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Current Travel Trends: Airbnb vs Hotels

As the world opens back up, people have picked up traveling again. One of the first (and arguably most important) things to decide is where to stay. Hotels are no longer the only lodging option for travelers, as home-sharing services like Airbnb are becoming more popular.

Wondering which one is right for you? Keep reading to learn the pros and cons.

Why Airbnb?

Airbnb housing options are unique and full of personality that one might not get with a hotel. They allow travelers to “live like a local” and vacation in a way that feels more authentic. Some guests may also choose Airbnb with social media in mind (a stylish apartment is more Instagram-worthy than a chain hotel).

Some travelers (64%) believe that using Airbnb is more environmentally friendly than staying at a hotel. Others find it easier to book an Airbnb house when planning an extended stay.

Problems with Airbnb

Even though Airbnb is becoming more popular (particularly with Millennials and Gen Z), many people still prefer hotels for their easy check-in/out process, concierge services and amenities, and reliability.

Some Airbnb users have had issues with hosts canceling their reservations at the last minute, leaving guests stranded in an unfamiliar place with nowhere to lodge. Others have faced scams like fake damage claims. Some Airbnb guests have experienced unsafe conditions (infestations, unsanitary rooms, etc.) and discrimination (based on race, religion, LGBTQ+, and ability).

Despite the common assumption that Airbnb is more cost-effective than hotels, they can actually be much more expensive. One study showed that hotels were significantly cheaper in 46/50 major U.S. cities when compared to “entire place” Airbnb. These type of bookings (where an entire home or apartment is rented rather than a single room) charge taxes and fees that amount to 40.33% of the total cost.

Which is right for you?

When deciding if Airbnb is right for you, it might be useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the aesthetic an important part of my vacation experience?
  • Do I need access to a full kitchen and living space?
  • Have I communicated with the host about policies and fees? Are they acceptable?
  • How long do I need to stay at the location?
  • Is it in a more convenient location for my plans than a hotel would be?
  • Does is fit my budget after considering cleaning fees and taxes?

Let us know!

Share your Airbnb experiences in the comments below.

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