Everyone has heard of Airbnb by now, it is an online marketplace for arranging or offering lodging, primarily homestays, or tourism experiences. The company does not own any of the buildings, but act as a booker between owner and renter.
It is a nice alternative to a hotel, but can also be a complete disaster if not researched properly.
It’s cheaper than a hotel: Owners usually offer weekly or monthly discounts, so if you’re staying somewhere long-term it is a nice alternative to a hotel. There can also be more amenities in an Airbnb like a kitchen at your disposal.
You can interact with more people: As a solo traveler or someone who would like to meet new people, the Airbnbs give you an option to have a shared house with an individual room. Meeting new people can also help with local's recommendations.
You can see ratings from previous renters: This is absolutely key for travelers. To see other people's experiences with the owner or reviews of the place, you are not left so off guard.
It is not as regulated as a hotel: It is a "you get who you get". There is no manager or front desk, if you have questions or problems you can contact the host, and hope they respond. There have also been reports of people of color having sometimes found themselves rejected by Airbnb hosts.
There has been some backlash from locals: The prices of rentals can be higher than the average cost of living. This makes it harder for locals to find housing and this is not what we'd like to see.
The photos can be misleading: This also goes along with the fact the area might not be as great as the photo. When booking an Airbnb, you should do some extra searches about the location and read comments about if photos are misleading.
Customer service is a skill: Hotels have people on call 24/7 for your needs, they are trained in hospitality, and their goal is to provide the best service possible for your stay.
They are regulated: This is crucial if you are looking for somewhere easy to stay. There are no surprises from hotels because they have quality standards. You check-in and the rest is taken care of for your stay. They also will not cancel on you at the last minute.
They are extremely comfortable: Hotels are meant to pamper you to the max. You have all types of services, and amenities such as a pool, spa, gym, and connecting point. You might be paying extra but it can be worth it! There is also the option for bag storage whenever you arrive, before check-in, which gives you more time to explore.
They can be more expensive: Depending on the location, amenities, etc. hotels tend to be pricier than Airbnbs. Hopefully you won’t spend a ton of time in a hotel, so maybe you're paying more for something you don't need.
You are guided to tourist traps: In a hotel you don’t get to experience living like a local in the apartments or houses in this location. You are guided to places heavily trafficked by tourists.
You are on their schedule: When in a hotel you are often subject to their timing of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You may miss the hotel breakfast and have to wait for lunch hours to open.
These are just a few points about Airbnb and Hotels. It all comes down to what you're looking for during the vacation. We want to hear your thoughts and experiences below!