We stayed at The Ivy Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland in May, between the peak periods of Mother’s Day weekend and ...
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.
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.
Second, our temporary Airbnb homes have full kitchens so we have the option of preparing meals, thus slashing our dining expenses and eating healthier.
Third, Airbnb properties often offer better amenities than hotels. Rental properties often have amenities unavailable (or costs money) at hotels—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.
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.
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.
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:
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?