Our 4-Star Hotel Booked with Points ūüėÄ !! (Hilton San Diego Gaslamp)

 

Get $40 off your First AirBnb Stay

We start our West-Coast/Hawaii Adventure in San Diego, and give you a tour of the 4-star Hilton Gaslamp Quarter which we booked entirely with Chase Reward Points. We then tackle the topic of Airbnbs vs Hotels, and why I would book one over the other. Be sure to subscribe for more travel tips and to keep up with the rest of the vlogs in California and Hawaii ! Learn how you can get upgraded rooms and other cool perks, just by having a few different credit cards (American Express Platinum/Chase Sapphire Reserve).

Our AirBnb in Mexico City (Roma Norte) !

 

Get $35 off your first Airbnb Stay!

Check out our Airbnb in Mexico City in our second episode from D.F. Located in the heart of Roma Norte, one of the hippest neighborhoods, it is certainly quirky. We then embark on a quick walk through Roma Norte and end up at the gym! ¬†If you’ve ever considered becoming a Digital Nomad in Mexico City, this is the travel vlog for you!

Nerja (Fun, Sun, and Paella)

 

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Location, location, location. One of the reasons we picked Granada as our base for our two-months in Spain was exactly that. It is located about an hour north of some great beaches, and I had my eye on Nerja for a long time.

We ended up spending two incredible nights there, staying at an Airbnb with a local woman who provided us both breakfast and dinner. I have stayed at many Airbnb’s over the years, but never one that offered you TWO meals. ¬†This culminated in our final night, where I helped her prepare the best paella I’ve ever eaten (see video/photos for proof).

The beaches were very beautiful and more importantly not over crowded. June is still considered the off-season in Southern Spain, but with the water temperature at about seventy degrees I could not tell. There are five beaches near the center of Nerja and for our vlog we picked what I considered the most beautiful one. You can rent beach chair/umbrellas for four euros and save them for the entire day.

Our favorite activity during our short trip was kayaking. For only eleven euros, we shared a tandem kayak and managed to explore an empty cave in the process. That was worth the price of admission alone and great exercise after all the seafood and wine we consumed.

On our final day we took a short local bus to Frigliana. It is a tiny town located about fifteen minutes from Nerja. You only need an hour or two to explore it. Once you discover the Moorish white homes on the hills overlooking the sea , your camera will thank you for it.

I am posting some pictures and the corresponding vlog below. Please do subscribe to it if you want to keep up with our adventures in Spain/Europe. Any comments would also be appreciated.

 

PAELLABLOG

Homemade Paella

CAVEBLOG

Kayaking inside a cave

MANBEACHBLOG

Old man and the sea

Top 5 Airbnb Tips (for guests/renters)

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We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog for a special set of travel advice. As an experienced traveler, I will list my Top Five Airbnb Tips. These little changes will help you save money and teach you how to use the airbnb website like a pro.

5) Inquire about Noise Issues

I always write my potential host a message before booking an Airbnb. My first question is : Are their any noise issues near the apartment? I work from home a lot and do not do well with distractions.

Most of the time they reply favorably. I have on occasion received responses about outside traffic noise, construction, or even a bakery downstairs that starts their bread machines at 4:00 AM (true story in Switzerland).

Approach this with caution. The reason I started asking this question was because I had a rental in Buenos Aires that had construction going on next door and the whole kitchen actually shook during the day (see my Youtube video below for the actual footage). If you are in doubt about the suitability of rental due to noise concerns, move on.

4) Research the Neighborhoods

When you book a hotel or an Airbnb you need to know what part of town you would prefer to stay in. In the past, I favored areas that had a nice mix of nightlife and restaurants. You may prefer more peaceful neighborhoods with parks, museums, and small shops. I would google the city in advance and find out what part of town suits you best, before even starting to search for your perfect Airbnb.

3) Read the Reviews Closely

This sounds like a no-brainer, but too many potential airbnber’s do not read the reviews closely enough from past guests. I like to investigate what they said about the proximity to restaurants/nightlife, the wifi speed, and any issues with hot water, air conditioning or heating. Take your time reviewing a potential Airbnb and you will save yourself from any surprises.

2) Stay at a New or Newer Listing to Save Money

I recommend this tip specifically in expensive cities (New York, Paris, London). I have noticed that newer hosts do not tend to price as competitively as their veteran counterparts. While the property may lack references or have only a handful of them, Airbnb works quite well if the place is not clean or their is a major problem. This is a great opportunity to take a chance on a place that might be a gem and be charging twice as much in one year.

1)Negotiate

This is a tip that few actually utilize (and you will now). If you are staying for a week or longer, do not be afraid to hit the contact host button. Ask them if they would be willing to give you their best rate, or if you are more bold quote a number that is $50.00-$100.00 cheaper then their advertised rate. This trick works exceptionally well, because hosts want to keep their calendars booked year round. I once saved $300.00 on a monthly rental as I told the host I would book it immediately if he would quote me that rate. Do not be shy to bargain, the worst thing they can say is no and you will pay the quoted price. If it is the off-season in a city this works even better.

I hope you all enjoyed my Top 5 Airbnb Tips. Feel free to share this article with your friends and family if you found it useful. I will try to add travel tips to the blog as well as my normal musings about specific locations.

See the attached Youtube link for the video version and hit subscribe to join my channel.