this long journey. As you know, we still have several months before we can move in, but it’s exciting to be at the stage of choosing furniture, appliances, counters, flooring, and so much more. Even better is that as of this week, we’re finally renting in the tiny house community and we can walk to our house site!
Our “rustic” rental in South Carolina definitely had some drawbacks, but as you said, it gave us the opportunity to explore some of the little towns and trails in the general vicinity of our new hometown. Best of all was finding that great furniture store in Landrum. Otherwise, we might have ended up with the Elvis-themed decor, LOL.
I always laugh and smile throughout your posts, and admire your photography skills too. You know how to do a perfect post!! So update, my little house has a concrete slab and I’m waiting for the framers. Meanwhile I’ve got all the lighting fixtures, faucets, cabinets, and doors and windows ready to be installed when the framers get done, plus a mini-split HVAC system (no ducts) contractor waiting to install his equipment. Hopefully August is move-in month? Pls keep us all informed of your little house adventures!!
Terri, how exciting that you’ve made so much progress on your tiny house! I’m so glad things are moving along so well for you. It sounds as though you’re acting as the contractor for your house, since you’re sourcing all of the materials and lining up the sub-contractors. That’s very cool. I hope you’ll write about your experience and post photos. (Oh, and a mini-split is the best! We’re doing the same.)
Good luck with your move-in date…we’re keeping our fingers crossed for an August move-in, too. And thank you so much for your kind words about our blog. I love knowing that you enjoy reading it. :-)
As both Airbnb host and guest for the past 7 years, I can now say we’ve decided we’re hotel people. 😂 When we do have to stay in an Airbnb, we always go with superhosts, look for those good reviews, and prefer places with all white bedding and towels. Usually works out pretty well!
Kim! I’m so happy to hear from you! I’ve seen your Airbnb, and not only was it beautiful, but it was also immaculate. If only every Airbnb host had the same standards as you!
We’ve considered hotel stays, but there’s the issue of Magnolia. And we’ve heard some horror stories recently from friends who’ve stayed in hotels. I think the answer, as you said, is to always go with superhosts. And I’m never staying anywhere again that doesn’t have stellar reviews for cleanliness! Even a 4.9 out of 5 isn’t good enough, LOL. I hope all is well in your lives. OX
Hi Laurel and Eric
Love hearing about all of your adventures.
I really liked the chapter about leaving Apalachicola.
It was touching and brought back memories and feelings
of the town I was born and raised in so many years ago
Thank you for your continuing to share your
Hi Carol, thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m glad you enjoyed the post about Apalachicola and I appreciate you sharing that it reminded you of your feelings about your hometown in Pennsylvania. There’s something special about the places where we were born or where we spent significant time during our growing-up years. I think they become part of our emotional map, and that even if we leave them behind, they are always an important part of who we are.
Thanks for continuing along with us on our journey (with all of the twists and turns it has taken). I hope you’re doing well.
I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing with you.
The stink bugs just add insult to injury. I mean, really? WTH is with those things anyway? Nightmare bugs, I say.
But, I agree with Shannon. It was well worth it to be there for a while – make some friends (even if they do need further convincing to move), check out some trails, and go buy Elvis- approved furniture. Your place is going to be beautiful. I can tell already!
Also – “fart can muffler”: a new term I didn’t know I needed to know. :)
Laura, I know darned good and well that you are not laughing with me. You are definitely laughing AT me, just like you laughed when I told you that we had to rent a storage unit and you said, “I told you so!” And you say you’re my friend. Huh. I need to think about that. 😁
I also know that you really wanted me to decorate Graceland style, but I decided to go Amish instead, LOL. BTW, I’m so glad I could expand your vocabulary! Let me know how “fart can muffler” translates into Portuguese. I hope you’re having fun over there! Miss you!
Fart Muffler!!!!!! I love it, but then I have been told that I (we) do have a rather juvenile sense of humor….. We’ve always used VRBO when we have to rent, and I think we’ll continue with them. Too many horror stories from Airbnb’s to suit me. I bet you really missed your little trailer and it’s comforts. Ah well, lessons learned. I can’t wait to see your Amish furnished little house (and most especially YOU two, three) when do you move in?
