By Luella Keeble on 21 September 2016

Airbnb or hotel? It’s a question many travellers ask. Each have their pros and cons, so how do you decide on which one to choose when travelling?

Airbnb has had its fair share of controversy with wayward tenants occasionally trashing homes and engaging in illegal activities - but try finding a hotel that hasn't had the same issues at some point. These incidents just get less media attention.

Air Bnb accomodation

But further backlash for the big player is that in some countries certain laws apply where the ‘host’ or landlord renting out their home may not have the legal rights to do so. Then there are some cases -like in New York and Paris - where short-term rentals are restricted out of concern for the well-being of the neighbours and an attempt by local governments to preserve limited urban housing for residents rather than visitors.  In 2014, the company was fined €30,000 from city authorities in Barcelona for breaching local tourism laws and is also under attack in a growing number of other cities around the world.

Hotel accommodation

For tourists however, a holiday rental – whether it’s a home, apartment, shared space, boat or other property type, represents great value for flexible, more adventurous travellers when compared to hotels.

For most, cost would be the primary factor and many would view that an Airbnb would be the cheaper option, but increasingly this is not necessarily the case. The average rate for an Airbnb in Barcelona runs 81% higher than hotel costs.

So to help anyone considering which type of accommodation to choose when travelling, we’ve listed out some pros and cons in a simple infographic:

airbnb vs hotel infographic

If you’re trying to keep holiday costs down for the whole family and opt for an Airbnb, or prefer the seclusion and luxury of a hotel, remember Columbus Direct travel insurance comes with a huge range of freebies and benefits including FREE lounge access if your flight’s delayed.* You and four other travellers can escape the crowds, and head off for some free drinks and snacks, complimentary Wi-Fi, and even a quick snooze. You’re our number one priority, and we’re the insurer you can rely on.

*Free Airport lounge access if available if your flight is delayed by one hour or more. Correct as of 10th August may be subject to change.

[i] Independent study from Busbud.com - ’Comparing Airbnb and hotel rates around the globe’

[ii] Airbnb 5 year study on ‘The economic impact of home sharing in cities around the world’

[iii] Airbnb 5 year study on ‘The economic impact of home sharing in cities around the world’


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