Finding appropriate accommodations can be challenging for families traveling on a budget. With booking sites such as Airbnb now competing against hotels though private home rentals, families must decide what is best for them: an Airbnb vs. hotel? Here’s one mom’s opinion on which is the better option for families to stay within budget, without sacrificing the enjoyment of their vacation.
5 Reasons Why Families On a Budget Should Choose an Airbnb vs. Hotel
Families traveling on a budget have more challenges when planning a vacation. There are a slew of budget travel apps now available that promise to provide the best hotel deals. Likewise, booking sites such as Airbnb.com make private homes and rooms an option for accommodations. One of the biggest decisions that families are now faced with is whether to book an Airbnb vs. hotel.
I’ve stayed in both over the past few years when traveling with my young son. True, staying in a hotel certainly has the bonus of having many luxuries available at our fingertips. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that Airbnb is the way to go if I want to stay within budget while still having an enjoyable vacation. Here’s why:
1. Airbnb Saves Money
As a budget-strapped single mother, getting the most bang out of my buck is important. Staying in an Airbnb vs. hotel allows me to spend less for my entire stay than what many would pay for a single night at a hotel. Additionally, I avoid the hidden costs that often get added on such as fees for extra guests, resort taxes, or internet/phone charges. The cost savings on accommodations alone provides me with extra money to spend on other activities.
2. More Space and Conveniences
By staying in an Airbnb vs. hotel, I have access to an entire home vs. a single room. I have a full kitchen and sometimes multiple bedrooms. If I’m lucky, I’ll even have a yard and/or a pool. Since rentals are usually located in local neighborhoods, I am often close to all of the necessary conveniences to make my stays comfortable such as grocery stores, gas stations, medical facilities, and budget-friendly restaurants.
3. A Place to Make Home-Cooked Meals
When traveling on a budget, eating out isn’t always feasible or desired. In an Airbnb, I often have a full-sized kitchen equipped with all of the appliances and utensils needed to make meals at home. Having a picky eater for a son, it certainly helps to be able to make his favorite home-cooked meals. Extraordinary Airbnb hosts have included key food items and condiments to use, saving us a few more bucks off of the grocery bill.
4. Opportunity to Experience a Destination Like A Local
When staying in an Airbnb vs. hotel, I can stay in an authentic neighborhood among the local residents. By doing so, I meet friendly local residents. I also discover delicious local cuisines, learn about off-the-beaten-path attractions, and shop at the best stores. By experiencing destinations as a local, I also avoid tourist traps that result in spending more and going off budget.
5. Having a Personal Concierge and Tour Guide
An Airbnb host provides me with a personal “concierge.” Whenever I have questions or need advice or recommendations about the area, my host can help. I’ve had hosts provide transportation, and sit down with me to talk about the surrounding area and things to do. When on a budget, it is helpful to have someone who knows of all of the free or inexpensive local family attractions.
Staying in Airbnb vs. hotel gives us the best of both worlds when vacationing on a budget. I enjoy many of the same things that a hotel would provide, while still feeling cozy as if I am at home. No two places that I stay in are ever the same, and I meet amazing people along the way. Best of all, I save enough money to plan my next family vacation.