Hahaha!!! Sue, there are so many reasons that we are friends, and the fact that you and Dave can appreciate juvenile humor is only one of the reasons. I don’t think we ever told you about the time we had a Blazing Saddles party and served black bean soup for dinner, LOL. It was a GREAT party.
Honestly, we really do miss our little trailer. It was always clean, and comfortable, and everything had its place. There are benefits to traveling via Airbnb (I think), so we’re continuing to give it a chance before we make the decision to buy another trailer. We’re so excited about seeing you guys! Our move-in date has been delayed until August but we’re in a 3-month rental in our tiny house community, so we’re practicing tiny house living as of this week! Hugs and safe travels!
Seriously, not again! I applaud your patience, but I do hope you collected more than just the ‘cleaning fee’ for your efforts. If renters would write descriptive reviews we wouldn’t have to read between the lines. No doubt those beautiful walks were necessary to keep you grounded.
If I could live anywhere (other than a 5-mile radius from my MIL) Bluffton would be at the top of my list. I formed that opinion after just one visit, so I could be wrong, but it looks like a great place on the surface. Enjoy your visit.
What luck to find the Amish furniture store and order all your furniture. I’m sure some ‘customization’ is required for your new space. Your choices look very nice and comfortable. Not a stink bug in the bunch. Congrats.
Suzanne, it was NOT fun to have to do so much cleaning in that Airbnb. I’m beginning to think that many people just aren’t especially particular about cleanliness. And I’m likely on the far end of the spectrum in my expectations. But we haven’t given up on Airbnbs! In fact, our week-long rental in Bluffton was lovely.
We really enjoyed Bluffton. It’s a beautiful little town with so many interesting things to do in the area. I can understand why you would want to live there. The drawback is that it’s as hot and humid as Florida, and there’s also the significant risk of hurricanes. We’re looking forward to returning for more visits, though!
Great post as always. Now you know why I come back to Virginia in April. But having jack-in-the-pulpit and trillium and Pink Lady slippers all in the same area is a huge wow!! Thanks for the straight out truth on the difficulty of airbnb. Not a way I can afford to travel anyway but good to know. I’m sorry you had to have stink bugs in the house I could have provided all the stink bugs you would ever want to have from the farm. Hand vacs are wonderful. Wait until they die to empty it. LOL! Old houses, in the country, equals stink bugs in the Spring.
Sherry, we had a wildflower extravaganza here! We were thrilled with the abundance of wildflowers that we’ve rarely (or never) seen. And the birdlife on the trails has also been wonderful. I can certainly understand why you want to return to Virginia every spring.
The stinkbugs, however, I could do without. The infestation in that Airbnb in South Carolina was fierce! But I’m sure it was because we were renting a converted carriage house above an old goat barn and we could see daylight through cracks in the wood walls and floor planks, LOL.
OMG. crazy crazy. What a life you are leading right now. so much adventure…maybe a little too much LOL.
Pied Piper is my new name for you. I said to Perry, “Oh another couple they hit it off with from the start…I thought we were the only ones”. But seriously I’m just so happy more people get to spend time with the 2 of you. I know they all enjoy it as much as we do.
What great stories you will have to tell next time we see you. Still traveling, still enjoying life, and birds and good food, and new friends. I’m so happy for you both. Can’t wait to see all the furniture, etc. in the the new place.
Love you both and sending big big hugs.
Oh, dear friends, we can’t WAIT until you come to visit us in North Carolina! As I said, we’ve met some of our best, lifetime friends in our travels. But you are the only two that we met while swimming in a Florida spring. 🥰 And how many times have we met up since then? Nine? See…lifetime friends! And more adventures together to come!
This has been a pretty crazy time the last few months. So many changes in a relatively short period of time. We are excellent at pulling the rug out from under ourselves, as you know, haha. We’re grateful that we can always count on the love and encouragement of our good friends. Much love to you both.
