My wife and I are strong advocates for obtaining lodging through companies like AirBnb for both the low cost and the cultural experience. Yet sometimes a vacation might be better benefited by booking through something a little more traditional like a hotel.
In this article, I’ll go over the arguments that can be made for why a hotel might be better than renting out someone’s home for your upcoming vacation.
First and foremost you may not have the ability to rent through AirBnb in some locations. Places like New York City have actually passed legislation that makes it illegal for people to rent out their homes or for someone to rent the entire residence within city limits for less than thirty days (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/23/unwelcome-guests-airbnb-cities-battle-over-illegal-short-term-rentals.html). Some countries may not have homes in safe areas or lack some of the basics like electricity, indoor plumbing and so on.
On a less depressing note, some areas may simply have all their AirBnbs booked. Places with lots of tourism or big events may have run out of bedrooms for people to rent out. There are many reasons an Airbnb might not be available in the location your planning to go.
Hotels often come with certain amenities that someone with a spare room or a vacation home may not be able to provide. Things like shuttles that can take you places or pick you up from the airport, security in the lobby, routine cleaning services, onsite dining options, pool, tv with channels, and many more services that can be a great benefit while on vacation.
Unlike other lodging options hotels often have onsite staff to assist with any needs or concerns you might have. They are often able to direct you to interesting locations, places to eat, and other tourism destinations, though they may be incentivized by business deals and partnerships so take their suggestions with a grain of salt.
Some resorts offer inclusive vacation packages when you book through them. Access to local activities, entertainment, and discounts on dining in the area can help justify the higher price hotels charge. Some hotels even have exclusive arrangements with certain companies giving you options you wouldn’t have anywhere else. Often times they’ll have shuttles arranged to take you there and pick you up.
Airbnbs are fun because you don’t know what you’re going to get. People’s homes can be unique, quirky, and comfortable, or they can be absolute dumps and leave you feeling unsafe and annoyed at the low quality.
Hotels, especially those that belong to a large franchise must adhere to certain quality standards in order to conduct business. So your chances of having a quality stay are higher when working with a hotel. There is also the benefit that there is standardization in what is offered regardless of where the hotel is located. A Holiday Inn Express in the U.S. or in Australia are going to be very similar for instance. This gives you some familiarity while traveling and a foreknowledge of what services you’ll likely have access to abroad.
One of the greatest benefits a hotel has can be the membership benefits. Often times these programs are free and can yield great rewards if you travel often and book with the same hotel over and over again. Discounts on the rate, access to complementary services granted only to members, improved quality of service because of your loyalty, and other perks make membership a nice touch on a vacation.
My wife and I have been given free upgrades to suites because of our membership, given rooms in quieter parts of the building when our dog came along, and the staff expedited check-ins and check-outs because all our information was on file and tracked from the previous stays.
Admittedly hotels can be less cultural and more impersonal, but there are many advantages to staying in a hotel. Standardized service, helpful perks, security, vacation packages, quality assurance, and benefits for being loyal can make hotels a wonderful part of any vacation.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.