Homes On the Road, Part II

Our Portland Airbnb for the summer is already our favorite!

One of our favorite things about the nomadic lifestyle we’ve been living for the past several months has been the homes we’ve stayed in along the way and their hosts. Thanks to Airbnb we’ve been able to enjoy not only having our own place from time to time, but also the pleasure of staying as guests in others’ homes, the perfect arrangement for shorter stays in places like Lucerne last fall, and during our road trip around New Zealand earlier this year.

The kitchen and living and dining area of our Portland apartment. The mid-century decor is minimal, but very stylish and extremely comfortable.

Our Portland apartment for the summer is currently at the top of our list of favorite Airbnb rentals. The price, the size of the apartment, the minimal but very comfortable mid-century furnishings, the kitchen and location are all just about perfect. Two other notable favorites along the way on Part II were our rooms in Napier and Wellington in New Zealand, although every place we stayed in Australia and New Zealand were very, very nice and helped make our visits there great ones.

The view while we ate breakfast on the terrace at the home we stayed at in Napier.
The stunning view from our room in Napier.

I wish I could link to our place in Japan, except that they are currently not listed with Airbnb. While the location of the apartment building was superb, the price very affordable for Tokyo, and the hosts wonderful to deal with, we did not get the apartment we had requested which made that stay a bit of a disappointment, especially since it was for three months. The kitchen was wonderfully equipped, and the bed was comfortable, but the furniture in the living and dining area was not. There was also no balcony (highly unusual in Japan) so we always had to dry our clothes indoors (we were thankful to have a washing machine though).

Our bright, sunny, and extremely comfortable room in Wellington – I was sick for a day and this was a serene place to rest and recuperate. We also had a huge, deluxe bathroom and breakfast was provided in the morning.
Our apartment in Perth was very comfortable and in a great location – just a 10-minute walk one direction to the station to ride into downtown Perth, or catch the Indian-Pacific for our journey across Australia. Ten minutes in the other direction took us to a grocery store, great shops and restaurants.
The Perth apartment had a fantastic kitchen including a washer AND dryer, much appreciated after our India tour and Hong Kong stay.
Our Sydney apartment in the vibrant Potts Point neighborhood was a short walk to the train station, and a fairly easy walk from the harbor as well. We would stay here again in a heartbeat!

Overall we have had a great experience using Airbnb, saved quite a bit over staying in hotels, and met some truly wonderful people along the way. If you haven’t used them before, I strongly recommend giving Airbnb a try. Michael and Debbie Campbell’s (The Senior Nomads) book, Your Keys, Our Home, is a great overview on how to make the most of an Airbnb experience, from choosing a house or room to interacting with the host to how to be a great guest.

The inviting entry to our Auckland backyard cottage.
I don’t think we were ever so happy to check into an Airbnb as we were when we arrived at the one in Auckland. After an exhausting day of driving we so appreciated this comfortable and peaceful room.

Below are the links to the Airbnb homes and rooms we stayed in on Part II of our Big Adventure:


Beside our room and sparkling clean bathroom, our stay in Rotorua also included a large breakfast in the morning, freshly prepared by our hosts.

New Zealand:

We were surrounded by nature at the Mangorei Airbnb. The house had decks on three sides, with gorgeous natural views from each one, including a view of the ocean in the distance. Breakfast was provided, and we greatly enjoyed chatting with the host, George – a very interesting man!
Our three nights in the Sellwood Airbnb studio were the perfect way to decompress after our long journey from Japan.


Although we’ve enjoyed some of our Airbnb rentals more than others, we have yet to have a bad experience. We like having our own place with a kitchen, where we save by preparing most of our own meals, and also like getting to know the neighborhoods. We’ve made friends with a few of our hosts as well, another added benefit to traveling with Airbnb. Finally, Airbnb offers $40 off your first booking with them if you spend more than $75 – just go to the site and set up an account and start looking for a place to stay!


12 thoughts on “Homes On the Road, Part II

  1. I’m hoping at some point to be able to travel via AirBnB as well! I’ve stayed in several and they’ve been great. I also had a wonderful time on an AirBnB experience in Mendoza, Argentina.


    1. We’ve really had a great time staying in different houses and apartments, and we love getting to know the different neighborhoods where we’ve stayed – I think that’s one of the best parts about using Airbnb, along with the friendships we’ve made with some of our hosts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just hosted my first Airbnb couple. Nice experience! Coming up in about a week, a true test: 2 weeks of one couple. They sure have rave reviews so hoping it will be fun.
    Your places all look great.


    1. I think your house would be a dream Airbnb location! Do you serve breakfast or ??? I’m sure you’ll have a great time with the couple that’s coming – it’s not like they’ll be hanging around the house all day (hopefully).

      We had wonderful rentals and rooms this year, and are greatly looking forward to the place we’re staying in England too.


  3. I will definitely try AirBnb for my upcoming big vacation in the US. I have booked hotel rooms but, the reservations can be cancelled. Thanks for sharing your good experiences.


    1. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by Airbnb if you haven’t used them before. You’ll have to make your own bed in the morning, but you can save by fixing some of your own meals (especially breakfast). Will you have a car? If not, look for homes that are near public transportation in the places you’re visiting. We don’t need a car where we are this summer, but next December we’ll definitely have to have one – it’s in a great location but not particularly near anything in Portland.


  4. I appreciate all the links, especially Portland because we’ll be there for a few days in August. A second story probably isn’t the best for August, though that place looks wonderful. Did you have links to your Airbnbs in Europe in another blog post?


  5. I love AirBnB. Like you haven’t had a bad one. Love having an apartment to ourselves with separate lounge and bedroom. Always make sure we have laundry facilities every couple of stays. While we could get cheaper hotels in some places, the rooms are so tiny, we’d not be comfortable and we’d trip over each other. Also we’d have to pay extra to wash our clothes. Not to mention having to eat out for every meal.

    Your post has given me itchy feet.


    1. I think we’ve been very lucky so far in our choices, although we go very carefully through the reviews, comments, etc. before we make a final reservation. Best things to me about Airbnb is having my own kitchen and having a washing machine. Only one place we stayed in did not have one, but the laundromat was close by and convenient so we didn’t mind. Bernadette, in Rotorua, did our laundry for us! After the shock of paying for laundry in Hong Kong we’ll stick with Airbnb, thank you!

      While we’re glad to be settled for the summer, we’ve sort of got itchy feet again too. I was even looking at The Ghan’s website yesterday!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your blog and my DD convinced me to try Airbnb and I’m hooked. My mom and her husband recently moved into independent living, so their guest room is history. The hotels near her are crazy expensive (lakeshore, summer), so I’m doing Airbnb and it’s one of three I have booked in the next three months…it’s my default for any kind of travel now. 🙂 It’s just so much more comfortable than a hotel room. I love having my morning coffee in peace and cooking when I choose to. So far, all great experiences. As you said, I comb over reviews and comments and have had good experiences so far. Some we’ve loved more than others (hello, Sedona!), but overall, a great option.


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