Shared economy is all the rage lately. With companies like Uber, Airbnb, VRBO, Lyft, Homeaway and so much more the travel industry is really changing. Today I want to share the major differences between using Airbnb(or similar entities) vs. staying at a hotel.
- Cultural Immersion – If you are someone who wants to blend in to the destination you are traveling to Airbnb is for you. Most likely you will have a kitchen and will need to go to the local grocery store and stop by the local coffee shop. You really live like a local when staying at an Airbnb. If you are a traveler who is more in need of a front desk person to assist you and answer your questions you may want to go with a hotel.
- Flexibility – This can be a case by case basis but for the most part hotels are more flexible. Most hotels have a 24/7 front desk where you can check in any time and get help at any time. When renting from Airbnb, while there are exceptions, you will have to arrange how to get in to your rented home and often times you are at the mercy of your host.
- Amenities – If you are looking for an onsite bar, room-service, concierge, continental breakfast, and more a hotel is probably the choice for you. If you are looking for a specific amount of rooms or must have a private hot tub Airbnb might be the way to go. Also, take note that Airbnb does not generally have cleaning services.
- Price – While both hotels and Airbnb heavily depend on location and amenities there are some differences. Airbnb will most likely save you money in the food department if you are willing to cook. Most Airbnbs have a kitchen allowing you to make some of your own meals. You do however need to be careful when browsing for a place to stay. Most of the shared homes website show one price and after you click to reserve they add on cleaning fees, taxes, and misc. fees. While hotels do this sometimes as well I’ve found the home shares to be much bigger differences.