Travelling with Airbnb in Europe  | Tips and tricks in choosing Aibnb in Europe | DESIGN IS YAY!

My first AirBnb experience was during my trip to Melbourne a few years back. I shared a two bedroom apartment unit in the city with the friendly female host. The apartment was in a convenient location, very clean, and the best thing of all, I paid AU$55 per night for a single occupancy in the room. Where else can I stay in a city location in Melbourne for that kind of price?

When I was planning my family trip to Europe, I realised that staying in good locations in Europe don’t come cheap. So I decided to go through AirBnB to find suitable accommodations, and I’m so glad that I did.

My way of searching an AirBnb accommodation in each city goes in this order: Location, reviews, photos. Read the reviews THOROUGHLY. I made the biggest mistake in booking an AirBnB accommodation in Singapore just by looking at the location, photographs, and first few reviews. Turns out that the real unit is nothing like the photograph, and it was very dirty and old. When I checked back on the listing and read more reviews, turns out that the host owns a few apartments in the same building, and you could get the nicer units when they are vacant (although still completely different from the photographs shown), but during peak season you will most likely be stuck with that rundown unit.

With AirBnB, you can find accommodations in good location at a cheaper price than 3-5 star hotels in the same location. There is no way that we could afford staying in a hotel around the Champs-Élysées in Paris, or had the experience of staying in a snow chalet overlooking Mount Eiger in Grindelwald, but we did all of those, thanks to AirBnB. A lot of the properties are nicely decorated and fitted with furnitures that make you feel like home.

Since there were the four of us in the trip, it made sense if we booked the whole apartment for ourselves. We met the hosts in a convenient location in the respective cities once we arrived, they helped us find the apartment and get settled, explained how things work in the unit, gave us the key and we said goodbye. Upon leaving, we left the key inside the apartment and locked the doors from outside. The procedures are very simple and they don’t have to disrupt your schedule to explore the city. AirBnB is also a good choice when travelling solo, because most hosts will have a solo rate and you could share the unit with another traveller or the host in the other room. With this type of arrangement, you need to make sure that the host and the rules suits your travelling personality. If you are someone who prefers to go “home” from a whole day of exploring to have a quiet good night sleep, it will not be a good idea to have a host who allows partying or social events inside the unit.

The good thing about staying in AirBnB in Europe is that they provide facilities that you will definitely need, such as washer & dryer, kitchen with equipments and WiFi. Laundry facilities is crucial when you’re travelling to different countries/cities on a train, because at some point you will need to wash your clothes. Kitchen is optional for me because I prefer to eat out when travelling, but it was nice to have a stove to boil some water for my instant noodles or hot beverages. Wifi is definitely needed because mobile phone data is precious in Europe.

There are some things that you be aware of when booking your accommodation in Europe. European apartments are tinier than most Australian or Indonesian apartments, that I know of. So even though they do provide enough beds for your number of guests, you should also gauge the size of the unit from the photographs, the reviews, or simply ask the host. If your family consist of tall humans like mine, it was quite claustrophobic to be in a tiny two bedroom Paris loft-style apartment, which has the size of a studio apartment in Melbourne!

When choosing your location, be aware of the surroundings. We chose an apartment right across the street from the Fire Station in Amsterdam that we did not know before. Even though it was a lovely location and a nice unit near Anne Frank House, it was still unpleasant when the Fire Brigade sound their siren, especially at night time. Some locations might be a little noisier when they are located close to the nightclubs or cafes that open till late.

Be aware of the condition of the staircases. I don’t really get tired or too out-of-breath from climbing the stairs, as long as they have decent wideness and steepness. So when I read that some of the accommodations I was booking have stairs that concern some people, it didn’t bother me. As it turns out, they are very narrow and steep, they made me feel like I was climbing a mountain enclosed with walls, and bear in mind we had our luggages too. It was a first-time experience, so I laughed it off. But on my next holiday, I will definitely ask about the stairs.

Since most AirBnB accommodations are located in residential area, and not hotel areas, there’s a chance that you might stay in less touristy but equally beautiful areas. My AirBnB in Rome was located in Trastevere, it was walking distance to Piazza Navona, but the apartment area itself is the highlight of my trip in Rome. Hosts will happily share the hidden gems around the area or the city, which is another reason to love AirBnB. You will get to experience certain things that you won’t get when staying in a hotel and relying on their concierge and travel guide books.

The most important thing is to read the reviews thoroughly and ask a lot of questions based on your needs (bringing an older person, bringing a baby or toddler, being claustrophobic, etc). But based on my experiences when staying in AirBnB in Europe, I highly recommend it for travellers, and I hope that my tips could be useful in searching for the right AirBnB for yourself!

Have you stayed in an AirBnB before? How would you describe your experience?

This post is not sponsored by AirBnB, I wrote it based on my personal experiences, and thought that they might be useful for you.
Special Offer: Get $34 AirBnB credit for your next travel. Happy Travels!



BFF Freebies: AUGUST 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

Your August 2015 Wallpaper and Planner freebies are hitting your inboxes very soon!

If you are not a BFF Freebie member yet, you can still sign up now and you will get a confirmation email with download links to all the freebies for this month and previous ones as well.

