Alabama Airbnb: Last year I worked with my son Eric in creating a super cool Airbnb vacation rental. He attends the University of Alabama, and after living with 4 roommates, he now wanted to live in his own house. If you’ve seen my site before, you’ll know that I love working with Eric and real estate, and he renovated his first condo when he was 19.
At first, I thought he was being illogical. How could he possibly think he could live in a house without roommates–how would he pay the mortgage? Fortunately, Eric had a plan. He knew how packed Tuscaloosa got for game day weekends and he knew that there are far less hotel rooms than the city needs. So, he had an idea to put together a unique University of Alabama themed Airbnb.
It was one of the best ways to be able to live in the house and pay the mortgage. I was proud of the fact that he thought of this great option. Below you’ll see how we went about creating this football themed vacation rental.
Finding the Alabama Airbnb
We started home shopping close to the University. We wanted a convenient location and a good sized home. As soon as he saw this house, he fell in love. It was his dream house and he thought he could make it one of the high performing Airbnb rentals in Tuscaloosa. He loved the way it looked like a historic home, even though it’s not really that old at all (built in 1967). He loves the look of the brick buildings he’s seen at the University of Alabama, and this brick house fits with that look. (Being from Florida, we don’t see too many brick homes, ours are mostly stucco in the Central Florida area). It was also in a great location for him to get to campus.
If he could create one of the most unique Airbnb’s in the area, it could distinguish itself from the vacation rentals in the area. Unique homes are top picks, and prime locations like this one should work really well.
Located just 2 miles from the University of Alabama stadium, it is the perfect place for guests to have easy access to football games and tailgates. I don’t think it’s walking distance (at least not for me) to the stadium, but it’s a very short drive (or Uber ride) for sure.
Eric’s room is the master bedroom, and he leaves this room locked when he leaves property for the rental weekends. The rest of the home is what’s available and dedicated to guests and provides enough room for 6 guests.
The house has approximately 1250 square feet of rentable space. The house is a little over 1550 sq ft, but when we subtract out the master bedroom, it’s around 1250 square feet of space, as well as a large fenced back yard
Here’s what we did to create a unique lodging experience for visitors to the University of Alabama themed Airbnb.
You can get links to the Projects at the Bottom of the Post with Instructions on how to DIY them yourself!
Here’s how the living room looked before. You can see there were some sofas left behind by the sellers and the room looked plain and boring:
Big Al is now the main feature of this room for sure!
The elephant really looks like he’s coming through the wall. It’s a great spot for social media photos for sure.
We added canned lights to the ceiling, repainted a lighter and brighter color, painted the door to reenforce the University of Alabama school colors, added a new light and fan fixture, and put up the Big Al Mural.
There’s a smart TV in the living room, and in both bedrooms as well.
We then created themed rooms in the house, and it was a lot of fun:
Paul “Bear” Bryant Themed Bedroom
Here’s the football themed room before we started. Not bad, but certainly not a unique Airbnb.
This room now features bright colors and the iconic houndstooth pattern that Coach Bear Bryant is known for.
I love the red wall, and the Bear Bryant picture has him in front of the chalkboard with football plays, so we mirrored this feeling in the room by adding the chalkboard walls. You can view the entire creation of this football themed room by checking out my football room post here, or in the “Projects” box below.
We added a full size bed, locker room nightstands, and utilized a coat rack to hang up a houndstooth hat and scarf. It looks like Bear Bryant could walk in at any moment and grab his hat. Guests to the Alabama Airbnb can use the items for social media photos or even to wear to the game, so long as they return them in the same condition.
Bear Bryant quotes line the wall. You can learn how to cricut quotes into a picture frame in the “Projects” section below.
After seeing the picture above, I actually removed the white paper backing so that the cool feature of having the text Cricuted onto the glass really shows through. You can see here how the letters float on the frame. I have a tutorial showing how to do this below in the Projects section.
There’s lots of natural light coming into the room from the large window, but because guests may want to sleep in, there are room darkening blinds and curtains so you can sleep in for sure.
The chalkboard walls with the football plays are meant to get you in the mood for game days. I loved creating this room with Eric and go more into detail on it in this football bedroom post.
