The travel industry is a hugely important part of the global economy, supporting millions of jobs worldwide. The sector encompasses a wide variety of businesses, from airlines to cruise lines and hotels to tour companies. There are a few key things to keep in mind when deciding which type of accommodation to choose, including your purpose for traveling, your budget, and your preferred experience.
While it may seem like a no-brainer, your accommodation will have a significant impact on your overall trip. You should carefully consider whether Airbnb or a hotel is the best choice for you, taking into consideration the length of your stay, your personal preferences, and the location of your destination. You should also pay attention to the cancellation policies of each option.
Hostels and hotels vary significantly, from small “mom-and-pop” joints with a few rooms to massive resorts and everything in between. They can also differ in their atmosphere, with some hostels being very quiet and others more like party places where you’ll hear electronic music blasting from every room. Whether or not this suits you depends on your purpose for the trip, your preference for meeting new people, and whether you want to avoid that one hostel in The Shining where everyone got butchered.
Generally, hotels are more expensive than hostels, but they can offer more comfort and convenience. They usually have larger bathrooms, better kitchens, and more amenities. For example, many hotels offer fitness centers and spas, while some even have private beach access or in-room massage services. If you are able to be flexible with your dates, you can often score the best deals on flights and hotels by flying during less popular days of the week or staying in a hotel that is more empty during the day.
Hotels also tend to have a lot of loyalty programs that reward guests for their patronage. These rewards can come in the form of freebies, upgrades, or points that you can redeem for future stays. In some cases, you can earn hotel loyalty points by having elite status with the brand or by using a credit card that is affiliated with them. Airbnb doesn’t offer loyalty programs, so this is one area where hotels have a clear advantage.
Whether or not you decide to book with a hotel, it is recommended that you always look for the lowest price on your own rather than through an online booking site. By doing this, you’ll avoid paying commission to booking sites and may even be able to secure a lower rate. You can also contact the hotel directly and ask if they will match a competitor’s advertised price. This can save you money and often results in additional freebies such as a gift card for a future visit. Moreover, it can help you avoid booking fees that aren’t disclosed up front. This is particularly true with Airbnb, where hosts may tack on hidden cleaning or service fees.