Airbnb vs. Hotels - What Factors Are Influencing Travelers' Decision?

by Thomas Harper

Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation sharing site. Like a hotel, accommodation can be booked for one night or a whole month. Unlike a hotel though, an Airbnb is unique because the place is usually someone’s home or an interesting venue like an award-winning villa in Southern Spain or a luxury apartment surrounded by zen Japanese gardens in Marbella's New Golden Mile. This creates a one-of-a-kind experience that differs greatly from a traditional hotel rental.

The choice of accommodation depends highly on the traveling purpose, personal preferences and most importantly on budget. Spending some time weighing the options help decide whether to go for Airbnb vs. hotels. Some of the factors that can influence travelers' decision are the following:

1. A ‘local’ experience

Travelers nowadays look for a unique localized experience. The feel of living in an actual house within a local neighborhood is what separates airbnb from a hotel. Most people look for “an authentic trip”. Superficial tourist activities and sites are not satisfying for these travelers. Instead, they’re searching for a more personal experience and getting to know life as it is, in that part of the world. Meeting locals, understanding their culture and customs, dining at local places and visiting famous destination spots makes their trip a successful adventure.

2. Health and safety

Health and safety are two of the biggest concerns for travelers. Unfortunately, Airbnb does not adhere to the same health and safety regulations as hotels. You never know how they handle their living area as there are no assigned health inspectors and standards to keep up to. This feature gives hotels a competitive edge over rental lodgings like Airbnb.

3. More space, less money

When considering price, hotels are usually more expensive because of operating costs and staff wages. With Airbnb, you can choose to have an entire house to yourself or you can just rent a private room depending on your budget. In either case, you will end up paying less price for a larger space. You may also find Airbnb is more flexible with policies on pets, smoking and occupancy.

4. Pampering

Breakfast in bed, a midnight snack or an extra blanket, room service is just a start of luxury treatment that you can only get in hotels. Yes, it’s possible to rent a luxury beachfront house, but can you also ask for an in-house spa, a casino or a mini bar? I don’t think so!

5. Amenities

Speaking of booking an entire place with Airbnb, amenities provided are priceless. A full kitchen to prepare a homemade meal whenever you want is just awesome. You can even buy snacks and drink and stock them up in cabinets so you can enjoy them whenever you need to. Most houses also have a washer and dryer, this can be a great advantage for parents with younger kids or just because you don’t want to carry a pile of dirty laundry back home.

6. Services

Most travelers take vacations to skip day-to-day routine. Hotel comfort is all about detailed service. Room cleaning, fresh towels, clean bathrooms with toiletries and water or tea service when asked. In contrast, Airbnb rentals will not offer any such service. So if you are a service seeking traveler, then hotels are your best choice.

Source: Social Tables

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