01 Oct Pros and Cons of Staying in an Airbnb vs. Hostel
This is a question we ask ourselves frequently. It always depends on the city and what our plans are, as well as how long we are staying.
Not all travelers on a budget have the luxury of considering these two options, especially if you are a solo traveler. But with the two of us sharing a bed and only needing the bare necessities, Airbnb’s can actually be cheaper than a hostel, or at least equivalent to the price of a dorm room. Not in every city, but at least in all the cities we have stayed in.
Pros and Cons of Airbnb:
- You get your own space. Whether you are staying in a private room in, someone’s house or renting an entire apartment, you have more space to yourself than you typically would in a dorm room.
- A clean bathroom (for the most part). I think this one is self explanatory…
- Workout area. For us, this is important. We love working out and doing yoga, and not all cities are runner-friendly (at least not always nearby). It gets pretty awkward when you workout in a common room in front of people. And we are eating A LOT. You guys. Travel is about FOOD. So it is important to us to find some balance with working out…
- A local’s list of recommendations. This is definitely more personal than the recommendations given to you at a hostel, and are prone to be less ‘touristy.’
- Possibility of a late checkout or early check in. This doesn’t always happen, but more than once we have asked if we could do one or the other. Hosts typically work with you as best as they can.
- Might be difficult to find. Our phones don’t work unless connected to wifi, so if we get lost en route to the place, we can find ourselves in a pickle. And trust us, this has happened a few times.
- No baggage storage. Obviously this varies with each Airbnb, as some hosts may have the space or the time to meet with you again after a checkout – but most likely, the chances on baggage storage are slim.
- If you have an issue, whether it be with public transportation, your baggage, wifi ,etc, there is not a front desk to immediately help you.
- It actually might not be as clean as you think it will be. Airbnb’s don’t have to adhere to the same amenities or rules as hostels or hotels do. Typically, Airbnb’s ARE cleaner, but we have stayed in a few where we cleaned before settling in. This could also be due to our low budget for Airbnb’s, but it is something worth noting.
Pros and Cons of Hostels:
- You get to meet fellow travelers. This is the biggest plus for us. It’s the easiest way to meet people, as the majority of people staying in a hostel are eager to meet others. Many hostels host daily activities or night events to help everyone get to know each other. Alcohol always loosens everyone up, right?
- Cheap bar or cheap breakfasts. A lot of hostels offer one or the other, or maybe both. It’s great to take advantage of these when trying to save some dolla dolla.
- Baggage storage. ‘Nuff said.
- Front desk to help you with all your needs.
- Deals and discounts for tours, activities, etc. This can come in handy – and most front desks are more than willing to help you plan your day!
- Easy to check in during the odd hours of the night, or even to arrive early. Have an early flight or train ride? Most hostels allow you to arrive, drop off your bags, and hang out in the common room until you can officially check in. And it can be hard to coordinate with an Airbnb host if your flight lands at 12 AM and you will be getting to the apartment around 1 AM. A hostel, on the other hand? No problem.
- Close quarters with people you don’t know. Hey, you might make some new best friends! And chances are, you will meet some awesome people. Or, you might not. Someone might snore loud all night, someone might have stinky feet, someone might blast music the minute they wake up at 6 AM. You may wake up to people hooking up on the top bunk above you, etc.
- Sharing a bathroom and shower… it has potential to get dirty quickly, even though hostels clean daily.
- Beds that can be extremely low quality. This is not the case everywhere- but hey, hostels are budget hotels. They aren’t splurging on high quality beds, nor are you paying rates for high quality beds.
Regardless of all the pro and cons, Chloe and I love staying in both Airbnbs and hostels.
Its fun to mix it up and meet people, then retreat back to an Airbnb when we are in need of more space. And hey, Chloe and I are really thankful that we obviously really enjoy spending time together. She’s okay (I guess).
cheers to your future home away from home,