University of Alabama Decor
If you’re interested in purchasing some University of Alabama themed decor, please visit my Amazon list of University of Alabama decor items. I love to gather ideas into Amazon shoppable lists so they’re there when I need them. Hopefully it’ll help you too. I am considered an amazon influencer, so I do have to disclose: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. So, if you buy something using one of the links, I may earn a small commission, but it doesn’t change your pricing in any way.
View the list by clicking here
The 1831 Room
The second bedroom also is a themed Airbnb room. This one is modeled after the year the school was established, in 1831. Everything in this room has a more historical feel to it.
Here’s how it looked when we started:
The wall behind the full size bed is now a shiplap wall we installed. There’s a tutorial on that in the Projects section below as well.
Also notice how changing the closet doors from white to black and adding wood frames on the door make them look so much nicer.
The Kitchen at the Alabama Airbnb
We removed the kitchen cabinet set that was above the stove, and this way the kitchen is open to the dining room. It makes for easier interaction with the entire family or group. It’s a large full kitchen.
The kitchen has modern amenities ready for you to use.
It is a fully stocked kitchen in terms of dishware, glassware, silverware, and small appliances.
The older bathroom was renovated, and you can see how amazingly the old yellow tile was updated to bright white. The best part was that it didn’t require demolition and replacement of the old tile, and the quality of work looked fantastic. The full bathroom also received a new and large gray vanity.
Here’s how it looked before renovation for the Alabama Airbnb:
The mirror was updated, as was the lighting. The new vanity and granite countertop are more in line with what an upscale Airbnb deserves. You can see that the black and white shower curtain continue the Alabama feel. I love the University of Alabama red, white, and black combination of colors.
Common areas in the Alabama Airbnb
The walls have wood paneling, which we painted. The dining area is large and has a piano
This is easily one of the coolest Airbnb’s in Tuscaloosa and a great place for a family vacation or game day weekend!
We thought we’d only rent it for football weekend getaway trips, but we have found that other people have rented it for special occasions outside of football games, and it’s been fun to see it rented for various occasions.
The back yard
For me, the back deck patio area is the perfect location for the whole family to gather. There’s not a typical outdoor kitchen, but there is a large grill, seating, and electric lights that set the mood.
Parking at the Alabama Airbnb
The long carport provides for plenty of free parking. Our University of Alabama Airbnb is approved by the City of Tuscaloosa to have 3 cars in the driveway.
We installed a Nest thermostat to control the air conditioning.
We keep an air mattress in the closet for extra guests. I don’t like the idea of sleeping on the air mattress on the floor, so we also purchased foldable bed frames from Amazon that the mattress goes on. Even though the guest may not have a private space like a bedroom, they have a great area of their own in the main house with a comfortable mattress.
To me, the best place for the air mattress is right behind the sofa in the living room. There’s plenty of space there for a bed.
The laundry room in the Tuscaloosa Airbnb has a full size washer and dryer. We keep laundry detergent and dryer sheets there for your use. No need to buy supplies like that when you’re just going for a weekend stay. Also, if you’re like me, you like to wash everything before you go home. You can just get home and unpack after your game day weekend in Tuscaloosa and not have to do laundry at home.
Basic amenities at our Alabama Airbnb
We try to provide everything you’ll need. There’s plenty of toilet paper, soap, shampoo, and conditioner in the bathroom.
Paper towels, sponge, dish soap, are under the kitchen sink, with extras in the pantry.
We also like to try to have different coffee selections for our Airbnb guests. If there’s something in particular you’d like, just let us know.
My favorite part of the Tuscaloosa Airbnb experience
It’s been great to see the excellent rating history that the Game Day Airbnb has received. We are working hard to make it one of the best airbnbs in the area. It’s been wonderful to see Eric working with the City of Tuscaloosa. He has gotten and retained his short term rental zoning approval. He has learned to work with the city in terms of filing monthly reports. These are for calculating and paying the city and state taxes. It’s been a great experience for him. It’s been lots of fun for me with the decorating, and hopefully it’ll be a good investment for his future.
We hope you will come visit the Tuscaloosa Airbnb and agree that it is among the best places you could choose to stay at for your University of Alabama football weekend getaway.
Click on the Images Below to view the Before and After photos in these rooms, and get links to the products and the “how to’s” for these projects.
Check it out and we look forward to your first stay and hope you’ll agree that this is one of the best Airbnb rentals you can find for your perfect game day weekend