It’s not just AirBNB descriptions and photos that are suspect. We’re finding the same issues with resorts we find for day use, beaches, parks, and anything else you can think of. We try to make the most of whatever shore plans we make, but sometimes it is a challenge.
Erin, that’s disappointing that you can’t trust reviews even for beaches or parks. I look at reviews for everything, including hiking trails and bike paths. So many times, we just have to go and find out for ourselves…and just as you do, we make the best of it. I have pretty good luck at finding restaurants, though…I can tell a lot from the food photos, LOL.
I think your experience tells me that the Airbnb on the east coast are not well managed or cleaned for they certainly made you a new title, a traveling Cleaning Lady! As for our experience here on the west coast, all of the Airbnbs we rented were all clean!
Furniture shopping is always fun, but I wondered do you know exactly the dimensions of your tiny house? What if your furnitures do not fit?
Wow you have so many blog material as you blaze your way to your new digs!
Mona Liza, I’m ready to retire my title of Airbnb Cleaning Lady, LOL. Fortunately, our Airbnb experiences since the one in Landrum have been great, so I’m hopeful!
Your question about how we know that furniture will fit into our tiny house is a good one. We spent hours in the model house that’s similar to the one we’re building trying to figure out what furniture we need and how it will fit. We took lots and lots of measurements! Hopefully we’ve planned well, because there’s not much room for error. I almost made a big mistake with the refrigerator and had to change to a counter-depth model, otherwise it was going to stick out too far into the kitchen. It’s much more complicated than ordering furniture for a regular house!
Good grief!! Your post sent me running to look at the reviews for the Airbnb I’ve rented for some girlfriend time next week–whew–the cleanliness reviews are almost 5 star. I simply cannot believe people expect you to pay money to stay somewhere not clean! Although many of the hotel rooms we’ve stayed in lately have been anything but clean! There is definitely something to be said for towing your home with you!
What a find in Landrum–I love your color choices for the sofa, chair and ottoman.
That quilt is so cool, new friends on the trail, great food, beautiful surroundings–those are the pluses that help make scuzzy accommodations palatable.
Janna, there is definitely a lot to be said for RV travel! I don’t think I realized quite how spoiled we were until we gave it up. I truly believe that Airbnb is going to work out fine for us, despite the two ridiculous long-term rentals that required so much deep cleaning. As I said, I will never again rent anything that doesn’t have five-star reviews for cleanliness. I don’t care how charming it is, I don’t want to have to clean it before we can settle in.
We were thrilled to discover that wonderful furniture store in Landrum. We really never would have known about it if we weren’t staying there. We had fun in that store! I’m glad you like the choices we made. We’re excited to see it all in our new little home!
I, too, am now worried about our Airbnb for next month. Yikes! The cow hoof, I assure you, was just another doggie chew and nothing creepy (not that it should’ve been left behind, of course.) Oh, how I detest loud vehicles, especially those purposely made to be that way. It’s so nice that you found just the place to make just the stuff you want, just the way you want it. It’s also nice that you’re happy with your new location. I’m excited to see pictures of the new house — it’s waaaaay more fun to watch someone else go through this! :D
I bet your Airbnb will be fine, Joodie! I didn’t mean to worry all of our friends. I think we just had two less-than-ideal experiences, but we’ve since had two great experiences. Of course, nothing is as perfect as our trailer was, but that’s where I need to let go. :-)
It’s soooo wonderful to now be in our community where we’re building our home, and to have it be just what we hoped for. It’s peaceful, and beautiful, and the people are interesting and welcoming. We’re just hoping that we’ll be able to actually get into our house by August, because otherwise, that means moving to another Airbnb. And we really don’t want to do that. I know you understand all about the frustration of construction delays!
P.S. That cow hoof was creepy, even if it was a chew toy. 😳
Dang, another cleaning nightmare! You poor thing. Those lucky folks who run the Airbnbs are getting quite a good deal when you visit. Not fair!
