This is a money blog so I’m sure you think I’m going to be raving about the savings. You’re correct! It is dramatically cheaper to go with an Airbnb than a hotel. It’s not uncommon to find a private bedroom at an Airbnb to be one-fifth of what a hotel charges. Furthermore, you get so much more when you stay at an Airbnb. Let’s get started counting the many reasons you should choose Airbnb next time you leave home.
I recently stayed in an Airbnb. I paid $35 per night with tax, cleaning fees, etc. included. I got a private bedroom, private bathroom and private living room. A comparable hotel room would have been $130 per night.
There are also many non-monetary perks to staying at an Airbnb. I’ll cover them in this post. But for my story, my host was great. He gave me access to his rooftop terrace. He gave me lots of bottled water and chocolates. He offered more snacks as well. Wifi was free, the place was cleaner than most hotel rooms and the bed was comfortable. When it was time for me to leave, he offered to drive me to the airport. Did I mention it was in a 2015 BMW? I thoroughly enjoyed my stay.
The cost savings are obviously. Take a stroll through Airbnb.com to see compare the rate between a hotel room at an Airbnb bedroom in a city which you like to travel to. Just for fun, compare Airbnb with hotel prices. Use a site like hotels.com to see hotel prices. Or just give it a Google. Make sure to compare conveniences as well. Some hotels charge extra for things like parking or Wifi. The same can be said about Airbnb’s.
What I’ve found in every city is that Airbnb is significantly cheaper. Traveling isn’t such a big deal when you can get digs so cheap! What are you waiting for?!
Most hotels are in commercial areas of a city. This sometimes makes it hard to feel at home and relax. You may hear your next door neighbors. You know that yes, you have a pool but it’s usually overrun by children.
With an Airbnb, you’re going home to a residential neighborhood most often. This makes it really feel like home. You don’t have to contend with lots of other guests.
You may not be into pets but if you are, you can find an Airbnb with pets. Sometimes it’s nice to see some animals while on the road. It makes the new city feel more welcoming and less sterile. I think maybe that’s because animals usually have a calming affect on humans.
It’s also fantastic that Airbnb’s don’t really have that hotel smell. You know what I’m talking about. The bathroom smells like Clorox and the bedsheets are a little too fresh smelling. Since the Airbnb is usually ran just like a home, it smells like a home.
This is perhaps the best part about going the Airbnb route. You get a local guide! Well, they probably won’t want to take you on a tour. Though they might. But they will probably be able to tell you about local restaurants, grocery stores, the nightlife, etc. They know the area. They can pass the knowledge onto you.
The Airbnb host I mentioned earlier was far better than Siri. He knew everything about the local grocery stores. He knew which restaurants were tasty. He advised me on the public transit system. I felt like I was “in the know” within minutes upon arriving. That knowledge alone is about enough reason to go this route.
Most concierge services at hotels are a joke. Most of them are paid to say certain things. IE: They recommend restaurants based on what restaurants pay them the most to promote them. The answers they give are usually pretty rehearsed. You almost don’t want to believe them. I like Airbnb where hosts receive very personal reviews. They treat you right because good reviews are worth a lot.
For these reasons and more, do consider traveling with Airbnb’s. Yes, I have heard a few horror stories. But they are few and far between. That’s because, while the hosts are independent contractors, they still run through the Airbnb platform. This means Airbnb wants you to be happy with your stay. They are quick to refund people who have bad experiences.
Giving Credit to Hotels
I don’t want to talk bad about hotels. I’m just pointing out the differences between these traditional lodging options and out modern ‘sharing economy’ option of Airbnb. But hotels do have their place. To give them credit, I’ll now give the pros you should still keep in mind.
They Are Usually Attached to Conference Centers
This is huge. Most hotels have conference centers attached. That means if you have a conference, a hotel is the logical place to stay. An Airbnb means you must leave the comfort of the hotel and venture out into the town. While this can be enjoyable, it can also be a hassle. If your conference has a hotel, a hotel is the obvious option. Although I still prefer Airbnb’s when I go to conferences.
Few Airbnb’s come with breakfast included. That means you have to venture out into the city before you’re fully awake. Or pack food. Either way, the breakfast option is far more convenient. At a hotel, you can head downstairs and eat your choice of fruits, pancakes, waffles, bagels, bacon and more.
The Logistics Are Easier
Upon arrival in a new town, you often just want to get to your room. With a hotel, this is easy. Tell the cabbie what hotel you’re staying at. They probably know the place. There’s always someone at the front desk. You just get your key and you’re on your way. With an Airbnb, you have to work with the hosts schedule a bit. And the address may not always be easy to find. It’s always easy to find a giant hotel. Finding a 2-bedroom Cape Cod down a quiet street is always so obvious.
Which do you prefer? For the cost savings alone, I HIGHLY recommend you give Airbnb a shot.
Will Lipovsky is a personal finance freelance writer and internet marketer. His most embarrassing moment has been saying to a Microsoft executive, “I’ll just Google it.” You can get in touch with Will at FirstQuarterFinance.com.