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    Airbnb vs Hotel: Which Is Right For You?

    Airbnb vs Hotel: Which Is Right For You?

    When you’re planning a trip for any reason, the lodging and accommodations you choose can make or break it.

    The experience you have largely depends on where you stay, but not everyone is the same when it comes to their preferences.

    Those differences are why you’ll find some pretty enthusiastic fans of renting a home on a site like Airbnb, but then there are also plenty of people who are set on hotels being the better option. The type of accommodation you choose is largely going to be based on your personal needs, your preferences, and the people you’re traveling with.

    To make some general comparisons, below we go over what to know about an Airbnb or similar vacation rental versus staying in a hotel.


    When Airbnb first hit the marketplace, it was pretty typical that it was going to be a cheaper option than staying in a hotel or resort. That’s not true anymore. Because of how popular the site is and how often travelers go with this option, it can end up being more expensive to stay in an Airbnb than a hotel, and sometimes quite a bit more.

    Of course, it all depends on the rental versus the hotel you’re comparing, but you shouldn’t automatically assume an Airbnb is going to be cheaper.

    You’re more likely to find affordable Airbnb options in big cities because there are so many of them, and they have to price them low to compete. Some travelers do find they’re able to negotiate prices with Airbnb owners. That’s something that’s not guaranteed, of course. You can talk to the host directly, and they do have the option to send you a Special Offer.

    You’re most likely to get a host to agree to lower their rates if you’re booking last-minute, and they need to be able to fill the property or otherwise lose out on the money completely.

    Do You Want a Local Experience?

    When you’re planning a vacation in a destination geared towards tourists, there may not be any reason for you to live like a local. If you’re visiting a completely new city, and especially one in a foreign country, that’s not the case. Most hotels, no matter whether they’re in the U.S. or abroad, or in a big city or smaller town, are going to be fairly centrally located. They’re going to give you proximity to popular attractions, restaurants, and potentially nightlife.

    They are not usually located near the things that give a location its local and cultural flair, however. If you’re going to a destination where you’d like to live like a local, you might opt to skip the hotel and instead stay in an Airbnb or similar rental.

    Your Experience as a Customer May Be Better with Airbnb

    When people host their properties on Airbnb, they are beholden to the rating system. That means they’re usually going to go above and beyond to provide the best possible experience for everyone who stays with them. While hotels are supposed to deliver great customer service and experiences, they’re less reliant on reviews, particularly if they’re a big chain.

    Yes, you can go online and leave a review after a bad experience with a hotel, but whether or not they’re going to care depends.

    Hotels aren’t as incentivized to provide the level of service an Airbnb host is. Of course, on the flip side of this, you know what to expect with a hotel. A hotel can feel familiar, especially if it’s a chain you stay with a lot. You know the general level of quality and service you can expect, whereas you don’t have that with an Airbnb or similar rental. Yes, you can go over the home listing and read reviews from past guests, but you have to assume not everyone is going to have the same perspective as you, for better or worse.

    What Type of Trip Do You Want?

    Everyone has different travel styles.

    Some travelers want everything taken care of for them. They want convenience, they want cleaning services every day, and they want to eat at restaurants for every meal. Other people want more of a home-like experience that can also help them save money while they’re actually at their destination. If you want everything done for you and don’t want to feel like you have to lift a finger, you need a hotel or resort.

    If you want to shop at local markets, prepare meals and feel like you’re at home, you may be better suited to an Airbnb rental.

    Who Are You Traveling With?

    If you’re traveling solo, a hotel can give you more than enough room. If you’re traveling as a family, everyone crammed into a hotel room may not be ideal. For example, maybe you have kids who are of different ages and have varying sleep schedules. If you have a teen, they might want to stay up later watching TV or movies and then sleep later the next day, while your younger kids might be on an opposite schedule.

    A home rental allows you to cater to different ages when you travel much better than a hotel room. Even if you splurge for a hotel suite with a separate bedroom, the shared living area can become problematic for group travel.

    An Airbnb Can Feel Lonely

    Some people don’t like home rentals because they feel a little lonely compared to staying in a hotel. When you’re at a hotel, there are people around you, which you may like. You might love people-watching in general. An Airbnb is going to separate you from other people, but then, of course, there are travelers who want this sense of privacy and don’t want to worry about sharing a lobby or walls with people they don’t know.

    There are pros and cons to both options, and you have to ultimately make the decision based on your priorities and what you want your trip to look like.

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    Airbnb vs Hotel: Whi…

    by Tanya Shaw Time to read this article: 14 min