Gosh, you were only 1/2 hour from Greer, SC, a place I have been obsessing about for a couple months. Not because I want to move or visit there, but I want to buy a gorgeous Friesian horse at a barn/broker there! I haven’t been able to stop considering the idea since I saw a “perfect” horse for sale there in March. Maybe this is my mid-life crisis calling…
But if and when I do go there to buy a horse I can’t really afford, I’m planning on visiting you! Hahahaha! Trouble is I can’t remember the name of the town you’re building your tiny house in. I searched your blog for a bit, but can’t find it.
Bullock’s Oriole’s and Wilson Warblers are back in town here in Ashland. I’m hoping to see some new birds when I visit my kids in Chicago/Madison this coming week. Loved the Eastern Bluebird pic you shared. Always a pleasure to read your blog!!!!
Janet, I think you need to come to Greer to buy that horse! We were just there today for a music festival. It’s so beautiful, right in the middle of horse country, and it’s only about 45 minutes from us. So yes, you definitely need that horse. Actually, even if you don’t buy the horse, you need to come see us. We’re in Flat Rock, just a few miles from Hendersonville. :-))
How fun that you’re headed to Chicago and Madison to visit your kids! We love both of those places, as you know. You’ll be there at the perfect time for spring migration. Have a wonderful trip!
P.S. I finally bought a pair of Hoka trail shoes for hiking (on your recommendation) and I love them! They are BRIGHT orange and hot pink, haha.
I’m so sorry you had another bad experience with your airbnb. It seems like you should have gotten more back than the cleaning fee. The airbnb was never cleaned like you and Eric cleaned it. They should have paid you. But glad you found some kind of a silver lining in the place. How sweet that you found a local spot and ordered all your furniture. How is your new tiny home coming along? Will it be ready soon? I hope Magnolia is recovering from that terrible pillow experience. Poor thing. Haha! You found some of my favorite wildflowers in the woods. Love, love Jack-in-the-Pulpit and Lady Slippers!
Because I like shorter driving days we rarely make any stops on moving days, but there are times when it wouldn’t matter if we wanted to because there’s just no where to stop!
You need to frame the Magnolia and pillow pic – it’s priceless! Like people who post pics of a dirty and cluttered house when they’re selling it, I will never understand how anyone can think we would want to stay in someone else’s dirt! I bet their next renters give high marks for cleanliness :-) It’s pretty clear from that switch plate pic where the bugs were getting in.
Your hikes and the little towns are lovely, and how nice that they’re only 20 miles from your new home. Finding one place for most of your new furniture needs was a big bonus!
Jodee, we’re definitely needing to rethink our plan for travel days, because the picnic in the parking lot of the police station scenario really didn’t work for us. We still have some adjustments to make!
I don’t understand how people can be okay with obviously dirty places, either. I think my standards might be unrealistic, but there is no way that anyone would be okay with moldy old pizza boxes. Or that ridiculous electrical socket! I am quite certain that wasn’t up to code.
Anyway, our Airbnb experiences are improving dramatically. And we’re very happy that we discovered that wonderful furniture store, so it was worth staying in Landrum just for that!
Pam, you are absolutely right…those Airbnbs we rented are now cleaner than they’ve ever been. We’re getting stellar reviews from the owners, but I really and truly don’t want to have to deep clean any more rentals. The last place refunded us more than our cleaning fee, but it didn’t make up for our time and effort!
We’re now in an Airbnb in Flat Rock for three months while our house is being built. The builders are telling us it should be finished by the first of August, and we’re going to do our best to hold them to it. We are absolutely loving being here, and are thrilled that we made the decision to move to North Carolina. Magnolia is adjusting well to life here, and has almost recovered from her traumatic experience with that terrible pillow. She wants you to know that she appreciates your concern for her emotional well-being, LOL.
