Summer is here folks and that means one thing, you are due for a vacation. Hopefully you have already narrowed down your destination and now it’s time to pick accommodations. With the advent of home-sharing websites like Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) we all have so many more choices of where to stay. Its no longer picking out the best hotel, now it’s choosing the best accommodations for you and what you want out of your vacation.

From castles to unique studio apartments all the way to shared group rooms, these home-sharing sites offer more variety than ever before. All this variety can actually be a nuisance, making planning a vacation that much harder. Do Airbnbs offer the same experience; safety and cleanliness that you are guaranteed form a 5-star hotel? Let’s explore the major differences of Airbnbs and hotels and see which one fits your needs the best.

 

Experience

Hotels are often sterile and similar no matter where you travel to so if experience is what you crave, Airbnbs may be better for you. These home-sharing sites offer unique experiences that hotels just can’t. Imagine staying in a castle vs a hotel, which one sounds more enticing?

I enjoy staying at both and I think it all depends on what kind of vacation you want. If you are looking for cookie cutter amenities, brochures in the lobby of local attractions and free shuttle transports, then hotels are obviously your choice. However, if you need more personal touches, hand written notes form your host and some of the most interesting accommodations, then Airbnb is for you.

 

Quality

Quality usually varies depending on price and location. Hotels can range from fleabags to ultra luxury and it all depends on how much you are willing to fork over. Same goes for Airbnb, that’s what makes choosing so hard. If you want quality, you will have to pay for it.

To alleviate the problem of quality variation, do your research. Check out recent reviews of both the local hotels and local Airbnbs, this should give you a great reading of the quality levels.

 

Price

Price ranges can vary and both hotels and Airbnbs can be affordable. I personally have found incredible Airbnbs for less than a $100 a night and I can’t really say that about hotels. Airbnbs may seem cheaper at first but many times they have hidden fees like cleaning fees and of course Airbnb’s service charge, which is usually $15 per night. Your best bet is to research around and find a few options and chose between them.

 

Safety

Safety is many people’s number one concern and I totally understand that. Airbnbs don’t have to adhere to the strict health guidelines of hotels so that is something to think about. That’s why reading the recent reviews is so important, seeing others experiences can tell you a lot. Airbnb actually processes all transactions 24 hours after you stay there, just in case anything happens, so that’s good.

Hotels are generally considered safer but that only applies to the larger chains.

 

Choosing between an Airbnb and a hotel really comes down to personal preference. The key is to do your research and figure out which is best for you and your family. Happy vacation planning and hopefully you find the perfect accommodations.