I usually like to arrive a day or two early for cruises just in case of unexpected travel delays. For this cruise, we decided to stay a couple of nights in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. I was familiar with the area from previous visits to Seattle, and I had a friend who lived in a neighborhood nearby, so staying in Ballard would make getting together with her easier.
But Ballard is a residential neighborhood, not really a touristy one. The sole hotel in the area was selling rooms for nearly $400 a night! So I turned to AirBnB for a place to stay.
I admit that as an overthinking traveler, I’m a little conflicted about AirBnB. There’s no doubt that the growth of AirBnB has wreaked havoc on some of my favorite cities to visit, such as Barcelona and New Orleans, because people buy properties solely to use them as vacation rentals. This drives up monthly rental prices to an often unbearable level, because daily rental rates are so much higher than their monthly equivalent.
So when I can, I try to find a rental that upholds the original spirit in which AirBnB was founded: People offering up spaces on their property to short-term renters. The trick is, I prefer to have some sort of private space. So I look for properties like Doug and Lori’s, with a private entrance and self-contained space. (Psst: If you’re looking for a place to stay in Seattle, I highly recommend this one!)
We had a blast during our two days in Ballard walking around the neighborhood, with an occasional Lyft to get us to nearby places. We had a delicious breakfast at Portage Bay Café and tried some great local beers at the Ballard Beer Company. When we took a car to the nearby Fremont neighborhood, we tried some excellent flights at Schilling Cider Tap Room and the Fremont Brewing Company.
Our two days went by too quickly, and soon enough it was time to get on the cruise ship. Seattle, we’ll be back!