Hotels have been the go-to option for travellers for years. But with the rise of technological advancements and a sharing economy, that has swiftly changed in recent times. Airbnb has become a popular option for travellers looking for a unique and affordable place to stay. But is Airbnb really the best option for everyone?
In this article, we’ll lay out the pros and cons of Airbnb so you can decide if it’s the right fit for your next trip. But let’s take a step back first and understand what Airbnb is.
What does Airbnb mean?
Believe it or not, Airbnb comes from the word “air mattress.” In 2007, two guys were trying to make some extra money to pay their rent in San Francisco. They had an air mattress and decided to rent it out to a few guests coming into town. And thus, Airbnb was born! (The story is much more complicated, but this is the gist of it).
Now, Airbnb is a multi-billion dollar company that offers travellers a unique way to travel. You can find an Airbnb rental in just about every city in the world. And with over 6 million listings, the options are endless. Whether that’s a treehouse in Atlanta, a villa in Bali, or a dome in France, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.
How Does Airbnb Work?
If you’re new to Airbnb, the process may seem a bit daunting and complex. But it’s actually quite simple, even simpler than most booking sites! Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who need a place to stay with people who need to rent out extra space.
As an Airbnb guest, you can create an account on the website or app and start searching for listings at your desired destination. You can filter your search by location, price, amenities, dates, and more. Once you’re drawn to a listing, you can send a message to the host to inquire about any detail you need. You can also mark your listing as a favourite, add it to a list, and save it for later.
If you want to start an Airbnb business, you can easily create a listing on the site or app. You’ll need to include photos, a description, and your availability, as well as the price per night. Once you create your listing, it will be available for people to book. Usually, new properties offer a discount on the regular price – a way to draw in guests and start getting good reviews!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Airbnb.
Pros And Cons For Airbnb Hosts
Hosting on Airbnb can be a great way to earn some extra money. But it’s not for everyone. Here are some things to consider before you decide to become an Airbnb host.
Pros of Hosting Airbnb Properties
You can make money
This is, of course, the biggest pro of Airbnb for hosts. You can make a decent amount of money by renting out your space on Airbnb. Some people even make a full-time income from hosting on Airbnb. This is especially true if you live in a popular tourist destination. Airbnb charges a minimal service fee, so you get to keep most of the money you make.
One of the great things about Airbnb is that it’s flexible. You can choose when you want to rent out your space and for how long. This is perfect if you only have spare space for a few days or weeks out of the year. You can also rent out your entire property or just a private room. Airbnb offers a lot of options for hosts.
You meet new people
Airbnb also gives you the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life, from everywhere around the world. And you might even make some new friends! That is, if you’re lucky enough to have great guests and if you do enjoy meeting new people. Airbnb guests staying in your home are not typically there to socialize, but it can happen.
You get to be your own boss
When you host a rental property on Airbnb, you’re the boss. You get to decide how you want to run your business. You can set your own rules and guidelines. And you’re in control of everything from pricing to housekeeping.
Cons of Airbnb Hosting
You have to be available
One of the downsides of Airbnb is that you need to be available when your guests are staying. This means you can’t just up and leave for the weekend. If you have last-minute plans, you’ll need to either cancel your guests or find someone to cover for you.
Of course, there is the option of using a vacation property rental management company to help with managing your property.
You need to be organized
If you’re going to be a successful Airbnb host, you need to be organized. You need to keep track of your bookings, manage your calendar, and respond to messages in a timely manner. This can be a lot of work, especially if you’re hosting multiple guests or running several listings at a time.
You’re responsible for your space
When you host on Airbnb, you’re responsible for your space. This means you need to keep it clean and tidy at all times. You also need to make sure that all of your amenities are in working order. If something breaks, it’s up to you to fix it.
THERE WILL BE difficult guests
Many Airbnb hosts complain that they’ve had to deal with difficult guests. This includes guests who are noisy, messy, or disrespectful. Some even vandalize the property! The good thing is that difficult guests are rare. Most Airbnb guests are well-behaved and respectful of your property. If you do end up with a difficult guest, you can always reach out to Airbnb for help.
