We stayed at an Airbnb in Sainte-Marie, Martinique while we were visiting for the Martinique Surf Pro. Budget nightly rate, basic (but sufficient) accommodation and dozens of great reviews. What could go wrong? Well, hundreds of mosquito bites, several power outages, and an unreachable/unresponsive host. At least the garden is pretty, though.
Typically, our travel destinations are determined by surf competition locations. This Caribbean getaway was no exception! We came to Martinique for the Martinique Surf Pro which Shaun competed in. The contest was held at a remote point break in Basse-Pointe, on the northern end of the French West Indies’ island of Martinique. The northern half of the island is rugged with jungle and rocky cliffs, sprinkled with tiny towns every few miles.
Airbnb has been a travel lifesaver for us! For instance, we’ve been to a handful of tiny towns for a surf contest that only offer one or two hotel options within dozens of miles. Or (more commonly), when we visit a tourist-popular city (think: Paris, Sydney, Tokyo), all of the decent hotels are all ridiculously out of our price range. We used Airbnb in every country we’ve visited so far: up and down Australia’s east coast, before/after our campervan reservation in New Zealand, in villas while in Bali Indonesia, in the heart of Tokyo and out in Japan’s countryside, down the Atlantic coast of France and in the center of Paris, as well as for our quick trip to Spain. I’ll be honest — some Airbnb accommodations have been better than others. We’ve stayed in a fabulous penthouse, but we’ve also seen cockroaches. I’ll break down the good, the bad and the ugly, and ultimately, why I highly recommend using Airbnb!
If you know me, you know I’m a planner. I plan ahead, I organize, I schedule. I have flights and hotels booked (at least) several weeks, hopefully months ahead of time. I spend hours researching routes and airlines and prices to the point of Shaun exclaiming to just book one already! That being said, the last 48 hours have been a whirlwind. Our itinerary has shifted from flying home to California in a week, to instead flying to Tokyo in 3 days.
32 days and 3,000 miles later, we returned our camper van! I’m sort of in disbelief that I just lived an entire month in a vehicle. I had doubted my own stamina to endure such a long time living in a van, feeling confident we would have had to get an Airbnb or at least a motel room a few times to break up the month… Nope! I have survived the month long road trip, loyal to the camper van.