The decision on whether to book an Airbnb versus a hotel when traveling abroad is one that stumps many travelers. On one hand, Airbnb is convenient, often affordable, and provides travelers with the privacy they might be seeking in another country. Alternatively, hotels are convenient, offer a vast array of services, and also come without the potential stress of being in someone else's home. The question of whether or not to stay in an Airbnb over a hotel is further complicated by factors such as the size of one's travel party, where one is traveling, and how long they'll be staying.

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Why Airbnb Is A Great Option For Travel Budgeting & Group Trips

Back in November 2020, it was determined that Airbnb rentals in London, specifically, were 59% cheaper than the average hotel room. Similar data for the surrounding tourist destinations followed this, with a study by TotallyMoney showing that Bath and Oxford were 52% less expensive than hotels in the same area, and Manchester Airbnbs were 51% cheaper. Therefore, the conclusion can be drawn that for those seeking a budget-friendly holiday in the U.K., Airbnbs are likely to offer the more affordable option.

This cost is cut even further for those traveling with a group. Whereas the typical hotel would mean affording several rooms for a large group, travelers can cut costs by going in on one rental together. This could be a house rental, a large apartment, or anything that would typically be priced out of most people's budgets, were they renting on their own. Splitting costs is a known way to travel on a budget so when it comes to traveling as a group, Airbnb abroad is the better option.

Benefits Of Booking An Airbnb Abroad

As opposed to hotels, Airbnbs are reviewed solely on one space, and on one host, whereas hotels are reviewed on a variety of facets. This makes it easy to find higher-rated properties, as well as personal anecdotes from guests who have met and interacted with the host or the space. Additional benefits of booking abroad with Airbnb include:

  • Rates. Occasionally, hosts will offer discounted rates or deals on their property depending on the travel circumstance. For those traveling during the off-season when an Airbnb is less likely to be booked, it's worth trying to negotiate a bit for a lower price, considering most hosts just want the booking.
  • Location. This could go either way, but many hosts rent their property due to the fact that it's close to tourist attractions. Finding an Airbnb in the center of a city might be well worth the price if one is saving on transportation and can walk. Alternatively, finding an Airbnb in the countryside might be more affordable, and allow travelers the privacy they're looking for on vacation.
  • Host-To-Travel Contact. When booking an Airbnb, travelers are dealing with one singular person (usually). This means whatever issues arise, guests will know exactly who to contact and will likely have the option to do so 24/7. While this is also an option that hotels have, guests can rest assured that the owner of a property will not be attending to 50 other rooms in addition to theirs.

Related: Airbnb Etiquette: Following The Rules In Luxe Lodging

Why Hotels Are Better For First-Time International Travelers

Each country has its own Airbnb rules which can be confusing for first-time travelers across the pond. While it's not impossibly difficult to book an Airbnb abroad for a first-timer international traveler, they might find that they'll have an easier time booking a hotel simply for the ease it provides. One of the main reasons is the concierge service, which offers the following benefits for those choosing a hotel:

  • 24/7 Help. Most hotel front desks offer help around the clock, which means no matter what the issue, there's always a member of the hotel staff present.
  • Transportation Services. Whereas one is pretty much on their own with transportation to and from an Airbnb, hotels sometimes offer transportation in the form of cars or taxis that can help eliminate some pressure of figuring out how to get from point A to point B.
  • Room Service. It might seem like a small luxury, but it's one that travelers will be thankful for when they find there's no food in their Airbnb and no local restaurants or markets that are open within walking distance.
  • Travel Deals. For those who are open to wrapping a hotel accommodation, transportation, and tourist excursions all in one, a hotel is undoubtedly the best option. While Airbnb will likely save them money, booking a hotel package can be budget-friendly and offers much more in value.

So, Which Is The Better Option? Airbnb Or A Hotel?

Depending on the size of the travel party, an Airbnb is perfect for those looking to save money and budget their trip by cutting the costs of accommodation. It's also a great option for those who have traveled internationally before and are familiar with the ropes, since transportation, food, and other necessities don't need to be included in the overall stay.

For those who are traveling abroad for the first time, sticking to a hotel offers the luxury of having everything in one place. In the event of a great package deal, this is also something to consider when deciding between an Airbnb and a hotel, as hotels often have more to offer to those who'd rather stick to an all-inclusive.