Spending a few days in the bush or by a beach and cooking succulent steaks over hot coals, sitting around an open fire with a glass of red while listening to the river nearby is my idea of bliss. Hands up who agrees?

There’s something infinitely therapeutic about time spent outdoors and star gazing at night. Funnily enough, I’m going bush again this weekend.

Yep, I need it and camping is way cheaper than therapy.

However, sometimes an unexpected overnight occasion out of town doesn’t warrant taking the van. That’s when Plan B kicks in.

In the past year, for different reasons, we’ve booked AirBnBs and I have to say I’ve had nothing but positive experiences.  AirBnBs are now worldwide so it doesn’t matter where you live you can find something that suits.

Here are the ones we’ve discovered most recently.

ST KILDA

Comfort away from home

For our wedding anniversary last year we stayed in a slick little apartment in the heart of St Kilda. It was within walking distance to the Esplanade and the beach, restaurants and the Palais Theatre (where we were seeing a show that night).

The apartment had loads of personal touches including a full kitchen and breakfast and a bottle of sparkles to help celebrate our occasion. Who doesn’t like the odd pamper?

When you’re searching for an AirBnB you can specify exactly what you’re looking for.

MANSFIELD

Last month we travelled to Mansfield where our daughter’s boyfriend was celebrating his 21st birthday. I found an old farmhouse AirBnB, on a huge property where we had our own room and balcony looking out onto beautiful gardens.

Friendly owners and farm dogs, sheep, jacaranda trees and an old engineering shed for hubby to check out completed the picture for an easy night away. All ten minutes away from the party. You can choose an exact location that suits.

WANDILAGONG

Last weekend it was a funeral. A sudden and unexpected one. Taking the van was never an option. Instead, we found a country cottage in the heritage village of Wandilagong, just twenty minutes away from the funeral. Surrounded by chestnut trees, mountain ranges and lush valleys it was the perfect place to soothe the soul.

Our room on the first floor of the 100 year old country house looked out onto mountain ranges and valleys. The huge luxurious bed was the comfiest I think I’ve ever slept in.

Out the back yard was a character filled miners hut, built in the 1850s, the oldest structure standing in the valley. History and heritage that won’t be found in any old shoe-box motel!  It was comforting and peaceful (even with hub bursting the water pipes but that’s another story!) The best thing was, I booked it online barely an hour before the funeral. And the tap was fixed!

Next week I’ve booked us another place and I’m looking forward to sharing not so much the destination but what we’re doing there. Let’s just say that this happy little camper may have turned into a Groupie!

Benefits of staying in an AirBnB:

  • You can see at a glance what’s available and look immediately
  • You can refine your search to suit your specific needs
  • Payment is secure and swift
  • Owners respond immediately and are usually very flexible with check ins
  • Value for money and generally much cheaper than motels
  • You can book a private room/shared room or an entire apartment
  • There’s way more character, charm and warmth than a motel
  • Choice of interacting with hosts and sharing their home or going fully self contained.

I love camping but there’s a time and a place when convenience wins hands down and AirBnB gives you a world of choice.

Here’s to enjoying the best of both worlds. Maybe one day AirBnB will open up a camping option. Wouldn’t that make travel interesting?

Wherever you are, hope you get to enjoy some time out, whether it’s under the stars or under someone else’s roof.  I’m off camping this weekend, this time with the van, near the mountains and a lake, as I’m needing some time out. Therapy calls and so does nature.

Keep smiling and keep enjoying the journey.

In light and love.

Window at Wandilagong
The best of both worlds at Wandilagong

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