Yes, I’m branching out in my rumbles from cities to, you know, other things. And today I’m looking at accommodation, and yes – I know there are more options out there for places to stay. There’s bnbs, hostels, camping to name a few, but today I am just specifically talking abou Air Bnb and the ol’ staple of the traveler, the hotel.
Of course, there are a range of options for both of these categories. In Air Bnb you can rent a place for yourself, or you can get a room in someone’s house so it’s like a homestay. Hotels have a lot of categories, and quality varies with star ratings and whatnot. So which is better?
Well for me, I look for a number of different things where I’m looking for a place to stay. One thing is sure, in 2017 people are booking mostly through the internet. And Air BnB as far as I know is exclusively an internet-only venture. The one website lets you view all of the choices on their book.
Hotels on the other hand, well, there are about a gazillion websites that gather hotels to compare. You know some of them – expedia, booking dot com, trivago, wotif dot com – personally I prefer Hotels dot com – they give me rewards for booking, 10 nights equals a free night.
Hotel chains have their own websites too, and then many individual hotels have a personal website as well. So the internet is loaded with choices. And some places even crossover from Air BnB to hotel websites. For booking, hotels have so many choices. And that means different prices too, Air BnB you only have the one price. But that in turn means you don’t have to – and can’t – shop around. Is that a good or bad thing?
Air BnB in an apartment for yourself. It’s full of pluses – cooking for yourself, more space, it feels like home. Although I have to say my experiences most of the place I stayed at were a bit poky as far as size goes. In a place like Paris for instance, well, apartments are generally small. So, you’re unlikely to find something that’s spacious anyway. However, we found there was no air conditioning either nor was there any fans in the place. In a hotel that’s usually not an issue. It was incredibly hot whilst we were there in late May this year. I did not get much sleep.
The hotel prices weren’t much different to the apartment prices in Paris. In some places though, Air BnB can save you a lot of money. Especially if you’re in a private room like I was in Cuenca and Salta last year. Shared facilities, but you get to spend time with locals, which I think is always a rewarding experience. Now, I’ve been to some hotels with friendly staff who have been really helpful, but it’s not the same thing.
Of course, if you’re looking to book tours then you might be better off in a hotel or guesthouse. And your hotel might have a restaurant which is always handy, as you can’t cook like you can in an Air BnB rental. In hotel though, if you have an issue there is always someone there to see to it. In Air BnB, well, it can be tricky if you have the apartment to yourself. My TV reception never worked the whole week I was in London. Someone tried to fix it but had no luck. And the power bill had to be paid – I was half a day no power! So, it can be problematic in many ways. In Paris the internet went down and never came back up for the final few days.
Communication can be an issue in either circumstance, but I feel it’s more likely in Air BnB. And I must say – I love a buffet breakfast included in your hotel price too!
All in all, both have their pluses and minuses. I really liked staying with locals in Air BnB, but I felt my experiences in single apartment rentals were less satisfying. You can get a little closer to the centre sometimes for a little less in price.
I’d say I prefer hotels. But I’ve only used Air BnB five times, and perhaps I was unlucky. But I think I chose okay with Air BnB. As I said I really liked staying with locals. But I feel with a choice between apartment rental and hotels, I actually prefer the convenience of a hotel. How about you? What’s your preference? Please do comment!! May the Journey Never End!