Laurel, you’re a one woman marketing campaign for every hotel chain in America! I can’t believe you had to clean another one!!! We only went the AirBnB route once, and it was an absolutely perfect experience. When our daughter attended the American Barber Institute in Manhattan, we needed a five month rental for her. We found a sweet little apartment in Yonkers, just 20 miles north of Grand Central and close to the local train station. Kyle was a Superhost and a super host. That being said, I don’t see another AirBnB in our future. So happy to know that you’re “this” close to moving in to your own place – good luck with the build! P.S. I laughed out loud when I saw the photo of Magnolia looking down (literally and figuratively) on the dog pillow! P.P.S. Alan and I are placing bets on when you and Eric are going to buy another trailer. ;)
Mary, we miss our trailer! We’re definitely weighing the pros and cons of a trailer versus Airbnb travel. As you know, our first two long-term rentals did not bode well for continued Airbnb travel, but our most recent experiences have been great. So the jury is still out!
Magnolia looks so offended by that pillow, doesn’t she? LOL. I’m looking for a pillow that says, “Reserved for the Cat,” but I probably need at least five of them because she has dibs on so many comfy places in the house. Yes, the cat is spoiled. :-)
Golly what a pain these Air BnB’s have been! I’ve heard that only choosing places that are designated Super Host is important. Now that we no longer have an RV and intend to travel via Air BnB’s in the future your experiences scare me a little! ;-)
Lisa, don’t be scared! Well, maybe be a little scared, because it is not fun at all to have to deep clean an Airbnb. :-( However, I think you are absolutely right that choosing a rental from a Super Host is a good idea. And also choosing a rental from someone who has dozens (preferably hundreds) of reviews, with five-star ratings for cleanliness. I’m reading reviews very carefully now, looking for any sign that something isn’t up to par. I look forward to your Airbnb travels…I hope you’ll write about them!
Did you notify Airbnb about the cleanliness issues? We have only stayed in one Airbnb, in Traveler’s Rest, SC and it was near perfect. In that case, what we had imagined, based on photos, was what we got. I know that is not always the case.
Looks like you are growing closer to the reality of your new home and NC lifestyle. I look forward to seeing what’s ahead!
Hi Beverly, I notified the owners about the cleanliness issues and they were immediately responsive. If they hadn’t refunded our cleaning fees I would have contacted Airbnb. I really hope we don’t run into any more rentals that we have to deep clean!
We’re very excited about our tiny home and the community here. Still several months away from moving in, but we have plenty to keep us busy! :-))
That’s crazy to have two such horrible airbnb experience, you’re making me realize how closely I need to read those reviews before I book next time! Loved that quilt and can’t wait to see your furniture. I had a cherry desk custom-made by Amish carpenters and it was gorgeous (I still miss it, one of the few things from my sticks and bricks life that I do wish I could have kept somehow). May you be settling in now, and finding Spring in NC is gorgeous.
Annie, it’s a good thing we’ve had a couple of good Airbnb experiences now to balance out the others. Checking the reviews carefully (and reading between the lines!) is a skill that I’m getting better at.
We’re so excited about our furniture! Since you’ve had Amish-made furniture, you know how wonderful the quality is. Looking at all of the beautiful furniture there kinda made me wish we were going to have a bigger house, LOL.
hi, we have not met, but I love your blog. We are hoping to be part-time travelers in Air bnb’s and I’m just wondering why you are having to do the cleaning? Shouldn’t the home owner do it or hire someone to do it? That is definitely not something I want to be doing when traveling.
Hi Tammy, I agree with you! We definitely don’t want to be cleaning Airbnbs. It’s awful to arrive at a rental and then to spend the next two or three days deep-cleaning. We could have asked the owner to take care of the cleaning, but because we had already moved our stuff in, we really didn’t want anyone cleaning around our belongings. Plus, we have our kitty, and that would freak her out. The owners of the two Airbnbs that we had to clean were very apologetic, and refunded our cleaning fees and pet fees. If they had not been so nice, we would have found other accommodations.
Fortunately, the two Airbnbs that we’ve stayed in since then have been fine. My advice is to very carefully read reviews, and only book places where people rave about the cleanliness! Good luck and have fun. :-))