Which one should you choose?
When booking a vacation, this could be a daunting question – especially if you don’t know the differences and you’re not sure what each has to offer. Below I’ve outlined hotels vs airbnb – the pros and cons, which should make your decision a little bit easier.
Airbnb has a wide variety of places to choose from. If you want to rent a beach hut in Phuket Bora Bora or a house in the forest in Brazil or sharing a place with someone in New York – Airbnb has it all.
Airbnb works well for groups as well as solo travellers. It can range from the basic of the basic to the fanciest of the fancy. The accommodation is usually rented out by someone that lives in the property or owns it.
Pros of Airbnb
- It’s cheaper/more budget-friendly than a hotel. You will get a lot more amenities with Airbnb than you will in a hotel. There are also weekly and monthly discounts – so if you plan on staying long term, you won’t find a better deal.
- You can negotiate the prices. You will be dealing with the host directly (unlike with hotels) so you will be able to ask the host if they can meet your lower budget. This works best when you are booking last minute because it will be more of a win-win. You get your lower price and the host doesn’t lose out on an unfilled vacancy.
- You will have your own space. 99% of the time the accommodation will come with a fully furnished place, with a full kitchen and living room. You won’t have to buy anything and will be able to cater to yourself or your group almost immediately.
- You can choose between renting the entire place or renting only a room in someone else’s place and pay by night and not per person.
- It’s less lonely if you are a solo traveller. You can opt to stay at a local’s home for the first part of your trip where you’re sure to get some good local tips and even make some friends. Instead of staying in a hotel with other travellers, you can stay in an apartment building with locals – feels more authentic!
Cons of Airbnb
- Airbnb customer service isn’t great. When there is a problem, it’s difficult to get a response from Airbnb. And when you do get a response, it’s usually not one that’s solving your problem. A hint is to tweet them @airbnbhelp
- Airbnb hosts are not hotel owners. They are not at your beck and call. You can’t expect all the things that you would get at a hotel – the room service, for them to come out and get you more of something.
- Airbnb is not quite as regulated as hotels. You won’t be able to contact a manager, and the only people you can contact are the Airbnb hosts themselves.
Tips for booking on Airbnb:
- Look for ‘Superhosts’ – they have to meet strict Airbnb requirements which include responding to messages within 24 hours, and completing a specific amount of stays within the past year.
- Read the reviews. You can even search for specific things you want reviews on in the review section. You can always get a good idea of the place by seeing what previous guests have to say about it.
- Research the neighbourhood. Check out what there is to do and if it’s a place that you will feel safe in.
- Message the hosts before you book. To get a feel for your host, send them a message beforehand. If you’ve been in contact with them before meeting them in person, it can make things more comfortable (if you plan on sharing the place with them.)
As the trusted choice for many travellers, there are some things you should know about hotels to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Pros of Hotels
- Customer service is great. Because they are in the service of hospitality, you should expect the service to be great. They will always have someone working at the front desk should you have any problems.
- It’s very regulated. You will feel like you are in ‘safer’ hands as they have employees as well as management teams.
- The amenities.
- Everything is quite guaranteed with hotels. You know what you are getting and the hotel team makes it their duty to see to it.
- They are a better alternative when travelling with children. Staff are more willing and capable of helping you with your family’s needs. Be it extra beds or sheets – they can help.
- You will feel pampered and well taken care of. You will have hotel staff answer your every question, they can even arrange tours for you and give you some tips on good sights and foods. The hotel might even have their own restaurant and gym.
Cons of Hotels
- It’s more expensive. You are not likely to get a weekly or monthly discount, and you won’t get very far trying to negotiate prices.
- Cleanliness. In hotels, more people have used that toilet seat, slept in that bed, and hung around in that same room than in an Airbnb. Hotels hire staff to clean hotel rooms and check that everything is up to standard, but they have way more people in and out of the rooms than Airbnb.
- There aren’t any real personal touches. And while staying at an Airbnb, you are likely to get invited for some local outings, hotel rooms won’t offer that.
If you enjoyed this Hotels vs Airbnb pros and cons post and you are looking for a trusted website to book hotels and accommodation, check out Booking.com. You can also check out these posts on Seven Advantages of Travelling Solo and 31 Genius Ways to Travel on a Budget.
Hotels vs Airbnb pros and cons post.