View the previous wallpaper freebies design

Just like the previous freebies, you will be able to download these styles and sizes: desktop (with or without calendar), retina desktop (with or without calendar), iPhone (without calendar), iPhone 6 & 6+ (without calendar), iPad (without calendar), and also printable planner monthly organiser for A5, Personal and Pocket filofaxes (Large, Medium & Small for Kikki K planners). 

BFF Freebies: AUGUST 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

BFF Freebies: AUGUST 2015 Wallpaper Calendar Planner | DESIGN IS YAY!

What is Design is Yay BFFs?

Introducing BEST FREEBIE FRIENDS. This is my way to thank all the lovely and loyal readers who have been supporting and reading this blog, as well as new readers who just discovered and love Design is Yay. Without all of you, Design is Yay will not come this far.

All you need to do (and this is open to everyone, including you) is to join our BFF club here and you will receive a welcome message with a link to download our “Live Creatively” print & wallpapers as well as current and previous months’ freebies. You will then receive monthly freebies for your desktop, gadgets and planners just like what you’ve seen in this post before the end of each month. I will also throw in a few freebie surprises every now and then, so you will get a lot more freebies from Design is Yay if you join the BFF club!

Our newsletter is powered by MadMimi.

January 2015 BFF Sign up Freebies - Wallpaper calendar for desktop, iphone & ipad and filofax planner | DESIGN IS YAY!


Let's Grab A Burger Invitation Printable | DESIGN IS YAY!

Burger is such a simple and laid back food that you can have any day with your friends. These days, everyone can have a burger! From crumbed mushroom burgers for the vegie-lovers, to Naked Burgers for the gluten-intolerant. Even when you’re on a certain diet, you are still able to have a burger. I have tried many kinds of burger variations, and I actually like them all.

A brand new burger joint has just opened in my city, and it’s already creating a buzz. I cannot wait to invite my friends to hangout with me and grab a burger with fries on the side.

Let's Grab A Burger Invitation Printable | DESIGN IS YAY!

I hope that you enjoy making these Let’s Grab A Burger invitation templates as much as you’re going to enjoy your burger!

Let's Grab A Burger Invitation Printable | DESIGN IS YAY!

Do you have a favourite type of burger? Share with me in the comments section. And here’s the download link for your Burger Invitation template:

Download Here | DESIGN IS YAY!


Watch the video for instructions to assemble this template. Don’t forget to LIKE and SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel!



Planning tips for Europe Trip | DESIGN IS YAY!

Planning a trip to places you’ve never been before could be very challenging. Looking back at how I planned my Europe trip, there are certain things that I wish I knew back then. But that’s the beauty of travelling, not only will you able to gain the experience in exploring new places, you also gain knowledge that might be useful in the future.

Europe trip was the hardest holiday that I’ve ever planned. Unlike the time when I went to U.S.A, Turkey, New Zealand or China, my holiday in Europe was totally dependent on public transports and maps without local people to guide us for most of the time. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time during our trip in Europe, and I hope that anyone who have spent money and time to visit Europe would feel the same.

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National Ice Cream Month Printable - Sprinkles Cone Wrapper | DESIGN IS YAY!

Do you know that July is National Ice Cream month, and July 19th of this year is a National Ice Cream Day?

Even though I’m not in the U.S.A, but I’m all about celebrating the happiest food on earth. My favourite part of an ice cream is the sprinkles. During the photo shoot of this printable, I accidentally spilled some sprinkles onto the floor. But I really don’t mind making such a pretty mess in my workspace!

National Ice Cream Month Printable - Sprinkles Cone Wrapper | DESIGN IS YAY!

Let’s talk about favourite ice cream flavour. My favourite classic has always been cookies and cream. But I’m also open to trying unusual ice cream flavours, such as this weird one that I recently tried in a local dessert bar, Seafood Laksa flavour! A few other unusual flavours that I’ve tried includes Pilsener Beer, Wasabi and Truffle.

National Ice Cream Month Printable - Sprinkles Cone Wrapper | DESIGN IS YAY!

But no matter what the flavour of my ice cream is, I always love mine on a cone. Ice cream cone is like the cherry on top of a yummy ice cream, in reverse. I don’t really like cherries. I hope that these printable cone wrappers with sprinkles will make your ice cream sweeter. If you’re not into ice cream, drizzle chocolate sauce (or is Nutella sauce a thing?) inside an ice cream cone and it’s just as yummy!

Download Here | DESIGN IS YAY!

What’s your favourite classic ice cream flavour, and have you tried any weird ones?

If you like this printable, you might also like Printable Spoon Soldiers to go with your ice cream!

Blog Design 101: DIY Blog Design - Platform, Themes, Branding & Plugins  | DESIGN IS  YAY!

For creative bloggers, the design and layout of a blog is very important. It has to be easy on the eyes, and at the same time it needs to grab the attention of your potential readers. I wish that designing blogs is as simple and fun as arranging the furnitures in my living room. To tell you the truth, it is one of the most nerve-wrecking and tears-shedding things that I’ve ever done (drama queen alert).

Unfortunately, hiring a developer and/or professional web designer does not come cheap. Furthermore, I don’t like having someone else designing my own design blog. Nobody understands my design style better than I do.

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