air bnb or hotel?

Traveling has been made so much easier in recent years with ride sharing and home rentals. Access to affordable housing and transportation has certainly made trips possible for me and Phil that otherwise would have been impossible due to budget. These budget-friendly options are completely changing the way we travel!

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Using Uber and Lyft is so easy and affordable that you can save money on a rental car or save yourself the confusion of having to navigate confusing public transportation systems. That part I am most definitely sold on! What is still up for debate for me however is comparing hotels vs. Air BnB’s. Both ultimately serve the same purpose however they result in a different type of trip entirely.

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Hotel’s

  • The most obvious benefit is safety! I can be a little neurotic when it comes to safety while traveling. Having the peace of mind knowing you’re in a secure building with staff on site and a deadbolt on the door helps to ease my anxiety so I can focus on the most important thing – enjoying the trip.
  • Staying in a hotel, whether luxurious or not, just makes me feel like I’m on vacation! In Chicago, we split time between Air BnB’s and a hotel and we both loved being in the hotel. We had a king size bed with crisp clean sheets, a beautiful view, and a big TV for cuddling up in front of and watching after long days of exploring.
  • The biggest drawbacks of staying at a hotel are often the cost and the manufactured experience. When in Europe I have friends that enjoy staying in hostels and Air BnB’s who fully absorb and enjoy the local experience.

Air Bnb’s

  • The greatest thing about Air BnB’s, in my opinion, is getting to experience a place so authentically. Staying in the home/apartment of someone that lives in the area you’re visiting is such a cool and unique experience. When we were in Burbank, California a few years ago we had our first Air BnB experience. We were in a cozy and quiet neighborhood and heard the birds chirping each morning while newspapers lined the neighborhood driveways. We felt totally immersed in the town and got to taste what it’s like to actually live there.
  • They’re also beyond affordable. Finding nice places for a fraction of the cost is like finding something on sale in Target – it’s so gratifying!
  • The biggest con for me is that I often don’t feel fully relaxed. I’m always aware that I’m in someone else’s home and want to be respectful which includes clearing our dirty sheets off the bed when we’re leaving, picking up all garbage, keeping the house organized and clean, folding used towels, etc. Although it may not be necessary and I’m sure the hosts appreciate it, it leaves me feeling like I have a lot of chores to do as I would at home.

After quite a few trips recently that have been Air BnB heavy, we’ve started feeling more and more like we prefer the amenities of a hotel! And that’s not to say they have to only be Hilton’s, even local bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels would be just as lovely. Something about being in a hotel gives me that special feeling of being away and on vacation. I’m curious to hear what your preference is between the two – let me know in a comment below!

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