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Pros And Cons Of Airbnb vs Hotel Stays

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By Christian Roemer

It’s time. You’ve started planning your vacation, you’ve settled on a destination, you know exactly what you want to see, and you’re pretty sure you have the dates all picked out. Now comes the million dollar question: hotel or AirBnB?


Both options have their pros and cons. If one was unambiguously better than the other, we wouldn’t have both to choose from. One would go out of business, and that would be that. Obviously, that’s not the case. Hotels still exist along every interstate and dot every city in the world, while AirBnBs are hidden in the residential areas, each vying for your overnight visit dollars.


I’ve made a handy dandy old fashioned list for you of pros and cons for each. Hopefully we can use this exercise to determine once and for all which option is the undisputed champ of spending the night in a strange place.

 

Hotel Pros

AirBnB Pros

Usually conveniently located to most major attractions

Usually no threat of strange sounds coming from the room next to you.

Continental breakfast? Yes, please.

A more immersive experience where you’re staying.

Room service is nice.

AirBnB has castles!

Earn extra points for your favorite hotel chain’s loyalty program.

Feels like home away from home.

Sometimes the loyalty programs give you free stays! Woo hoo, freeeee!!

Usually get more space than just a single bedroom.

 

Hotel Cons

AirBnB Cons

Hope you don’t get stuck next to the ice machine, a newborn baby, or a newly married couple are next door.

The only AirBnB we could find is a 20 minute drive from everything we want to do.

The minibar is way more tempting than it should be.

Where are all the extra towels hidden?

Karaoke in the hotel lobby (this could go either pro or con, depending on the person)

No continental breakfast.

No personality. Most hotels are cookie-cutter corporate shells.

Hopefully the owner isn’t an axe murderer…

The check in process is never fun.

Ruining the housing market by sucking up available housing from people who need it.

 

 

After looking at the list, I’m still pretty stuck. There are times where hotels are the undisputed champ, and other times where AirBnB just can’t be beaten. I’ve had excellent times at both. For example, one of my favorite vacations ever, I stayed at John Steinbeck’s writing cabin in Monterey California! He’s my favorite author, and I even wrote my thesis about his books. It was incredible and a dream come true!

 

On the other hand, I stayed at a pretty nondescript La Quinta Inn when I went to Moab, and it was perfect. I was able to walk to dinner every night, a bar was right next door, and I didn’t feel guilty about blasting the air conditioner to counteract the supra 100 degree temperatures.

 

The most important thing in a vacation is that you’re doing exactly what you want to do. You can accomplish that with both an AirBnB and hotel. You just have to choose which one your specific vacation calls for.

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