If you’re ready to plan a beach town vacation with both indoor and outdoor activities, look no further than Galveston Island off the coast of Texas. Less than an hour from Houston, Galveston is affordable and fun. A great way to enjoy the warm Gulf breezes and friendly locals is to rent an Airbnb on the Island. There are hundreds to choose from but not all will meet your needs, so consider your requirements carefully.
The amenities list and owner descriptions are great places to start when choosing lodging, but beware, owners will always try to put the best spin on their rental. Although the majority of owners are truthful, you should always look closely at the details. For example, an Airbnb might list air conditioner as an, and if you live in a home with central air, you might assume that the rental’s system is similar to yours. However, upon arrival, you may discover that the unit uses window units or operates on a solar battery. If strong central air with a thermostat that you control is important to you, make sure you clarify. Some Airbnbs don’t include kitchen privileges, which you might not think to ask about. Don’t assume every unit is going to be a miniature version of a comfortable home. If it’s important to you, ask about it.
There are several ways to focus your Galveston vacation. The Island is only three miles wide at its widest point, and depending on where you rent, it’s quite walkable. Some people may assume a central location is best, but this will tend to put you squarely in a neighborhood that will require a drive to either the beach or the shopping district. If you have small children or plan to carry your own beach equipment, find a rental closest to the Gulf side. If you like to shop and enjoy the nightlife, you might prefer a until closer to the downtown Strand and Post Office Street shopping districts on the harbor side of town. This area will work well if you plan to haul chairs, umbrellas and an ice chest to the beach, as you will have to drive anyway.
Don’t assume your Galveston rental comes with a dedicated parking space. Many locals don’t have driveways or garages and have to park on the street. Some Airbnb owners will have to leave you a short-term parking pass that goes with the unit. This is also something to take into consideration if you will have more than one vehicle or plan to have friends join you for an evening. There are some free parking spaces at the beach and lots of inexpensive hourly parking on Seawall Boulevard. The city uses a parking app that you will need to download onto your smartphone, but it’s quite simple to use once it’s set up.
There are plenty of pet friendly Airbnbs on the Island but be sure to check before you bring Fido. Some units have fenced yards too, but be aware of shared spaces. If the rental is divided into an upstairs and downstairs unit, and you both bring big dogs, you may be competing for yard time. Dogs must be on a leash on the beach, although many people disregard this law. There are several dog parks in town if your fur baby needs space to roam. It might be worth noting whether your rental unit has an outdoor shower to rinse your pets off before bringing them back inside unless you’re willing to pay an extra cleaning fee for the “wet dog” smell.
Many people choose to come to the beach because they love spending time outdoors. Check to see what kind of outdoor space your rental unit has. Some have beautiful second or third story decks to watch the sunrise or sunset from, but they are not necessarily safe for small children. Some patios may be shared with other rental units and could be occupied by merrymakers into the wee hours.
There are so many things to do on Galveston Island. Make sure your vacation is perfect by choosing a “just right” Airbnb for your stay.