Airbnb Montreal deck

8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels

In general, a vacation rental—whether a home, apartment, condo, boat, yurt, shared space, or other property—represent tremendous value for flexible, more adventurous travel consumers (when compared to hotels).

While I have rented, and written about, vacation rentals for years, I am way overdue in discussing the biggest player in the game.

Airbnb is not only the biggest player in the vacation rental game but, at a $25 billion value, Airbnb would be the second largest worldwide hotel brand (between Hilton and Marriott).

As a travel consumer and independent travel consumer advocate, I appreciate better value and the following are what I consider some Airbnb advantages over hotels.

8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels

First, Airbnb properties almost always offer more space. My favorite simple example is for a family of four (such as the McCool gang). To stay in a hotel suite, we have to book two rooms, but, at a lower price, I can find a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. More space, less price. Brilliant. That might be all you need to know but read on for seven more Airbnb advantages.

Airbnb, Rome, loft

Airbnb Advantage: loft in Rome, Italy

Airbnb, Boston, living room

Airbnb Advantage: living room in Boston

Second, our temporary Airbnb homes have full kitchens so we have the option of preparing meals, thus slashing our dining expenses and eating healthier.

Airbnb, Boston, kitchen

Airbnb Advantage: Boston, kitchen

Third, Airbnb properties often offer better amenities than hotels. Rental properties often have amenities that are unavailable at hotels (or cost money)—such as bicycles, canoes or kayaks, views (oceanfront), convenient (and free) parking, better entertainment (TV, premium channels, sound system), private pool / spa, games (pool table, foosball), and more.

Airbnb, St John, USVI, pool deck

Airbnb Advantage: St John, USVI, pool deck

Airbnb, SF, on cable car route

Airbnb Advantage: SF, on cable car route

Fourth, most vacation rentals have a washer and dryer. Our family can travel with only carryon baggage knowing that we can do laundry every 3-4 days in our rental properties. In fact, it is kind of fun trying to figure out appliances in Montreal, Rome, Venice, or wherever in the world we are.

Airbnb, Montreal, appliances

Airbnb Advantage: Montreal, appliances

Fifth, Airbnb rentals are typically located in local neighborhoods (rather than tourist areas, where hotels are) so they are more authentically fun, restaurants and shops charge less, and people are naturally friendlier.

Sixth, information provided by Airbnb property owners is more appropriate (to me) than what I extract from hotel staff. For instance, home owners recommend more down-to-earth (authentic, local favorite) restaurants than hotel concierges (trendy, touristy).

Seventh, the price of vacation rentals is usually lower than hotel rooms of comparable quality. My Airbnb rental in Boston this past March had a plush king bed, amazing shower and bathroom, two levels, full kitchen, deck, private entrance, nearby street parking, and many custom touches; the rate was half the price of nearby Boston city hotels. Let me repeat that:

HALF the price of nearby hotels.

Airbnb, Boston, staircase

Airbnb Advantage: Boston, staircase

Eighth, free wifi. Good, working wifi, too, not crappy pretend hotel wifi. A common hotel complaint is costly and ineffective wifi. Every vacation rental I have stayed at had strong and free wifi. Most also had extended cable, AppleTV, Netflix, and/or other fantastic entertainment options.

Here are articles where I compare a vacation house rental to hotel:

Outer Banks Lodging: Luxury Resort or Home Rental
St. John USVI Lodging: Vacation Home or Luxury Resort Hotel

I previously mentioned Airbnb in several articles, including:

3 Habits of Happy Travelers (later published by Yahoo Travel)
8 Great Reasons NOT to Use a Travel Agent
8 Great Travel Skills for 2015
Become a Better Traveler in One Step
8 Great Reasons to Travel Like a Local
Best Source fur Authentic Travel Tips (re-published in Barbara Winter’s Winning Ways newsletter)
Friends Don’t Let Friends (Travel edition)

What other Airbnb advantages have you experienced? Or are you a hotel person?


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8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels was first published for McCool Travel on 10 Aug 2015.

I appreciate value and the following are what I consider some Airbnb advantages over hotels. Do you know any other Airbnb advantages? Let me know.

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30 Responses to “8 Great Airbnb Advantages Over Hotels”

  1. Sara Broers (@TravelWithSara) August 25, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

    Great advice that I need to take and use!

  2. Tami July 13, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    We’ve used Airbnb a few times, but have actually had better success and nicer accommodations using Homeaway… I’d use Airbnb again, but I always go to Homeaway first.

    • McCool Travel July 13, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

      Cool deal, Tami. Glad you have a system to fit your travel preferences. That is really smart and important.

  3. lavidaglobal February 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    Like a lot of other people I have had mixed experiences with AirBnB. When it was good is was great but a few issues dealing with owners and one or two that don’t live up to the promise, keep me on the fence.
    You do make some good points here though.

    • McCool Travel February 28, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

      Keep using Airbnb. It is such a revolutionary disruption to the travel lodging segment.

  4. Transfer from Heathrow airport August 24, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Well your share looking cool to see it.

  5. Phil Garnier August 18, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    I saved a ton of money on lodging in Italy and Spain this summer renting apartments and houses. I only used Airbnb for one of them. Other sites for everything else.

    • McCool Travel August 18, 2015 at 11:57 am #

      Excellent, Phil. Did you use local rental resources? VRBO, Homeaway, FliKey, or what?

  6. Nancie August 16, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

    My experience with AirBnB has been rather mixed. I’m a solo traveler, and really cannot justify the cost of an entire apartment just for myself. Renting a room in an apartment has its good points and bad points. I’ve rented through them 5 or 6 times. Two stays were great, and the others were just okay. Most of the issues had to do with cleanliness, and just plain weird and annoying people renting the other rooms. Doors and locks come in so handy! Paying upfront (sometimes months in advance) is also something I’m not that keen on.

  7. Linda ~ Journey Jottings August 16, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

    We rented a gorgeous traditional house on one of the islands in Greece through AirBnB and it was wonderful to be immersed in the region with all books in the bookcase in Greek – and members of the family who owned the house dropping local food stuffs off to us as welcoming gifts!

    • McCool Travel August 17, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

      That sounds like a wonderful experience, Linda.

  8. Tom Bartel August 15, 2015 at 11:51 am #

    It’s true Charles, AirBnB has been great to us, too. I don’t know why I don’t do it all the time.

  9. Cathy Sweeney August 14, 2015 at 11:05 pm #

    I hear so many great things about Airbnb, but haven’t tried them yet. We were very close to renting thru Airbnb in Paris in December, but ultimately decided on a hotel. We’ve stayed in apartments several times in our travels, and definitely appreciate the benefits. Will give Airbnb a closer look next time.

  10. Carole Terwilliger Meyers August 12, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    You do sing well the praises of AirB&B. I will try it someday.

  11. Aparna August 10, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

    Agree with everything you said. I’ve always had great experiences at Airbnb’s. In Spain, our hosts took us on an evening of eating, dancing and fun with their friends and family at the “feria” – such a great firsthand cultural experience, and a highlight of our trip!

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