When Airbnb first entered the market, I was ecstatic to have a new accommodation option when I traveled. It provided a new, affordable alternative to budget hotels and youth hostels. And for many years, it became my go-to booking site. However, things have changed in recent years as more people have joined and taken advantage of the platform. Nowadays, it is no longer the cheapest or most convenient choice. Here are a few reasons why you should book a hotel over an Airbnb.
5 Reasons to Book a Hotel Over an Airbnb
Let me start by saying that I still use the site to book certain types of accommodations. Renting a private residence comes with many benefits, especially if you are traveling in a large group. But in most cases, I still prefer the convenience and amenities of staying at a hotel. If you are deciding where to stay during your next vacation, here are 5 reasons people choose to book a hotel over an Airbnb.
1. No Chores
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but the last thing I want to do on vacation is housework. While I strive to be a clean guest and always pick up after myself, I’m less than thrilled when I get a long list of chores that have to be done before checkout. And what’s worse, is that there is usually a cleaning fee on top of the to-do list. I am often left wondering what I’m paying for since I am usually the one doing the dishes, stripping the beds, throwing in a load of laundry, and taking out the trash.
However, you won’t get this when you stay at a hotel since all of these services are included in the nightly rate. It goes without saying that the property will provide clean towels and linens, spotless facilities, and cleaning services during your stay. Making a reservation at a hotel lifts the burden of chores and allows you to enjoy a break from daily responsibilities.
2. All the Amenities
Speaking of amenities, you will have access to many more of them at a hotel than in an Airbnb rental. Although I have stayed at many wonderful Airbnb properties that had toiletries, a kitchen, a fitness area, and a pool on-site, they hardly compare with what you find at a hotel. Of course, the amenities will vary between properties. But, you will be hard-pressed to find many rentals that also offer a concierge desk, spa treatments, room service, or restaurants on the premises.
You can certainly find accommodations with all these amenities through Airbnb Luxe. But, they usually come with a much higher price tag as well.
3. Easier Check-in Process
Even before you book a hotel, you know exactly where you will be staying and when you can check in. Unfortunately, Airbnb hosts usually don’t disclose these details until a few days before your arrival. There have been times people have straight-up lied about the location to get bookings. Furthermore, I have had several Airbnb stays where the hosts had very limited windows of time to meet and turn over the keys. This added unnecessary stress and a sense of urgency, especially when there were travel delays.
While some people have made it simpler with keyless entry codes, hotels usually offer a much easier check-in experience. Communication is more direct since you can find someone available at the front desk at any time of the day. And you can get a room on short notice, even if it’s the middle of the night.
Although hotels have standard check-in and check-out times, they can usually offer greater flexibility since they have more rooms in their inventory. Even if they are at capacity, they can at least hold your bags until your room is ready. This saves you the time and trouble of having to lug them around with you if you have to wait for someone to let you into your accommodations.
4. Less Chance of Mistakes or Cancellations
Airbnb has given regular people the opportunity to earn income from their private properties while also allowing travelers to experience their vacation destinations as one of the locals. However, mistakes can happen and plans can change. There have been several times when a property was double-booked or personal emergencies forced the host to cancel our reservations.
While we always got a full refund, it put us in the unfortunate situation of having to find new accommodations at the last minute. When this happens during a holiday, it leaves you with very few options, most of which are more expensive than what you had originally booked. In some instances, there were no other options available.
This is less likely to happen when you are staying at a well-known and established hotel. And even if it does happen during busy travel periods, the hotel will usually offer some type of compensation for your trouble.
5. Comparable Prices
When Airbnb first came onto the scene, travelers like myself were excited to have a more affordable option for accommodations. Many experts even thought it would disrupt the hospitality industry and cause hotels to adjust their rates. However, this has not been the case.
When you compare the final cost including taxes, guest services, and cleaning fees, the totals are about the same. And in some cities, Airbnb rentals are even more expensive than staying at a hotel.
If you are a frequent traveler, it is probably more cost-effective for you to stay at a hotel and join their loyalty program. They usually offer better discounts. And, you can earn points during your stay which can be used for free nights and upgrades to help you save even more.
To Airbnb or Not Airbnb…
With current conditions and inflation rates, it is more important than ever to save money where you can. While Airbnb does offer many benefits and more unique options for travelers, it isn’t always the most economic choice. Although there was a time when it was this budgeter’s best-kept secret, the industry has changed. More often than not, I have several good reasons to book a hotel over an Airbnb. So if your bottom line is the most important factor when booking your next vacation, do your research and explore all your money-saving options.
- Use These Alternatives to Airbnb
- Finding the Top Travel Deals this Summer
- Free Accommodations While You Travel
Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.