Following the recent rise in popularity of Airbnb over the last few years, deciding whether to stay with a host in their property or instead check in with a hotel, is a question often asked by travellers looking for somewhere to stay. And as travel comes back into full swing this summer, choosing accommodation is usually one of the hardest decisions of the trip. There are of course pros and cons of both types of stay, and we’ve outlined the differences below:
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb was originally established to connect people that wanted to rent out their private property (known as hosts) with those looking for somewhere to stay short-term. Over the years, the popularity of Airbnb has boomed, and these private rental rooms have popped up in almost every city around the world.
One of the biggest pros of staying in an Airbnb is that the experience is often more personal. You’ll likely not only meet the host during your stay, but they’ll be on hand to answer any questions you might have about the local area – including recommendations on where to go, eat, and drink. For those who want to live like a local during their stay, renting out an Airbnb is a great choice to get a feel of a place, usually outside of the more touristy spots.
However, following the rise in longer-term stays on Airbnb, guests that want to stay for just a shorter period might end up paying more than a hotel. This is because hosts can decide their own prices for the property, including a surplus charge for cleaning fees, alternate prices for weekend stays, and an additional cost for more guests. Unlike a hotel that will typically offer a 24hr check-in, picking up your keys for an Airbnb is sometimes also a bit of a minefield, especially if you’re dealing with a delayed flight.
How do hotels compare to Airbnb?
One of the original forms of accommodation abroad, staying in a hotel on holiday is just as popular as it once was for a variety of reasons.
Unlike an Airbnb, what you see is what you get with a hotel. Often, the photos of an Airbnb property might look a little different than in real life, and since the majority of these places are from local hosts, there’s a chance you might not like the area you’re staying in. On the other hand, hotels are usually located in tourist hot spots that are well-connected to the surrounding areas and genuinely considered safer for travellers. Hotels also follow a pretty fixed pricing system (without needing to pay any extras like a cleaning fee) and some chains offer reduced rates for keyworkers, like this Premier Inn discount code for the NHS.
While hotels are genuinely a safer bet price-wise and for those who want to remain more on the touristy side of the tracks, travellers often find that they don’t offer enough room for longer stays or bigger parties. An average Airbnb will come with a bedroom and a bathroom, a kitchen and a larger living space. For families or big groups holidaying abroad, the lack of space in a hotel can sometimes be more limiting than with a private rental apartment.
Different accommodation, different stays.
Whether you choose to stay in an Airbnb or at a hotel ultimately depends on what sort of holiday you want to have, and how you like to travel and experience the place you’re staying in. Both have their pros and cons – it’s just deciding what’s the most important factor for you and your group.