Why Airbnb Is Better for Family Travel (and How to Save Money on Stays With Points!)

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Family travel is a huge part of the miles & points world.  Lots of folks get into this hobby because they want to visit family, or they want to vacation with their family.

David, author of Wise Flys, is a family travel expert.  So I asked him to share with you his top tips for traveling with a family each week!

Airbnb continues to be an increasingly popular option for folks who like to travel.  And it’s especially appealing for families because it is often cheaper than a hotel and provides more flexibility for traveling families.

Airbnb Family Travel
Our Favorite Airbnb Experience Was in Bali Where We Rented a Two-Story House With Huge Windows in the Middle of The Jungle

As a family, we love Airbnb because we can stay in areas with locals.  We prefer the local feel instead of touristy areas with lots of hotels, which make us feel isolated from the native culture.  The savings is another positive!  With Airbnb, you can often find amazing places for less than you’d pay for a hotel, especially if you’re traveling as a family!

Plus, earning miles & points with certain rewards credit cards can help cover the cost of your Airbnb stay!

Benefits of Airbnb Over Hotels When Traveling With A Family

My family really enjoys staying in an Airbnb when we travel because:

  • Airbnb can be a cheaper alternative to hotels
  • There are usually many more Airbnb listings than hotel options, especially outside of touristy areas
  • Enjoy additional amenities, like washing machines and dryers (useful if you have laundry to do for your kids!)
  • Stay with locals, which can help your kids learn about the local culture
  • Spread out and relax with more space by booking a house or multi-bedroom apartment instead of a standard hotel room
  • Save money on dining out by cooking at the home or apartment
Airbnb Family Travel
My Daughter Enjoys the Extra Space When Staying at a Airbnb!

We stayed at a clean, comfortable Airbnb in Bali, Indonesia.  The total cost was $120 for a total of 3 nights, which was similar to the price of a hotel stay.  But instead of just one hotel room room, we had a spacious two-story house to ourselves, which was surrounded by lush nature!

Some Airbnb hosts can be welcoming and provide excellent recommendations of things to do in the local area.  When we visited Tenerife, Spain, our two hosts stayed with us for an hour to tell us about the best places to eat and visit on the small island.  This type of interaction with locals is what makes an Airbnb vacation special.

The Airbnb in Tenerife, a small Canary Island off Africa, had 2 balconies facing the beach and it cost only 30 Euros per night.  The apartment was in a small beach town with friendly people and fresh seafood.

Airbnb Family Travel
Our Daughter Bella Loved the Beachfront Airbnb in Tenerife, Spain. She Had Her Own Room Filled With Toys and Children’s Stories In Another Language!

How to Save Money on an Airbnb Stay With Credit Card Miles & Points

There are lots of ways you can save money on hotel stays using miles & points.  And earning certain credit card rewards can come in handy to reduce (or eliminate) your out-of-pocket expenses for Airbnb stay!

Here are 3 cards to consider!

1.   Earn Simple Capital One Venture Miles to “Erase” Airbnb Costs!

Link:   Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Link:   Review of the Capital One Venture Card

Capital One Venture miles are easy to redeem for Airbnb stays.  Simply pay for your stay with the card.  Once the charge appears on your account, you can “erase” the cost with miles.  Keep in mind, you must redeem the miles within 90 days of your purchase.

Venture miles are worth 1 cent each.  So 10,000 miles are worth $100 in Airbnb savings!  I like that there’s NO minimum redemption requirement, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase.  In that case, the minimum is 2,500 Venture miles ($25).

When you sign-up for the Capital One Venture card, you can earn 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll also get:

  • 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • NO foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn and miles never expire as long as your account remains open.  There are no blackout dates so you can travel when you want!  And besides Airbnb, you can redeem miles to save on Uber, airfare, and hotels!

We used 14,000 Venture miles to offset the cost of a 7-night Airbnb stay in Fiji.  For $20 per night, we got to stay with locals in their traditional house and were fed 3 times a day with ethnic food.

Airbnb Family Travel
When Staying With Our Airbnb Hosts in Fiji, We Volunteered With Chores Around The House and Participated In Daily Rituals

2.   Barclaycard Arrival Plus Cardholders Can Quickly Use Miles to Save With Airbnb!

Link:   Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Similar to the Capital One Venture, folks with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus can use miles to offset an Airbnb charge.  But the drawback is you can only use miles for a travel purchase of $100 or more.

You can also use your Arrival miles on a lot more than Airbnb, including:

  • Airfare
  • Bus passes
  • Car rentals
  • Trains
  • And many other travel purchases!

Check out this post with 10 creative ways to redeem your Barclaycard Arrival miles.

When you sign-up for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, you’ll earn 40,000 Barclaycard Arrival miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.  That’s worth ~$400 toward travel purchases!

With this card, you earn 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases.

The card’s $89 annual fee is waived the first year.

3.   Earn 3X Points and Take Advantage of the Chase Sapphire Reserve $300 Annual Travel Credit

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular premium travel rewards credit cards.  When you sign-up for the card, you can start taking advantage of the $300 annual travel credit.

Whenever you make a travel purchase (includes Airbnb), your Chase Sapphire Reserve annual travel credit will automatically activate.  And you don’t have to spend $300 in one transaction to use the travel credit.  You will be reimbursed for all travel purchases until you’ve reached $300!

When you sign-up for the the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  You’ll also earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining purchases, which includes Airbnb stays!

The card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived for the first year.  But the annual travel credit and other terrific perks can easily offset the fee!

Bottom Line

Airbnb can be a fantastic way for families to save money on travel.  Plus, instead of staying in touristy city centers, you can book an Airbnb in a diverse neighborhood where local culture is more prevalent.  My family has used Airbnb in Bali, Fiji, and Tenerife, Spain!

Extra amenities like a kitchen, washer and dryer, and more space can make Airbnb more appealing than hotels for family travel.

And you can even use credit card rewards to offset the cost of your Airbnb stay.  For example, you can earn easy to redeem miles with the Capital One Venture card.  Just pay for an Airbnb stay with your card.  Then, use miles to “erase” the charge!

Do you prefer staying at an Airbnb or hotels?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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