To reduce the risk of difficult guests we recommend including Airbnb house rules on your property listing. Unsure of what to include? Here is a link to our Airbnb House Rules Template.
Now that we’ve looked at the pros and cons of Airbnb for hosts, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Airbnb for guests.
Airbnb Pros And Cons As A Guest
For many of its long-time fans, Airbnb is a cheaper and more flexible alternative to traditional hotels. But is it right for you? Many Airbnb guests have mixed feelings about their experiences. Here are some things to consider before booking an Airbnb and if you are still unsure which is right for you why not check out our recent blog post comparing Hotels vs Airbnb.
Pros for Airbnb Guests
Airbnb rentals can save you money
One of the biggest drawcards of Airbnb is that it’s usually cheaper than staying in a hotel. You can often find entire homes or apartments for the same price as a hotel room. This is perfect if you’re travelling on a budget.
Long-term stays can also be much cheaper on Airbnb. For example, a month-long stay in a hotel can cost you thousands of dollars. But a month-long stay in an Airbnb rental can cost you just a fraction of that, especially if you’re splitting the cost with other travellers or guests.
More space and privacy
Another advantage of Airbnb is that you usually have more space and privacy than you would in a hotel room.
Travelling with a family or group of friends? You can often find an Airbnb that’s more spacious and better equipped than a hotel room. Many Airbnbs have kitchens so you can prepare your own meals and save money on dining out. You also typically have more privacy in an Airbnb than you would in a hotel. That’s because you usually have the entire space to yourself, rather than just a room.
You get to live like a local
When you stay in an Airbnb, you get to experience life as a local. This means you can stay in a neighbourhood that’s more authentic and less touristy. You also have the opportunity to meet your neighbours and learn about their local culture.
More flexible cancellation policy
Airbnb stands out from many hotels because of its cancellation policy. Depending on the type of listing, you may be able to cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before check-in with no penalty. This is much more flexible than most hotel cancellation policies.
Airbnb is known for offering unique experiences that you can’t find at a hotel. For example, on the Airbnb website, you can often find listings for treehouses, yurts, and even castles! If you’re looking for an unforgettable trip, Airbnb is definitely worth considering.
Access to local advice:
When you book an Airbnb, you have access to your host’s local knowledge. This can be incredibly valuable, especially if you’re visiting a place for the first time. Your host can help you find the best restaurants, attractions, and activities in the area.
Support in case of problems
A great benefit of Airbnb is that you have someone to contact if you have any problems during your stay. This is in contrast to hotel stays, where you may have to deal with problems on your own, especially if you’re staying in a foreign country.
Cons for Airbnb Guests
It’s less predictable
One of the downsides of Airbnb is that it can be less predictable than staying in a hotel.
When you book an Airbnb, you’re usually dealing with an individual owner rather than a large corporation. This means that the quality of the accommodation can vary greatly. You may end up in a lovely home with a great host or you may end up in a cramped and dirty apartment. There’s simply no way to know for sure until you arrive.
lack of or no hotel amenities
Another downside of Airbnb is that you usually don’t have access to hotel amenities. This means no room service, no concierge, and no daily housekeeping.
If you’re used to the luxury of a hotel, this can be a bit of a shock. Hosts also charge a cleaning fee to make sure the place is tidy before you arrive and once you leave. This is in addition to the nightly rate.
You might have to share a space
If you’re staying in an Airbnb property with multiple rooms, it’s possible that you’ll have to share the space with other guests. This can be a great way to meet new people but it can also be disruptive if you’re trying to relax on vacation.
No guarantee of quality
As we mentioned, the quality of Airbnb accommodations can vary greatly. You might not have a good experience if you book an Airbnb.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get what you expect. You might end up being disappointed or even stranded if your Airbnb is not as advertised. When this happens, it can be very difficult to get your money back or you might need to book a last-minute hotel.
As you can see, there are both pros and cons to staying in an Airbnb. Like anything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to weigh these carefully before booking.
Consider your needs and preferences to decide if an Airbnb is right for you. From the amenities to the price, there are many factors to consider.
All that being said, Airbnb can be a great way to save money and have a unique travel experience.
Just make sure to do your research before you book!