There was a time when the options of stay were either a hotel/ motel, or a bed and breakfast. In today's day and age, there are now other options available for travelers visiting an area. AirBnB sure comes to mind! However, there are several reasons why visitors prefer a type of stay, some of them being the need, the cost and the personal value the place offers to them. Today, we plan to explore the differences between AirBnB stay versus a hotel stay. Let's explore occasions when AirBnB may be the best choice of stay, and other times when a hotel might be a better alternative.
First few thoughts -
When traveling, one thing that helps anyone immensely is the ability to be flexible. You visit a particular city because you want to explore their history, their culture, their lifestyle, the architecture, or the scenic beauties. What easier way to enjoy all of this than immersing yourself into the local neighborhood, and staying at one of the homes in the area. That definitely adds to the overall experience as well as appeal.
Few questions to ask yourself -
Are you traveling alone, as a couple, a family or a group? Do you need accommodation for business or pleasure? What do you want from the place you stay? How much space do you need?
Should you choose a hotel?
When you stay at hotels, you want comfort, luxury, view, regular housekeeping, in-room dining, 24x7 check-in, and more. Think of a short trip, you are tired, you want to unwind, rest up, and eat whatever and whenever you want. All you need to do is to order and things will be available for you; obviously you are paying for this convenience. Especially in big cities, this is a great option.
Hotels have multiple amenities that are conveniently at hand, or a phone call away to the front desk. They are usually located in areas perfect for meetings, or even sightseeing, not to mention easy access to bars and restaurants. If you are traveling with family, and you need an extra blanket or pillows, or even a crib for a child, front desk can make sure these are readily available for your use.
Hotels are comfortable, but could get really expensive depending upon the location or the luxury bracket.
Should you choose an AirBnB?
When you look up AirBnB in a particular area, you will immediately notice the huge collection of listings they have. This obviously gets you choices. You want to rent a treehouse in Brazil, or fancy a bungalow on the beaches of the Maldives, or simply share a home with a local in Brooklyn, any and all of these options are available for you through AirBnB.
Price, as usual, depends upon the type of stay, or the luxury each place offers, or the location. If you are traveling in groups, this type of lodging works the best. Anyone, even those traveling alone, might find this type of accommodations best, because they want to experience the local culture. Most often, AirBnBs are hosted by people who are owners of the property, and are living in them. So, understand that you may be staying with strangers, and if that is what you want to experience, so be it. There are those that are rented out by the owners, and you will simply take the keys from the owners, but live separately. The choice is yours to make.
You will have the opportunity to either rent a home, or a room, or even a shared space, and reservations are made per night, rather than per person in the case of sharing. If you have rented a home, it gives you more freedom to cook whatever you want to in the kitchen, do the laundry etc. This is not a hotel, so there are no amenities, and you have to fend for yourself, just like living in your own home. There will be a cleaning fee that all AirBnBs charge at the end of your trip.
Another thing to keep in mind before making reservations is checking the reviews on quality, host reputation, security and location.
Pros and Cons of a hotel
Hotels offer you guaranteed stay. You could cancel until 24 hours before your check in, and you will usually receive a full refund. The check in and check out depends upon you and your requirements; it is designed keeping the travelers comfort in mind. Although universal times exist for check in and check out, hotels would cater to your needs and extend your stay, maybe at an additional cost, or if you are an elite member.
Most of the time, a hotel may be located in a tourist-heavy, patrol-heavy part of town, so safety usually may not be a concern. The biggest selling point of a hotel is their beds, they are usually more comfortable, fluffy, soft and luxurious, than beds found in an AirBnB. The amenities that hotels provide like bars, pools, gyms and lounge areas are also unbeatable.
There is no way anyone can say that hotels do not provide the most comfortable stay. You sure do not have to feel the obligation to spend some time with the hosts. Hotels will win the contest for cleanliness most times over an AirBnB.
Hotels are definitely not the cheapest place in town, even a short stay can put a dent in your pocket. The higher up you go in terms of luxury, you have to be willing to pay the price.
Pros and Cons of AirBnB
Price is one of the biggest reasons to opt for an AirBnB. For many people, price outweighs all factors when deciding where they want to stay, and they would prefer to spend their money on good food or other experiences, rather than a place to sleep. Over time, AirBnB is also seeing a rise in their charges, but they have kitchens, and you could save by cooking foods, instead of splurging on restaurants.
There is a comfort in living in a home away from home, and experiencing the life of a local. You begin to create memories that stay with you for the rest of your life, especially if your host puts the extra effort to make you feel at home, and are especially kind and helpful. If you look at some reviews, you will notice there are some raves about the hosts, and the local neighborhood, and that does have the capability of making some lifetime memories. If you travel in a group, AirBnBs can especially be a most comfortable way to spend the night.
There is a risk though. Your host could just cancel at the last minute. This is the home of a stranger, and if you are sharing, you might be putting yourself in a state of vulnerability. Again, reviews suggest good and bad hosts, so it is very important to check out the reputation of hosts, especially if you are traveling alone. You could probably tolerate a meddlesome or a weird host. This is an upset to your comfort and convenience, but if your safety is compromised, that is a whole another story.
So, beware of any safety concerns related to a location, especially if it is situated a little ways away from the main part of the city, or in a sketchy part of the town. We cannot emphasize enough on the importance of reading reviews, reading in-between the lines, and checking out the reputation of the locality as well as the host.
Every country operates differently, so before living with the locals, make sure you know and respect their ways and traditions, some people may not be very tolerant of your free ways. You want to make a good impression on their community as well.
Make sure you are aware of the cleaning fees, which may sometimes be equal to a night's stay.
So, the choice is yours. Depending upon your requirements, you get to pick where to stay. AirBnBs offer a homely feel, close contact with the locals; while hotels are reliable, clean and trustworthy, and offer complete privacy.
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