how to upgrade your airbnb stay

Do you guys ever stay in Airbnb homes when you travel? I remember my first stay in one several years ago when they were first getting big. My mom booked the cutest apartment on the Upper East Side complete with brick walls, billowing white curtains, and a hot pink couch. Since then, I've stayed in several homes primarily in the New York area. 

What's great about staying at an Airbnb is that it gives you the chance to live more like a local and have a more homey experience in whatever city you happen to be visiting. But, we all love the amenities that hotels provide, right? Luckily, there are a few simple ways to make your vacation rental feel upgraded.

Sheet Spray
It sounds so high-maintenance to say it, but I rarely go anywhere without my sheet spray. It's just an easy way to add a little something extra no matter where you're staying on your trip. Plus, they're so easy to make at home! Grab a small, metal spray bottle and fill with equal parts water and vodka (I promise your sheets won't smell like a drunken night out). Add about 30 drops of your favorite essential oil and mix well. I suggest lavender oil, but lately I've also enjoyed fresh linen scents.

Travel Candle
At home, I always have a candle burning so taking one with me on a trip is a foolproof way to make a space feel homey. Of course, you're probably not going to pack a full-size Byredo candle in your carry-on. Instead, pack a small travel candle to light when you arrive at your rental. Brands like Cowshed and Tocca have a great selection of affordable, mini-candles for this purpose.

Fresh Flowers
Chances are, your rental has something that can function as a vase (cup, bowl, an actual vase, etc), so why not liven up the room with a bouquet of fresh flowers? Once you've arrived, head out to a nearby market or bodega to pick out an easy arrangement. 

Go to Market
While you're out collecting flowers, pick up a few things from the market to stock the kitchen. I suggest getting a few little things for breakfast, bottled water, and a few pieces of fresh fruit for snacks. For a treat, pick up a few small desserts like macarons, eclairs, or little cookies from somewhere like the Whole Foods hot bar. I remember my parents doing this when we were in D.C. once and it was the best surprise!

Unpack Neatly
Instead of living out of an unruly suitcase, try to unpack your things if space permits. Even if you're just there for the weekend, unpacking your clothes and setting out your accessories really makes a place feel like home. Plus, it tends to keep things neater and thus more relaxing.