Airbnb or hotel? It’s a question many travellers ask. Each has their pros and cons, so how do you decide on which one to choose when travelling?
Travellers who choose hotels do it because it’s part of the whole travel experience. Hotels offer Big beds, beautiful washrooms, and of course housekeeping. There’s no doubt that you’ll be well rested and relaxed after staying at a hotel.
Airbnb gives travellers different options since you can rent a shared room, private room, or entire place. The lower price is the biggest draw, but you’re also getting a more local experience since you’ll be living like a local.
What you end up deciding on is really up to you, each one offer it’s own pros and cons.
Price – Saving money is the most obvious advantage of Airbnb, compared to a hotel you can save anywhere from 25-50%. Airbnb does offer weekly rates which can help you save ever more money. Cleaning and service fees do need to be factored in, but even with those added charges, you’re still getting good value.
Local experience – When you stay with Airbnb you’re getting a local experience. Hosts are locals that’ll be able to recommend restaurants and bars that they visit, not some place that’s popular with tourists. They’ll also be able to recommend you some places to check out that aren’t found in guide books.
Amenities – Unlike hotels, Wi-Fi is always free with Airbnb. Since many Airbnb apartments have a full kitchen, guests can cook their own meals if they so desire. I’ve even had hosts loan me bikes so I could explore the city in a different way. The best thing about all these amenities is that they’re free with Airbnb.
I’ve stayed with Airbnb all around the world and safety has never been an issue. Through Airbnb you can check the online reputations of hosts and contact them before making a booking.
Convenience – Hotels are flexible with their check-in times, they have staff available around the clock, the concierge will be able to assist you in any way, and who doesn’t like having their room cleaned and bed made every day. Many hotels also offer a no-fee cancellation policy as long as you give them 24 hours notice.
Dining options – You won’t even need to leave your hotel if you’re looking for a place to eat or drink since most hotels have an on-site restaurant, a lobby bar, and room service. This might not sound like a perk to the casual traveller, but for many people, hanging out at a hotel bar or restaurant is a fun and trendy thing to do.
Amenities – Many of the best pools in the world are hotel pools, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that some travellers are still choosing hotels. Hotels have also started to build much better fitness centers to attract the active traveller. Smartphones and laptops are pretty common these days but many business travellers still enjoy using the hotel business center.
A good hotel experience can be hard to match, it can even create travel memories that last a lifetime. There’s no doubt that hotels offer incredible service, you’ll just need to budget more for your vacation if you go this route.
So Airbnb or hotel, have you decided? The truth is, you don’t need to stick with one or the other. Whenever I travel, I factor in costs, location, and convenience before making a decision. Some trips I’ve leaned more towards hotels, while on other occasions I’ve used Airbnb exclusively. On my recent trip to Japan, I actually used both options and had great experiences at each location.