Looking for accommodation for your next holiday?
So you’ve booked your flights, next step? Accommodation. Targeting a combination of tourists and business-travelers, hotels are undoubtedly the easiest and most luxurious way to travel, but personally, unless a resort holiday is what you want, we would book an Airbnb over a hotel 90% of the time. Yes, there is a little more research that needs to go into booking an Airbnb over a hotel (pictures, location, reviews of the property as well as reviews of the host themselves) but, staying in one can be so much more rewarding than staying in a conventional hotel and, for around the same price as a hostel, should definitely be strongly considered whatever your budget.
The general consensus is that hotels are dominant in ‘tourist’ areas, but what if you don’t want to be surrounded by tourist amenities? With a wealth of options that span the entirety of the city (spots in Mexico City range from city-centre flats to out of town villas), Airbnb properties ensure that you are never too far from anything you want to see. The fact that these are houses owned by locals also means that you have a higher likelihood of finding a bed on your more remote travels, something never more clearly seen than in the Scottish Highlands where a brief look in the area surrounding Smoo Cave shows a solitary SYHA hostel that seems to be fully booked from now until eternity or several close Airbnb options.
Now of course there are going to be luxury apartments on Airbnb in every city that are comparable to the prices of hotels, but in general it is fairly clear that prices on Airbnb are much more reasonable than their hotel counterparts. Take Edinburgh for example. A single night in the ‘cheap’ Ibis hotel in the city centre ranges between £65 to £130 for a room while an Airbnb would set you back £70 for an entire flat, fitting 4 guests. Add to that the convenience of having full access to amenities (a host in Memphis provided unlimited ice-tea in the fridge among other things) and a kitchen and the choice becomes obvious! Not only is this great as it saves you some pennies in your pocket, but it also frees up a lot more cash for you to spend throughout your holiday on the things that actually matter, the experiences!
So this one will change depending on if you’re renting out an entire flat or just a room, but the expertise of your host cannot be ignored, after all they’re locals in the place your visiting! While all hotels will have a concierge service/ office staff there to assist you with your questions, you’ll rarely find them recommending anything different to the guides designed for tourists. Your Airbnb host? They’re experts in where the locals go. Best coffee shop to relax in? They’ve been there. Non-tourist bars? They drink there. A bipartisan opinion on an attraction? They’re your best bet. It is often when you go off the beaten path that you discover the heart and soul of the city and who best to show you the way than someone who is an active part of the local culture.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful hotels around the world, but unless you are showing me the Hilton in Hawaii (it has penguins in the foyer, it wins in everything), they all kind of look and feel the same: glass structures with floor upon floor of corridor, each housing countless near-identical rooms, there’s just no character to them. That is where Airbnb steps in. Aye, many may be standard apartments but look beyond those and you’ll find yourself with the opportunity of staying inside a campsite in the desert, a cave-dwelling used in Pirates of the Caribbean, a dog-shaped house and even a Scottish castle… How many people can say that they’ve slept in a medieval castle?!