We are renting our house in Sweden, out in the forest, next to a lake where families can enjoy what nature has to offer. While children usually have everyday access at home to TV, smartphones, game consoles etc. I think it's perfect if they also have a break once for a while. That's why we have decided not to have a TV at our place and for our children.
It really bothers me, that AIRBNB thinks a TV is necessary to become the Family Connection Batch.
What are your opinions about this?
Further I think requiring a TV is also a bit old fashioned. Since people often bring their own ipads, notebooks and so on along with them and can watch netflix, youtube…
I never even use the TV in a hotel room. I want to be out and about doing stuff, but if I am relaxing in the room, I read a book or stream something on my iPad rather than flicking through endless channels of stuff that I don't really want to watch.
What really annoys me is that in most of the hotels I stay in for my work trips, the TV is on when you check into the room. It doesn't matter how late you check in, housekeeping have been instructed to turn it on when they turnover the room hours and hours earlier. Imagine that in room after room of a big hotel. What a needless waste of energy. Are most people too useless to turn on a TV themselves if they want to?
@HumaI have never entered a hotel room to discover a tv left on. Of course, I do not go into all that many hotels, but I would have noticed, since I do not watch tv. I wonder if leaving the tv on is a brand new thing or if it is a regional/cultural thing?
It does sound like an incredible waste of energy!
I whole heartily agree with you conjure, that haveing no TV etc can be a whole new experience for the modern child.
My interaction with my seven year boy was transformed by virtue of the fact his iPad was away in the repair shop for two weeks.
I’d forgotten a how curious a seven old childs mind can with the endless “why questions”, and with would I prefer “to bitten by a dog or a lion” and similarly questions of the same ilk.
My niece is now nine, but has been begging for an iPad since she was six. Well, she's stopped begging now because she has realised she's not going to get one! She is allowed limited play time with her parents' iPads or laptops, but not one of her own. She has always been allowed to watch TV, but again, in limited doses.
Instead, she has pursued her creativity. She reads and writes a lot. She has been taken to the theatre and ballet since she was very small. She goes to dance classes, theatre clubs, choir and is learning to play the violin. This Saturday, I will go to see her perform in a professional theatre for the first time. Whatever she chooses to do in life, surely she will take more from that than from endless TV shows.
@Huma @Cormac I was trying to call my 16 year old grandson for his birthday but wasn't getting a connection. I phoned the house phone and he told me his iphone, which he constantly had his attention turned to, was stolen. I asked him if he was saving up for a new one. He said no, he didn't want one anymore. He said after being without it for a few days, he realized how much of his short life he had totally wasted being glued to it. Now he's gotten really interested in sewing (his mom has a machine and sews a lot) and has been making tons of stuff, plus doing a lot more drawing, which he used to do obsessively when he was young, and is very talented at.
I had a guest whose profession is monitoring electromagnetic waves in people's homes and businesses and offering solutions for mitigating them. He told me about the scientific evidence of what staring at these devices for hours on end actually does to the brain, and it's not good.
No, I'm sure it's not good. My generation has been using mobile phones since our 20s, but we were not so obsessive about them then as there was nothing you could do on them except call and text! Also, they were expensive to use. I remember with my first one, which was like a brick, I ran out of credit half way through the month and then could only take incoming calls :)
Now, I don't know how many times a day I look at that little screen, but it's too many, and I am the least techie of all my friends and colleagues. Then there's the laptop, the iPad etc. etc. think I finally have to admit defeat and go for at eye test as I don't have the 20:20 vision I've been fortunate to have enjoyed my whole life.
At least we did not start staring at those screens in our childhood and I'm glad. I also think it's right that my nine-year-old niece does not have a phone. I know that some parents feel it's essential for safety but many parents managed to keep their kids safe before the invention of mobile phones!
Your nephew sounds amazing. I can't imagine most 16 year olds opting not to have an iPhone! Is he planning on being a fashion designer, by the way?
