Is it always cheaper to stay in an Airbnb rather than a hotel?
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When it comes to determining whether an Airbnb or hotel offers better value, the answer is: it depends. Travel accommodation costs vary widely around the world, and depending on who you’re traveling with, where you’re going, and what amenities you want, the answer may vary.
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GOBankingRates turned to travel experts to share their insights on where to stay in popular travel spots, as well as secret Airbnbs financial pitfalls travelers should be aware of. Read on to find out the best ways to save on Airbnbs and hotels, and which option will be best for your budget on your next adventure.
Before looking at accommodations, evaluate what you are looking for
Before committing to a hotel or Airbnb, a good first step is to take a comprehensive look at where you want to travel, what amenities are important to you, and what your budget is. Based on this information, you can determine the style of hosting that will best suit your needs.
“I think it’s important to remember your intention with your hotel or Airbnb stay,” said Nina Ragusa of Where in the World Is Nina, a travel blog and guide to living the world. “Do you plan on eating at every meal, staying out all day, and just needing a place to sleep and store your things? A hotel might serve you better if that’s the case.
In other cases, booking an Airbnb might be the best option.
“If you’re on a budget, want to travel a little slower, and are trying to spend a few days here and there, then an Airbnb might be a better fit for you,” Ragusa said. “You’ll have a kitchen to cook in, a living room to relax in, and something beyond just a bed and an uncomfortable chair in a 300 square foot space.”
Now that you have a general idea of what these living spaces can offer, let’s get into the details.
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Be Aware of Airbnb Risks
Airbnb has been hugely successful because of the appeal of staying in a home while traveling – it gives you access to a kitchen, lots of space, privacy, and a cozier feel. However, while the business has undoubtedly been hugely successful, many people have experienced less than ideal conditions when booking these stays. Be aware of these risks to avoid being taken advantage of when booking your next trip.
“Airbnb pricing has become quite frustrating and a bad user experience to deal with,” said Hilary Matson, founder and CEO of sustainable travel company Yugen Earthside. “It’s never just the price of the room, but also the resort fee, the cleaning fee, the fee is per person or per group, and sometimes other fees.”
According to Matson, the quality of stay you get for Airbnb prices doesn’t add up, and she’s not alone in worrying about guests being taken advantage of for money.
“During my recent Airbnb stays, I’ve noticed that Airbnb hosts are charging higher cleaning fees than ever before,” said Kirstin Lee, travel expert and author of travel journal Global Travel Getaways. “Sometimes they even leave you with a long list of cleaning tasks to do before you leave, basically getting the Airbnb ready for the next guest. It definitely takes away from the experience and makes you wonder why the cleaning fees are so high if you are the one who cleans.
If you are looking for a risk-free guarantee, choose a hotel
If the gamble of booking with Airbnb and having a terrible experience isn’t for you, consider opting for a hotel stay where you can relax with the guarantee of a fixed price and no surprise payments.
Airbnb Positives: Fantastic for group travel and longer stays
Since launching Airbnb in August 2007, the company has experienced massive growth. In fact, in the second quarter of 2022, the company recorded 103.7 million customer bookings, the most bookings the company has recorded, according to Property Management. Additionally, Airbnb’s year-over-year booking growth increased 27% in the second quarter of 2022. Not only has the company made an incredible comeback from the losses it suffered during the pandemic worldwide, but this vacation rental site is probably here to stay.
Under certain circumstances, experts recommend an Airbnb instead of a hotel.
“Where I think Airbnb always excels: unique properties for group travel,” Matson said. “But if you’re just a solo traveler or traveling as a couple or with a small family, hotels are a better option for value, convenience, and location in most cases. ”
Airbnbs offers cost flexibility that hotels lack
Airbnbs can be profitable for large groups of 10 or more travelers. Trying to get hotels for large groups usually requires separate bookings, and Airbnb offers more flexibility and space to congregate. It can also be ideal for longer trips thanks to a more flexible fare.
“If you book a long-term stay on Airbnb, a month or more, it’s much cheaper than if you were to book a multi-day or multi-week trip. [at a hotel]said Katie Caf, travel expert and owner of Katie Caf Travel, a travel blog that creates travel guides for destinations around the world. “I’ve seen some rentals on Airbnb be cheaper to rent for a month than for a week! When I was staying in Tulum, Mexico for two months, a rental I considered was $1100 for a week and then only $900 for the whole month.
How to save on your Airbnb, according to experts
Traveling is expensive – here’s how to save by booking through this travel site.
“There are many ways to save on Airbnb, including using discounts and promo codes, finding accommodations at lower prices, and avoiding peak tourist seasons,” said Matt James, founder of travel blog Visitingly. .
Also, look for new Airbnbs that are willing to offer their first visitors a discounted rate. You should also make sure to always reserve your place early. Many hosts use pricing tools to track nearby Airbnb availability. As nearby locations begin to fill up, hosts are raising their prices to meet growing demand. Book early to avoid the price hike.
Comparison of Airbnb and hotel prices by city
Depending on where you are staying, you might want to opt for one place to stay over another, purely based on price. Here are some popular travel locations and the different accommodation details to help you get an idea of which will be the best deal. Busbud, an online travel site specializing in intercity bus tickets, recently analyzed 220,000 Airbnb locations around the world as well as hotel rates from hotel booking site Hotels.com to find out how prices compare in major cities of the world.
The verdict from the 2020 Hotel and Airbnb pricing data showed very clearly that in most North American cities, it is much cheaper to stay in an Airbnb than a hotel. In New York, the average price for a hotel is $245 per night compared to $164 for Airbnb. Additionally, in Toronto, the average hotel price is $148 per night compared to an Airbnb price of $89.
In Europe, the same is true, as the many Airbnb properties across European countries allow for less competitive rates and lower costs compared to hotels.
In Paris, the average price of a hotel drops to 214 dollars per night while the average price of Airbnb is 110 dollars. A similar trend can be seen in the cities of Berlin, Madrid and Vienna, where the average hotel price drops almost twice as much as an Airbnb. However, this pattern is broken in Barcelona, as the average hotel price is $172 per night while Airbnbs are over 80% higher at $312 per night.
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