Airbnb or Hotel: Which is Better on Your Vacation?

airbnb vs hotel

As you plan your next vacation, you may be wondering about the benefits of using Airbnb vs. a hotel. Airbnb can offer vacationers more personal experiences and unique accommodations, but is it right for your next trip?

To help you figure out if renting a private home or going the traditional hotel route is better, we’ve analyzed the pros and cons of both.

What Are Your Priorities?

If you’re going on your next trip with children, you may be wondering if it’s viable to utilize Airbnb. One benefit of staying at a private home with kids is the extra space. Depending on how many children you have, you may find yourself booking multiple hotel rooms and paying far more for the number of beds you’d get in a single Airbnb home.

Additionally, many vacation rentals include access to the kitchen, which lets you cook meals instead of eating out on your trip. This not only saves you money, but it can save you stress from taking the kids out to a restaurant after a long day.

Pets are another consideration. Hotels are becoming increasingly pet friendly, but you’ll have to consider the impact your dog or cat might have on guests in adjacent rooms. A barking dog or yowling cat might annoy neighboring guests and result in a call from the management. An Airbnb rental provides you with more space between you and the people next door.

When You Need Something Convenient

If you need an easy-to-find location with 24/7 customer service, you may want to stick with a hotel. Airbnb rentals can be located in far-off locations and difficult to find, especially in a foreign country. Hotels are generally easier to locate, and you’ll have a front desk staff that is ready to assist you with any problems. Staying at a hotel also gives you the ability to get extra towels or even a wake-up call.  

Going on a Business Trip

You may only think of Airbnb as an option for personal travel, but it’s possible to use it for business too. Airbnb makes it easy to book business accommodations by providing a suite of special tools that help companies easily locate residences with business-friendly amenities, such private workspaces, internet, 24/7 check-in, and other essential features. They even offer tools to help companies track employees’ business travel.

On the other hand, an Airbnb rental lacks some amenities that may be important to the business traveler. You won’t find places to network or onsite eateries, and you can certainly forget that free breakfast buffet. You’ll also have to forgo the hotel’s office center with 24 hour printing as well as hotel rewards points.

Safety First

You may be wondering, “Is it safe to use Airbnb?” Hotel chains are backed by major brands with known reputations. As a commercial business, they provide a service and take your safety seriously, because future business depends upon it.

Airbnb rentals are owned by unfamiliar individuals, and while Airbnb does take customer safety seriously, there have been some unfortunate incidents. Before booking an Airbnb vacation rental, you should take a look at the host’s profile and read reviews. If the host is brand new, has bad reviews, or just seems plain shady, you may not want to take the risk, especially with your kids in tow.

To decide which type of accommodation is right for you,  weigh the benefits and downsides of each according to your travel needs. Remember to get affordable auto insurance if you’ll be traveling by car and consider securing travel insurance as Airbnb stays and some hotel bookings are often non-refundable.