I rarely stay at hotels. In general, I'll stay in a hotel if I get a free stay through travel hacking. Hostels or airbnbs tend to be more my thing — hostels when I want to meet new people and want a super cheap place to crash, and I don't care about having my own space. However, there are absolutely times when I need my space and a nice shower without someones toe nail clippings in it.
But we aren't comparing an Airbnb to a hostel, that is like comparing a Giraffe to a horse, sure, you can kinda see some similarities, but it's a whole other thing altogether..Ya know, because the whole 20 feet tall thing.
Back to my point.
When I am checking out a new city, I'm always checking Airbnb for unique places with a good location for my stay. The concept is simple: book a room in someone’s home or book the entire home for — hopefully — less than the cost of a standard hotel. Also, if you wan to save even more, click on this link to get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb.
Over the last two years I have been booking rooms for my friends and I on the site and have ended up with some damn cool homes for significantly less than a hotel and the feel of an actual home instead of a basic hotel room we all know. Two queen beds, some bad lighting and a crappy TV with three movie channels you hope to god have something good on. Based on all of my experiences, here are five reasons why Airbnb is better than a hotel.
Location: Hotels in the best locations have hefty price tags and they are usually straight up fancy (not in a good way). Because Airbnb properties can be anywhere, you’re not limited to business districts and busy boulevards — great if you want something off the beaten path or closer to atypical attractions (like family).
Space: For $200+ a night, a family of four could share one room in a hotel. For a much lower rate, you can book a 1,000-square-foot, super cool house where you can each have your own rooms and not feel bad about keeping the lights on or watching TV while the other people are trying to sleep!
Amenities: So you usually don't get free breakfast with Airbnb, but what you do get is usually much better. Normally you are able to use a patio, pool and/or hot tub, full kitchen and dining table to play games on and usually two bathrooms as well. You do benefit from being a guest in someone’s home, rather than a customer in someone’s corporate brand.
Flexibility: Instead of worrying about strict check-in and check-out times that might interfere with you flights, travel plans or force you out of your place too early, you have the pleasure of working out arrangements that suit both the hosts and you.
Staying with locals: Often the hotel check-in staff is busy and wanting to get you into a room to worry about telling you all the cool things you can do, but with Airbnb it's a bit different. You are staying as a guest in someones home. Usually they will ask if I have any plans or fun things in mind and simply asking what they recommend can change your entire trip! If someone asked you about the cool things in your city, i'm sure you know a few places that wouldn't be on trip advisor right? Also, if you are out of the country, it's a great way to learn about their culture and get to know the people, as opposed to talking with tour guides and other people who simply are there because you pay them.
That isn’t to say Airbnb doesn’t have its drawbacks. While almost all of my stays are great, there’s a lot more room for properties to be less ideal than advertised, for hosts to cancel your reservation due to their personal needs, and for personality conflicts to detract from a stay with heavy interaction between you and your hosts. Not to mention that certain cities are questioning the legality of Airbnb in the first place.
But if you’re looking for accommodations that don’t fit the typical hotel bill, with the ability to have an entire house instead of a 10 by 10 room, give it a try. At best, you’ll find just what you need at the right price; at worst, it’ll be a funny story a few years down the road (and you can soothe your soul by writing a biting review). If you are interested, I have a gift for you! Use THIS LINK to get $40 in travel credit for your first stay!