Pros & Cons of Airbnb, VRBO, and other Vacation Rentals

Airbnb or VRBO vs. Staying at a Hotel

Airbnb is a service that offers travelers the opportunity to rent accommodation. Shared rooms, private rooms, or entire homes can be rented from locals in over 190 countries.  The website connects people who are looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodation. I have booked accommodations many times in the US and Australia with vacation rental services like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, and many others. Overall, I have found it to be a very positive experience. I have written this article so that you can decide if Airbnb is right for you.

Pros of Airbnb & Vacation Rentals Services

Throughout my experience using Airbnb I have discovered, as with anything, there are pros and cons. Overall, I have had positive experiences and plan to continue using this type of accommodation in the future. Airbnb can be beneficial to both hosts and travelers. This article will focus on the benefits and shortcomings of Airbnb for travelers.

Your Own Space on a Budget

If you’re someone who likes communal living, who likes always being around other people, and who is just looking for the cheapest accommodation, then a hostel is probably your best option. However, you could prefer having your own space, privacy, and not always being around other people. If this sounds like you, and are on a budget, then Airbnb is a great option.

Less sharing

You only have to share the bathroom and kitchen with the people that live there. Therefore, if you prefer personal space to communal living than this is a great benefit.

Extra safety for belongings

You don’t need to worry about locking your stuff up as a private home provides more security. You can also unpack your stuff instead of just living out of a suitcase like you would do at a hostel.

Wonderful hosts and personalized service

I have had really great experiences with the hosts I’ve stayed with. Most of them are very friendly and helpful. They often go out of their way to make their guests stay as comfortable as possible. Picking me up from the train stop, making me dinner, helping me to plan my stay, and inviting me to a comedy show. These are just some of the ways that Airbnb hosts have gone above and beyond to give me a great experience.

Staying with locals

You get to stay, and live with, people who are from the place that you are visiting. This means they will be able to give you lots of tips and advice about what to see and do. At almost every Airbnb I’ve stayed at, the host has had tons of maps and brochures. They were more than happy to give me tips and advice about where to go and what to do.

Something for everyone

When you check for available accommodations, you will find that there is a wide variety from shared rooms to private rooms and entire apartments. You can find places that are in the city center or farther away. There are places that are more expensive and luxurious and places that are simpler and cheaper. There are a lot of options so finding a place that meets your needs and expectations is easy.

A different experience

Airbnb accommodations offer a nice break from cookie-cutter hotels. If you’re traveling long term, or the weather is bad, you might decide to spend some time in your accommodation rather than out exploring. Being stuck in a hotel room is no fun and can get boring fast. In a hostel, you have little personal space or privacy. When your in someone’s home, you don’t feel cabin fever if you spend a couple of days inside. This can be especially beneficial for longer stays.

The comforts of home

When traveling long term you can begin to miss the comforts of home, which is why Airbnb is great. It’s the closest you can get to feeling at home without being at home.

See other guest’s reviews

When searching for accommodation you can read past guest reviews. This will give you a better idea about the host and the accommodation. Past guests rate the properties on; accuracy, communication, cleanliness, location, check-in, and value.

Cons of Airbnb & Vacation Rentals Services

I’ve had many good experiences with Airbnb and the pros far outnumber the cons. Below, are some of the shortcomings of Airbnb.

Harder to meet people

he biggest disadvantage with staying at an Airbnb is that you don’t have as good of an opportunity to meet people as you would in a hostel. However, it’s still possible to meet people. Many hostels have bars that are open to the public. Go on a pub crawl. Meet people on tours. It can be more difficult to meet people than if you were staying in a hostel, but it’s far from impossible.

Not the cheapest option

If you are looking for the cheapest accommodation then staying at an Airbnb might not be your best option.  You can find places for a very reasonable price but it still won’t be as inexpensive as a room in a dorm.

Living in someone else’s home

I’ve heard people say that they would be uncomfortable living in someone else’s home. I was a bit at the beginning, but the hosts I’ve had have all been wonderful and made me feel right at home.

Property does not match the description

Just like anywhere you can never be 100% sure of what the place will be like until you get there. If you book a place with lots of good reviews and pictures then you have a better chance that you will have a positive experience.

Final Word

So there you have it, the good and bad of Airbnb. Have you had positive or negative experiences? Let me know in the comments! If you’re looking to explore other types of accommodations check out Affordable Accommodation Alternatives to Hotels.

Share on: