When it comes to traveling abroad, one of the most important decisions that need to be made is the choice of accommodation. Some prefer to go along with conventional choices that would ensure cleanliness and safety, while others prefer to try living in rented homes to have the full ‘local experience’.
In the past, we only had the option of staying in hotels for lodging. Our travel habits changed over the years and ever since the idea of home-sharing was introduced, people could experience staying in a studio apartment, penthouse, cottage or even a castle if they like. Here, we try to get the best bargains for your vacations by measuring the pros and cons of staying in an Airbnb apartment as compared to staying in a hotel.
# 1 Pricing
Despite the popular notion that Airbnb is cheaper than hotels, both hotels and Airbnb apartments have a range of options at different price points. There are budget and no-frills hotels, while there are also exotic or luxurious Airbnb apartments that charge prices comparable to 5-star hotels.
In fact, certain hotels have rooms that go on sale or have promotional tie ups with credit cards or other partners! Hotels also provide all the amenities like a pool, gym, and other facilities. So if these are important to you, it saves you from having to fork out additional money to access them during your trip.
The advantage of Airbnb over hotels would be the ability to book entire houses. This means it can be more cost effective if you travel overseas with a group of friends or a large family.
If you intend to save cost or wish to opt for healthier food choices, you can take advantage of the kitchen space and prepare home cooked meals together as a fun group activity, instead of just simply eating out. Some Airbnb apartments include kitchens with essential cookware and utensils, so read the individual listing description to know what exactly you’ll be getting.
# 2 Location
When choosing the right accommodation, you would want the place you’re staying at to be nearer to the central district or certain malls and attractions.
With Airbnb, there is choices, since Airbnb apartments can be found and rented from anywhere – from the city to heartlands, and everywhere in between.
As a bonus, some Airbnb apartments are also located near convenient stores and supper spots, but it is up to you to research and ensure you don’t book a place that is in the middle of nowhere and inconvenient to get around. With hotels, you can have some assurance that the location is at least viable enough for someone to invest money and run a business from.
# 3 Uniqueness Of Experiences
If you wish to stay in a villa with a balcony looking out to the sea, or just experience staying in a treehouse enjoying nature’s sights and sounds, but also don’t wish to burn your wallet, then consider booking an Airbnb on your next trip. Airbnb offers various concepts for their apartments such as, hobbit style, nature themed, galaxy themed, vintage themed and more for those who are seeking diversity.
There is a significant difference with experiencing life abroad as a tourist and as a local. Hotels offer some of the best services out there, but you can never truly know what it’s like to live like the locals until you start experiencing their culture, down to the environment that they inhabit.
You could also keep in close contact with your Airbnb host and get insider tips on some of the best spots that the locals tend to visit. Most Airbnb hosts are friendly and would be more than willing to share with you the beauty that their country has to offer. Once you have made a connection with your host, you can also choose to negotiate for an earlier check-in timing or later check-out timing, which is something that hotels do not offer.
On the other hand, hotels do offer a luxurious experience with the 24/7 room service, convenient luggage storage, and a concierge at the lobby to cater to your needs. It depends on which kind of travel experience that you would prefer, some would opt for a different local experience while others desire the luxurious hotel lifestyle.
# 4 Cleanliness And Consistency
Cleanliness is a debatable topic as it is relatively difficult to measure. There are prestigious hotels that are spotlessly clean and neat, and there are also your cheap hotels that seemingly look good in pictures but turns out to be a scene out of a horror movie upon checking in. The same can be said for Airbnb apartments, which is why it is extremely important to prioritise time for research by reading reviews posted online by people who have shared the same space before.
In terms of cleanliness, hotels in general have better reputation as there are a team of professionals taking care of every aspect of your stay. Hotels also provide toiletries and fresh towels which makes it more convenient.
# 5 Safety First
The edge that most hotels have over Airbnb is, safety. As a rental lodging service, there is an element of risk when it comes to booking a stranger’s. home. Good prior reviews is no guarantee of future experience, as many horror stories online can attest to.
When traveling abroad, research plays a big part and it is always crucial to prioritise your safety first. Ultimately, it is entirely up to you to decide if you want to take the risk.
Which Is Better For You?
To sum it up, both options have debating advantages and flaws. If you are looking purely to get cheaply priced offers, you will be Airbnb would have more options at the lower price range. But to some, the consistency and peace of mind that hotels provide makes them worth their price.
Whether you are thinking to choose an Airbnb in the future or stick to staying in hotels, it is always important to do your research before trusting the pictures that you see online.
There’s something out there for everyone, depending on what best suits your needs. Have a great trip!
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.