[Update: Winner Announcement]

Thank you so much for your comments! Airbnb has chosen the winner! And it is… Jeng jeng jeng jeng… Hunster! Congratulations! Please send an email to cheeserland@gmail.com to redeem your coupon code by 15th March.  It expires on 30th June 2014, but can be used for any travel dates. On how you can use a travel coupon, please refer to this link.

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Australia is one of danna’s favorite countries (besides Japan of course) because of the perfect environment for family living annnnnnnd also the sea and waves. We went there during CNY break for a two-weeks holiday, not for sight seeing but to get a feel of how it is like to live in Australia. Who knows one day we may really relocate there.

So instead of the usual hotel stay, we tried many different types of accommodations this time. Sometimes we save, sometimes we splurge. It was really spontaneous and quite fun!

 

Hotels

The first night in Gold Coast we stayed at QT Gold Coast. Good hotels are always comfortable, but of course $$$$$$

 

Campervan

We tried it last year, it was quite an experience. This year, although we didn’t plan to sleep in a mobile throughout, we rented a smaller campervan sleeper just in case can’t find a good accommodation.

Considering i really needed some roomy space for comfort, it was honestly quite the last resort. The car we got was quite old and basic.

Setting up our house.

Our neighbor lol.

 

Motel

When we got sick of the car, we just drove to the nearest motel near the beach and have tacos and iPad movie party.

 

Homestay

We are also super lucky to have two Japanese family friends in Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast who hosted us for a few nights, (and cooked us rice and miso soup which we craved so badly) and experienced how true local lived in Australia.

They have a huge house in the suburb and every time we go we get to eat home made pizza

 

Sara chan making pizza dough

Their special Negi-Miso recipe!

Yums!

 

Airbnb

A few nights we stayed over in accommodations booked via Airbnb. If you haven’t already known, Airbnb is a portal where you could find (and rent out your own) lodging including private rooms, entire apartments, castles, tree houses, igloos, even private islands and other properties.

When i looked through the website there were tons of lodging in Australia where we wanted to stay. It was my first time using the service and i was really impressed by the amount of choices i have, and how popular it is. Some of the hosts receives more than a hundred comment/reviews.

Some hosts rent out private rooms for guests at a fraction of the cost you would pay for a normal hotel room. If i were younger, not pregnant and were traveling with friends, i would have loved to try it out but this time the danna and i wanted some privacy, so we splurged on two entire apartments/house for ourselves:

ByronBay Holiday Home

In ByronBay, we rented this little house surrounded by vast nature for a little quite retreat.

The hosts (a friendly Australian couple) stay just next door in a separate building, so while we have our complete privacy, it’s also very convenient if we need anything during our stay.

There’s only one bedroom so it’s meant for couples like us who want some relaxing time.

The living room is huge.

And it has an amazing veranda that overlooks endless greenery.

And two day beds you can relax outdoor.

Went to the nearest supermarket and and cooked some simple food for a home party.

The hosts obviously love the nature so much they build a little sanctuary to house strayed little baby wallabies. She gave me a tour and showed me one of the babies she rescued.

The Byron beach is just 5 minutes away from the house, and there was where the danna surfed with the dolphins.

 

Sunshine Coast Beach House

The other accommodation we booked via Airbnb is a 2-storey beach house resort.

It’s a little too big but hey we aren’t complaining XD

It has a super spacious living room upstairs, and you get to rent free DVDs from the management office and watch all day long.

Dining area at the balcony overlooking the ocean

Bedroom.

And also a pool!!

We stayed for 3 nights so everyday it’s the beach, BBQ at the pool, and then DVD at night.

Danna’s lunch while i swim.

Breakfast by the pool again!

And off to the beach.

 

If you are in for a little adventure and something new (whether you wanna save money or splurge on the luxurious), you can book for accommodation via Airbnb for your next vacation, (or even list your own unused space to earn some $$!!)

My experience with both the accommodations was excellent, and i’m quite excited to use the Airbnb again in my next travel to other countries and see what they have to offer.

A quick search at my fav cities:

Santorini. I wanna go back already!!

And for those of you who always complain that Tokyo hotels are too expensive:

Crazy cheap or what!! Now still got excuse to tell me no money go Japan? lol

Of course i advice you to spend lots of time doing research on the places you wanna visit, when you browse through the accommodation, there’s a Google map on the left and will show you exactly where it is, and you can also navigate  around the place you wish to stay, super convenient!

If you are worried about safety and security, All guests and hosts verify their IDs by connecting to their social networks and scanning their IDs, and you also get to private message the host directly to get to know more about them (likewise, they may ask you questions to know more about their guests). I have texted about 10 hosts before i finalized our two lodging, all of them replied promptly, although some accommodations were not available on the nights i requested.

I recommend reading through their profiles and go with those with many positive reviews!

 

Excited to try out Airbnb for your next vacation yet?? Here’s the best part! Airbnb is offering all Cheeserland readers a chance to win RM 500 worth of travel coupon to book your next holiday accommodation, all you need to do is:

1. Sign up using this referral link – www.airbnb.com/c/ctan21
Every one of you who sign up using this link will receive USD 25 credited on your first trip with Airbnb. And when you make your first travel, i too get a USD25 credit. And similarly you will also earn travel credits by referring your friends! More details on the FAQ site.
2. Browse around Airbnb site.
Find your favorite accommodation in the city you wanna go, and maybe tell me your favorite listing by leaving the link.
 
3. Leave a comment with your favourite listing and why you want to visit the city/ country.
One winner will be chosen on Monday, March 10th at 10am Malaysia time. Open to international readers. the retail value of prize is RM 500. (terms and conditions: one coupon per reservation only and coupons are one-time-use. expires in two years)

If you have already signed up before, you are also eligible to participate if you just leave a comment of the url of the listing and why you’d like to travel. Just leave a comment here and i’ll pick one that gives the most interesting answer 🙂

Good luck and happy browsing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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