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Hotel vs AirBnB: Comparing Cost, Convenience, & More

With COVID concerns across the country, people are traveling all over, making up for the lost time. Anyone who’s been to an airport in 2022 knows things are heating up. 

For everyone bit by the travel bug, the perfect place to stay will look different. 

Hotels and AirBnB are your two best options for overnight accomodations. Which one is the right one for you?

Cost

Most people are on a limited budget when planning a trip. Thrifty travelers aim for that perfect balance of quality and affordability. 

Hotels have the perception of being more expensive, but does that still stand true?

When AirBnB arrived on the scene in 2011, it seemed the perfect answer to costly hotels. Travelers could find rooms, houses, and apartments ranging as low as $50-$150, giving it a clear price advantage. Over the last decade, however, those costs have gone up.

When searching for rooms via AirBnB, users will find prices similar to hotels in most cities.

The few places listed as less expensive may not be as they appear. For instance, a Nashville apartment listed at $190 a night actually totals out to $302 with service and cleaning fees included. Always run the numbers to get your final cost.

Convenience

Convenience means something different to each traveler, starting from the check-in process. With a hotel, you simply go to the front desk and get your key anytime after check-in is permitted. 

With AirBnB, this process can be more convoluted – sometimes involving lockboxes and passcodes or coordinating times to exchange keys. Wasn’t this supposed to be about relaxation?

In many cities, affordable hotels are in city centers. Rentals in the heart of the action helped popularize AirBnB for millennials. With some AirBnBs, it can feel like stepping into the shoes of a local.

Adding to this, hosts make recommendations hotels typically would not. Your typical hotel concierge won’t be making a recommendation for their favorite local dive bar.

At hotels, the concierge is available at all hours to answer questions. Need new towels, a robe, silverware for your takeout, or a recommendation for a nice restaurant? They are ready and willing to assist. 

Customer service is not as consistent or predictable with AirBnB. Response times vary depending on the host’s style and schedule. For many, renting their space is a side hustle, so they may be tied up with other obligations.

Safety & Security

For many travelers, safety and security are key factors when planning a trip, especially in places with reputations for danger or crime.

Hotels have extensive staff and infrastructure, with rooms safely tucked away from the entrance. They often have dedicated security staff monitoring cameras should a problem arise. Many hotels have safes in the room for travelers with cash and other valuables.

AirBnBs do not have this level of security. Hosts are not always near the property to help should a safety concern arise. Additionally, AirBnBs can be found across cities and surrounding suburbs. Without some research in advance, the neighborhood could be an unpleasant surprise for some. 

Whether you’ve booked a hotel, an AirBnB, or a combo of both over a week, be sure to stay safe and have a luggage strategy as well. For example, NYC luggage storage can be found throughout the city, giving you extra flexibility and assurance. 

Perks & Bonuses

Hotels stand out in the perks department. Although some AirBnBs might have a pool, finding one with a pool, a gym, a sauna, dedicated laundry services, and an espresso machine in your bedroom is a unicorn. 

Most hotels offer a continental breakfast at a minimum, while others have destination restaurants just a quick elevator ride from your room.

On the other hand, the locations of some AirBnBs cannot be beaten. Travelers can find everything from entire houses on vineyards, romantic secluded cabins, buses converted to bunk houses, and treehouses curated for the Instagram crowd.  

For an extended stay, AirBnBs are ideal. Eating at restaurants and ordering takeout can add up quickly. In an apartment or house setting, guests can take advantage of the comforts of home and cook meals as usual.

Renting a house also offers bonuses, with far more space to roam. Couples traveling together or families with kids will appreciate the feeling of togetherness with the option to take space and breaks as needed.

Despite paying cleaning fees at an AirBnB, staying at someone’s home has its concerns. Travelers may feel obligated to clean and leave the space in perfect condition. They may feel differently at hotels that have a fleet of cleaning staff.

Plan Your Perfect Trip

Travelers looking to stay somewhere truly unique or simply looking for a home feel will find much to love with AirBnB. Others wanting to truly kick their feet up and leave the concerns of home behind will be happy with traditional hotels.

Whether you are flying solo, with a significant other, or with a large group, the perfect accommodations option is just a few clicks away.

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