Hotel Or Airbnb? We’ll Help You Decide Which Is More Affordable!

Blog | July 12th, 2021

Summer is here, and people are ready to travel again. If you’re ready for that long-overdue summer vacation, you’ll find that you have more choices than ever before about where to stay while on your trip. 

Airbnb rentals and hotels offer different experiences with costs that can vary. Whether a hotel stay or an Airbnb rental is more affordable depends on your trip and things like how you budget for food, how long you’ll stay, and any hotel rewards or discounts you have available, among other things. 

Let’s look at the pros and cons of hotels and Airbnb rentals.

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Hotels are a Familiar, Easy Choice

Hotels are the tried-and-true option. Most places have familiar chains that lodge millions of people each year. Choosing a hotel probably won’t take a lot of time or research. 

If you plan to eat in restaurants and participate in a lot of activities in the area, you probably won’t spend very much time in your hotel beyond showering and sleeping. A hotel room is a great option in that case.

If you’re looking for convenience and predictability more than adventure, you know what to expect from a hotel room right down to abundant parking. Many hotels also offer complimentary continental breakfasts, pools, and gyms. Rewards points and flight/hotel packages can save you money on your trip. 

Hotels may be the best choice if you want an easy way to book your stay and the convenience of room service, housekeeping, or laundry service. These amenities come at a premium, though, so you’ll pay for those conveniences. 

A hotel room can be more expensive than an Airbnb while offering much less space. Some Airbnb rentals have multiple bedrooms suitable for large families for the same cost per night as a single hotel room. 

If there will be many people on your vacation, you might need two or more rooms. The cost of that adds up quickly. 

  • Familiar
  • Amenities like pools, gyms, and free continental breakfasts
  • Convenient housekeeping and room service
  • Someone always at the desk to help you
  • It’s easy to find multiple hotels almost anywhere
  • Conveniently located around restaurants and activities

  • Expensive
  • Lack of space, so large groups might need more than one room
  • Lack of privacy
  • Predictable

Airbnb Rentals Let You Live More Like a Local

Airbnb became a new way to take vacations back in 2008. While it’s not a new concept anymore, fewer people are familiar with how Airbnb rentals work as they are with how to book a hotel room. So immediately, your vacation planning will take a little more time if you decide to use Airbnb for your lodgings. 

Homeowners rent their properties through Airbnb when they’re not using them. Some rent out parts of their homes or their entire homes while they’re away. Others rent homes they own and maintain solely for the rental income. Airbnb rentals can cost less than some hotels because you can find properties in almost every price range to fit every budget. 

If you stay in a home where the owners are present, you’ll typically get one or more private rooms within it. A stay like this is a wonderful option for you if you’re an adventurous traveler who wants to soak up the local flavor. 

You may also choose to rent an entire home with one or more bedrooms. Big families and groups can have more private spaces in an Airbnb than in a hotel. A rented home offers more room to breathe than a single hotel room, even for two people. 

And if a trip is more about spending time together than seeing local sights, a rented home can provide a private place for bonding. 

While you’ll save money on food costs when you cook for yourself, you’ll lose the convenience of meals made for you. You also have to pick up after yourself at an Airbnb with no housekeeping service to do it for you. requires a lot of information from homeowners and strives to make renting a home safe and enjoyable, but some owners might not live up to their part of the bargain. While a misrepresented rental is rare, it’s a bigger possibility when you’re dealing with individual owners rather than a hotel chain. 

  • There are options to fit every family size and budget in most places
  • You’ll save money by cooking and cleaning up after yourself
  • It offers a vacation-home feel
  • You might feel more like a local
  • You may have opportunities to meet the owners and get tips about the best places to go in the area

  • It takes a little research to find an appropriate rental in your desired location
  • You’ll have the unpredictably of dealing with different private owners rather than one company
  • Your vacation spot might have limited choices or few conveniently located options
  • You might be uncomfortable staying in a stranger’s home
  • If you’re vacationing to get away from the drudgery of housework, you might be disappointed

The Bottom Line on Hotels vs. Airbnb

If you plan to stay in a lot and don’t mind cooking or cleaning, a roomy Airbnb can save you money and be an enjoyable place to hang out. If you’re going to be on the go and don’t mind spending more on restaurants and room service, a predictable hotel room is probably t0he better choice. 

There’s no one correct answer to the question of where to stay when you’re on vacation. Each trip is different, so you should consider where you’ll go, how long you’ll stay, your budget, and the kinds of things you plan to do before you choose between a hotel room or an Airbnb.

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