Airbnb, Saving you Money and your Waistline.

I recently returned from a 3 week vacation in Europe with my husband, and aside from the amazing memories and experiences, one thing in particular greatly impacted the experience of the trip--our choice to book an Airbnb house vs a hotel (like we normally do).  Not only did the Airbnb save us money, it saved our waistlines as well!  The on-demand revolution is changing our daily lives in many ways--from Uber to Instacart, our lives continue to get more and more convenient.  Airbnb is no different, they are making travelling easy, safe, cheap and convenient.  You can find Airbnb houses in virtually every city, with a wide range of price options that fit any budget.  But what most people fail to consider when renting an Airbnb, is the benefit of being able to cook your own food and plan your own meals.  Below are a few tips on how to maximize the health benefits of renting an Airbnb on your next vacay:

1. Book an Airbnb that is in either walking distance or bike riding distance of a local market or grocery store--walking or riding a bike to the local store allows you to explore the city, get some exercise and avoid over consuming/buying food while you are at the store.  My philosophy on vacation was "If I can't fit it in my bag and carry it 2-3 miles home or on the back of my bike, then I don't need it."  The great thing about having a local market near you is that you can visit every day for fresh produce, rather than loading up on junk all at one time.  Enjoy the adventure, no need to rush on vacation! 

Ask your host ahead of time if he/she provides bikes with the house.  If they do not provide bikes at the house, ask for a rental recommendation. 

Ask your host ahead of time if he/she provides bikes with the house.  If they do not provide bikes at the house, ask for a rental recommendation. 

2. Research local recipes.  By familiarizing yourself with the local fare, you will know what to buy at the store before you even arrive.  I always try to reinvent the "popular recipes" of the city or country that I am visiting.  This last trip to Mallorca, I reinvented a healthier version of traditional Spanish "Albondigas" (meatballs).  I cut unnecessary fatty ingredients, cook with olive oil or coconut oil, replace starchy carbs with veggies, and lessen the portions when reinventing a recipe.  The goal here is to lighten up recipes...you aren't going to be able to turn every recipe into an award winning body building recipe, but it sure beats going out to dinner, spending a bunch of money and eating unwanted calories.  Experimenting while on vacation can be just as much a cultural experience as dining out! 

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3. Pack snacks for the day.  Airbnb provides you with a home base for whipping up some quick and easy snacks.  Most vacations are filled with activities outside of the hotel room or Airbnb house, but that doesn't mean you need to reach for the first bag of chips or bread you see when hunger hits.  Try to grab some seasonal fruit at the store, lean deli meat, and fresh veggies to make some roll ups.  Wrap those babies in some tin foil, throw them in your bag, and you will be thankful when your stomach starts grumbling on your adventures.

These are just a few simple tips I live by on an Airbnb vacation, but there are so many more.  As you can see, having your own little Airbnb bungalow can be quite convenient in keeping you happy and healthy.  It would be really hard for my husband and I to go back to the old way of doing things--waking up in a hotel room, ordering room service, or going out for every meal and stressing about the calories--there is no need to stress anymore.  Now you can focus on getting the best photos of your Airbnb adventures!