Hotel or AirBNB – Which Should You Choose?
We love hotels. We also love AirBNB’s. It’s honestly nice to know that we have so many options when it comes to accommodations on our vacations.
There are pros and cons for hotels & AirBNB’s. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding where to stay:
People’s taste differ and quality is relative. If you have always preferred 5-star luxury hotels, you may have a hard time staying in someone’s spare bedroom with AirBNB.
Seasoned travelers know that some hotels can be really nice, some are older but clean, and some are total dumps. I have stayed in all three! Sometimes, your options are limited at 1 a.m. on a long road trip.
All of our AirBNB experiences have been wonderful. Our hosts were nice and accommodating. Our rooms/homes were spotless. However, I have heard stories of some hosts lacking in the cleanliness department. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions in regards to the cleanliness of the home or room (how often sheets are washed and the home is cleaned) if you are concerned.
Research the hotel and/or AirBNB photos, reviews, and location. These will help you determine which is best for you.
AirBNB can cost significantly less than a hotel. Hosts have less overhead than hotels and can offer rooms or an entire home at a lower price. Many AirBNB’s offer a full kitchen or a small kitchenette which can help in saving money in food costs.
I love that all of AirBNB’s costs are presented to you up front. You know exactly how much tax you will pay and how much the cleaning fee will be.
Of course, hotels can also be competitive in their pricing and can sometimes end up being a better deal than an AirBNB (this usually depends on the location/size of home). We have even stayed in hotels for free by collecting hotel reward points.
Some people feel weird staying in a stranger’s home. Others love meeting new people and prefer to stay somewhere with a more home-y feel.
AirBNB also seem to be the favorite choice for introverted people. Some people prefer the consistency and predictability of hotels. Others enjoy the adventurous aspect of AirBNB.
Hotels seem to win when it comes to privacy. On the other hand, we have rented entire homes/condos through AirBNB and had tons of privacy.
It really boils down to your personal preferences.
- AirBNB is great for those who want to stay off the beaten path or in areas where there are no (or few) hotel properties.
- Or, sometimes hotels can be far away from your destination (or family or friends you might be visiting), but you might can find and AirBNB in your desired location.
- In cities where hotel prices are very high because of where they are located, AirBNB can sometimes be a more affordable option – and still be in a great location.
The nice thing about hotels is that they are everywhere (well, almost everywhere) and there are usually several of them in large cities. This gives you many options and they are usually centrally located to restaurants and attractions.
Size of Travel Party
Our extended family has taken several vacations together. We have gotten individual hotel room on some trips. On other trips we have shared an entire home with AirBNB, HomeAway, and VRBO. Honestly, we like both.
I think sharing a home with several people is more fun if you are all “vacation compatible”. If you feel that your travel group needs lots of space/time away from each other, then a hotel might be a better fit for you. Or, if you know your family and/or friends will have a lot of fun sharing a house and spending lots of time together, then an AirBNB might be for you.
Even if you are traveling as a small family of four, you might prefer a a multiple room AirBNB. That way the grown-ups don’t have to sit in a dark hotel room for hours since the kiddos have an early bedtime.
Many hotels offer:
- Free Breakfast- This can help save a lot of money for a family. It’s also nice that you don’t have to cook or do dishes!
- Room Service- It can be so nice to order room service after a long day of sightseeing. And you can eat in your PJ’s.
- Maid Service – I love coming back from a tourist-y filled day to a clean hotel room.
- Indoor/Outdoor Pool – If traveling with children, taking them to the pool wonderful for entertaining them for no extra cost.
- Indoor Gym- This is so convenient for those wanting to keep up with their exercise routine while on vacation.
- Free WIFI – This is always a plus.
Many AirBNB’s offer free WIFI and some have a pool. Some hosts have hot tubs or other rooms available for guests.
AirBNB amenities vary depending on the location and creativity and thoughtfulness of your host. For instance, if you are staying on the beach, your host may offer a wagon and beach toys for you to use during your visit. Some hosts leave kind notes, cookies, bath robes, and/or other thoughtful touches.
AirBNB hosts are required to certain cleanliness and safety guidelines for their guests.
However, AirBNB rooms/homes do not necessarily adhere to the same strict health requirements, inspections, and safety regulations as hotels do.
On the other hand, hotels are legally required to offer safe accommodations for all of their guests. Of course, anyone who has watched the nightly news or Dateline knows that crime can happen anywhere.
Instead of the same ol’ hotel experience, AirBNB offers castles, tree houses, houseboats, and big-city studio apartments. You could find yourself a Yurt, Airstream camper trailer, or a European villa for your vacation.
If you are looking for a unique experience AirBNB is probably the way to do. If you prefer knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into/predictability, then a hotel might be a better fit.
I think the best thing we all can do before a trip is to do lots of research.
Read all the reviews for the hotels and AirBNB’s you are interested in. Some reviews you have to take with a grain of salt (hey, there are some people you just can’t make happy!). But if the reviewers are consistently complaining about how dirty the place is – the place is probably dirty.
You can get $40 off your first stay by signing up through this link HERE. (You will get $40 off your first booking with AirBNB).
Which do you prefer – Hotel or AirBNB? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!
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