@Huma Not sure if he's making clothes, or what. (So far he's not shown much interest in any career path). Other than the iphone thing, he's an average 16 year old- arguing with his parents and telling them everything that's wrong with them and their lifestyle, nagging about how he needs to use the car when he's been told there's something wrong with it and it has to go to the mechanic before anyone drives it around, hanging out with his girlfriend, complaining that there's nothing to eat, when there's a fridge full of food :-) But he does have a pretty insightful, wise side that comes out on some occasions.
Hope you said "dog", @Cormac.
Agree with everyone about no TV being no problem. Don't worry too much about not being in the Family Collection, @Philipp. I am not - even have "not safe or suitable" ticked because there is no way I can childproof a 10-ft platform or a riverbank or the woods - and even so I get parents/grandparents with children. Nice children who like to camp and who are delighted with the platform, riverbank and woods. None have fainted dead from lack of TV. None of the parents were using the "family collection" filter. I wonder if many even do.
I don't know about the family market as my listing is not geared towards it and I don't accept any guests under 18.
However, I think you are right that having a TV is quite old fashioned these days for a lot of people. I have one in a lovely living room together with a TV subscription package, plus Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, a DVD player and loads of DVDs and even a video cassette player! I'd say around 1-2% of my guests have used the TV and even those have only used it once during their stay. I never use the TV anymore either.
Then again, the only younger children that I know, such as my nine-year-old niece and her friends, do actually watch the TV regularly, whereas perhaps older kids/teenagers use their devices.
You are right, there is no way this should be a requirement set by Airbnb in order to qualify for Family Connection Batch, the guests should be able to choose whether or not they want to book a unit that doesn't have one.
Some folks may even be glad to find a TV free zone; perhaps 'worse' than having no TV, when we first put our apartment up we had an issue with the Wifi which the provider failed to connect before our first guests arrived. Major panic on our part, we had made a huge efort wth the flat and this was not a good start - we managed to get a portable device so the guests would have something and when the first family arrived I quietly took one of the parents aside to explain the situation and in fact they were realy pleased and said it would be great to have some family time without the kids being buried in their tablets, quietly pocketed the dongle we had bought and then announced to the kids (to tears and moans) there was no internet and they should get out the board games and cards we had provided. We offered everyone compensation and it was the same thing for the next to 2 family groups before we finally got connected but they all had a great time and said they had much more fun without.
My mum has a little place by the sea in South West France and has finally agreed to let us offer it to guests but remains adamant that she doesn't need wifi or TV and that people will have to make do with the local café if they need it urgently. It's a battle I am not going to win, so I'm going to make a feature of it being a true retreat from the pressures of daily life, make sure there are plenty of books, games and hobby kits for painting etc and am starting to believe it will work fine, even if it does rule out a certain number of people.
I will certainly air my thoughts with Airbnb that a TV should not be a firm requirement but rather an optional extra that hosts should decide about.
@Rob My internet is limited and metered- no unlimited, always-on connection. I make this clear in my lisiting, and guests can go to any one of 200 restaurants or cafes in town and use it to their heart's content. I've found that many of my guests have their own cell-based data plan on their phone (cell signal is strong where I live), and don't even need to connect to my Wifi, although some do, which is fine with me, they just can't stream stuff, watch Netflix, etc. Some of my guests have told me they were actually happy that the Wifi at my place wasn't unlimited- that they spend way too much time on it at home, it's addictive, and appreciated being forced by the circumstances to read those books they'd been meaning to get around to, go for walks, etc.
But you do have to make it really clear in your listing that there's no, or limited Wifi, and reiterate it when the guest books, as many people now just take it for granted and could leave a bad review if they haven't been asked to acknowledge the situation and that it's okay with them.
I'm totally in agreement with Phillip. We do not offer a TV and as result do not meet the Family Collection criteria. Ironically, we frequently recieve positive guest feedback about the lack of TV. The families we have hosted have enjoyed NOT having it. We stock the house with board games, books, etc and believe that it actually is MORE family friendly to not have the television. It would be nice if there were other criteria involved when qualifying for the Family Collection.
I have TV at home, but no body watch it. I prefer no TV with guests sharing rooms in a house. Current days, most people use laptop or smart phones. Unless there is an entire house for rent, TV might be needed.