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Hotel vs Airbnb: Who Comes Out on Top?

Today you’ll find out the best option for you when you’re ready to take that dream vacation, hotel vs Airbnb. One of the most important decisions when planning a trip is deciding on a place to stay. Taking some time out to browse the extensive list of properties might be rather tedious, but it could be the make or break of your trip!

Choosing which platform you want to go with – in this case, hotels or Airbnb – will save you a lot of time. The great thing is, that the answer doesn’t have to always be the same. Depending on the nature of your trip or your destination will be a great indicator of what you should go with.

Check out these points before booking a place to stay

  • Is the purpose of the trip for business or pleasure?
  • Which is better for accommodating children?
  • Which is safer when traveling alone?
  • Which is better/cheaper for accommodating groups?
  • How important is having your bed made and provided clean towels every day?
  • Check Airbnb reviews
  • Compare hotels
  • Consider what’s cheaper

Hotels vs Airbnb – Pros and Cons

Hotels are known for being luxurious. When you book a hotel, not only are you paying for the location and comfort, but you’re also paying for the 24hr service. Housekeeping, checking in and out, toiletries… the list goes on!

Hotels are great for short trips and business trips. They’re fantastic for getting in some much-needed relaxation. At the end of the day, who doesn’t like to be pampered?

Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro
Grand Hyatt Rio de Janeiro

Hotel Pros

  • Hotels are usually located in the perfect spot. Whether you’re there for sightseeing, business meetings, or looking to hit up the best bars and restaurants – they’re all a short walk away.
  • Hotels are highly regulated, so everything is pretty much guaranteed. Thanks to the management team and employees, you know exactly what you’re getting when you walk in. This can make you feel safer and much more comfortable.
  • Great customer service is (usually) guaranteed. Having the staff just a phone call away means your concerns and problems will be fixed much more quickly.
  • Hotels are the better alternative when traveling with children. Kids’ entertainment and comfort are well taken care of. Whether it be down to the crib set upon arrival, extra sheets, and towels whenever needed, and even kids’ clubs and theme parks.
  • Convenience is key. If you’re staying in a nice hotel, you’ll more often than not feel pampered. Room service, possible spas, and restaurants, a concierge who arranges tours, cabs, gives you tips on the local sights… whatever it may be, it’s a completely different experience than Airbnb.

Hotel Cons

  • Hotels tend to feel less personal. Granted, you may be able to put in a special request when you book, but usually, all experiences are the same.
  • Hotels are usually more expensive than Airbnb. Unlike Airbnb, it’s not typical for hotels to offer monthly discounts.
  • You miss out on the local experience. When staying in a hotel, you may be giving up a cultural experience. Since hotel chains are virtually the same all around the world, it’s hard to get a true feel of the country you’re in. It’s also much easier to meet locals when sharing an Airbnb.

Of course, this is all relevant to the hotel you choose and the location of your trip. Staying at a hotel can also be budget-friendly if you’re willing to sacrifice some of the amenities and luxuries, but usually, they’re a more expensive alternative.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, traveling in a group, or looking for something unique – hotels may not be the right option for you.

Airbnb vs Hotels – Pros and Cons

The most exciting thing about Airbnb is its variety. With a huge database of places to stay, they’ve pretty much got you covered. From treehouses to tents, to entire beaches and mansions, you’ll always be spoilt for choice.

There isn’t a ballpark for prices. They can range from cheap and basic to cost more than a month’s rent. Airbnbs often cater to large groups traveling together, but it’s also possible to find a decent place to stay when traveling alone too. Airbnb is often run by locals that live on the property or own it.

Te Kahu, Wanaka, New Zealand
Te Kahu, Wanaka, New Zealand

Airbnb Pros

  • Airbnb usually works out a lot cheaper for big groups. Since you have the option to rent entire homes that pay per night and not per person, fees can be split equally through the group. It’s also much more comfortable since you will have the option for a much larger space.
  • You can experience life like a local. If you decide to stay in a shared apartment on Airbnb, it’ll often be filled with other travelers and locals. If you’re a solo traveler, it can also make you feel less lonely. If you have friendly hosts, they’ll be able to provide you with local tips, and may even be up for showing you the local sights.
  • You can feel right at home. Having the option to book a space with a kitchen, living room, etc provides you with a lot more freedom to relax, cater to yourself and enjoy each others’ company.
  • Airbnb can provide special offers. If you’re booking last minute and the host also needs to fill up a space, they may be willing to let you book at a lower price. This all depends on the host, but usually, they’d rather have less money than none at all.

Airbnb Cons

  • Airbnb isn’t regulated. Maybe the biggest con to using Airbnb is the fact there isn’t any manager. That means if you encounter any problems, say for example the shower doesn’t work, you can simply get moved to a new room. You’ll have to contact the host, who isn’t guaranteed to fix the problem during your stay. Airbnb customer service is also available, but they are often known to be unresponsive or not very helpful.
  • Airbnb hosts are just regular people. This may seem like a nice thing when considering personal experiences, but if you’re expecting a hotel service then this place just isn’t for you. They have families, lives, and jobs too, so they’re not available 24/7. You also can’t expect things like room service, housekeeping, shampoo, conditioner, extra towels, etc.
  • You’re always at the mercy of your host. More than likely you’ll book a place with an amazing host. After all, Airbnb hosts rely on positive reviews to run their business. But if you’ve been unfortunate to book somewhere with a host who is not too nice, then you can have quite a bad experience. There are some hosts out there, believe it or not, that claim their guests have caused damage, had noise complaints, or have been all-around bad sports. They try to charge the guests a high fee after their stay as compensation, so it usually has to be taken up with Airbnb’s customer service. The hosts also can also cancel stays the day before you’re planning on arriving. So it is always important to check the reviews!

So, Airbnb or Hotels?

As you can see, there are many pros and cons to both Airbnbs and hotels. Your decision will most likely vary based on where you’re going, why you’re going, and your budget. To help you decide, here’s a little summary:

Hotels are a good choice if you’re looking for a catered and comfortable experience. Convenient for business trips and families.

Airbnbs are a good choice if you want to save money but also looking for a unique, private stay or a shared accommodation with the locals. Great for group travels and experiencing life like a local.

Whichever you decide to go with, make sure you always travel safely and respectively.

Happy travels!