The world is finally opening back up, almost like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. So are vacation destinations. Whether you are looking at an Airbnb or a hotel, here are a few pros & cons.
Most travelers will say that the Airbnb choice is primarily due to the price. Traditionally, Airbnbs are cheaper, though the prices are continuedly creeping upward. Most also have a kitchen so you can save money on eating out every meal. Also, most have a washer and dryer, so you save on laundry costs.
Airbnb 1st-Timer Tip: Watch out for cleaning fees when booking Airbnbs. Some hosts make it as high as one night’s stay to encourage longer-term stays. For this reason, sometimes hotels can be cheaper than Airbnbs for one night.
Travelers often choose Airbnbs because of the location, away from the hustle and bustle of the city (if that is what you are looking for). You can usually immerse yourself in the surroundings. Swinging in a hammock watching the sunset, sitting on a balcony to watch the wildlife, or propping your feet up and listening to the babble of a stream are just a few of the many locations that an Airbnb can offer.
Additionally, you can enjoy a city off the beaten path and see sights that you would have otherwise missed.
Staying at some Airbnb properties can open your mind to a number of new and exciting experiences. For instance, have you ever stayed on a vineyard in Italy before, and dined with the winemaker’s family? Have you ever stayed in a treehouse overlooking the Indonesian or Costa Rican coastline? Some boutique vacation rentals provide access to these unique locations and experiences that are only accessible through sites like Airbnb.
While researching, I came across AirbnbHell.com. It is just as the name implies. AirbnbHell.com is dedicated to helping Hosts and Guests share their stories about the risks and dangers of using Airbnb. If you want to read some “cons” of Airbnb, that is your place.
These warnings from their homepage, AirbnbHell.com, are worth being aware of:
If any of your personal items, cash, or valuables are stolen (by the host, other guests, or burglars) you have no protection from Airbnb.
If there is a foul odor, loud noises, or any other problems with your room that are not easily documented with photos, you are out of luck and your claim for a refund will be denied.
If you rent a single room, there is no guarantee regarding how many people might be living in a given home/condo while you are there. If there is a shared bathroom, you might end up sharing it with 1 person, or 20.
A “fully stocked kitchen” means very different things to different people. One pot, 2 dishes, and a handful of silverware does not mean you can actually cook a meal there, yet this is not enough evidence to seek a claim for a refund.
If you buy groceries and another guest or the host uses them or throws them away, you’re out of luck.
If the host or another guest has a party every night, you will have to thoroughly document each incident with video recordings and time stamps to seek any sort of claim or refund. Even then, it will be a battle that may take weeks and you are unlikely to win.
Airbnb charges you about 15% on top of what the host actually receives for your reservation (even more if you need to exchange currency). That means you COULD get your reservation for about 15% LESS if you booked directly with the host.
If you have to cancel your reservation at the last minute, the host has the right to keep some or all of your money for your entire stay. You will not have any ability to write a review of your host if you cancel your reservation, even if you end up paying for your entire stay and the host double-books the rental space.
Hotels vs Airbnb
In hotels you have areas like pools and lounges where you can chill and relax without feeling obliged to socialize. Many also have gyms and eating areas, offer free breakfasts, and Wi-Fi.
The rooms are usually cleaned and stocked with linens, and you have access to a real person if you encounter problems. Most hotels offer room service as well as other amenities.
Skyscanner, a multipurpose vacation planner site, offers these reasons to stay in a hotel vs Airbnb:
Top reasons to stay in a hotel vs Airbnb:
All the amenities are at hand and if they’re not, there’s someone to help you just a short phone call away.
Hotels are usually situated in the perfect locations for sightseeing, business meetings and of course the restaurants and bars.
They’re seemingly the better alternative when traveling with children. Whether it’s a kids’ club service you need, extra sheets in the early hours of the morning, a setup crib on arrival, or even a theme park on-site? Hotels make sure that your comfort and entertainment are well taken care of.
Everything is guaranteed with hotels. You know exactly what you’re going to get when you walk in and how you’re supposed to leave it. It’s the familiar feeling we love to have when we travel.
When you start planning your next vacation, weigh the options carefully and consider the pros and cons before making a final choice.