Weighing the Pros and Cons of Airbnb for Vacation Stays

What are the pros and cons of Airbnb? What is the advantage of airbnb? What are the disadvantages of Airbnb?

Should you book an Airbnb vacation stay?

We ask ourselves this same question every time we book a trip.

Before deciding, we review Airbnb’s advantages and disadvantages and past Airbnb rental experiences. Despite the cons, the weight of pros of Airbnb still makes it a popular choice within our travel resources.

One of the biggest pros of Airbnb is that it offers travelers great value for money. Airbnbs typically offer more space than hotel rooms, with some offering amenities such as a full kitchen, living room, and even a private pool.

The value part becomes even more attractive when traveling with a group or to an expensive destination. Airbnb rentals can be much cheaper than a hotel room and provide more space for the same price; in the long run, you can save money.

For example, during our week in Kauai, we paid half the price for our Airbnb in Princeville than the resort hotels in the area. The vacation rental included full resort amenities like a community pool, amazing views, and free parking.

What is the advantage of airbnb?

The most significant disadvantage of Airbnbs is that there is no daily cleaning service. Because of this, you’re charged an extra cleaning fee at the end of your stay, which can sometimes be unreasonable. This could make or break your decision to ever book an Airbnb.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Airbnb?

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission at no extra cost. Please refer to our full disclosure for details.

If you’ve never booked an Airbnb, click on the link to read our tips on how to use Airbnb and when and why you should book an Airbnb.

In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of Airbnb. So you can make an informed decision and decide if Airbnb is right for your tasty itinerary.

Pros and Cons of Airbnb

Renting Airbnb properties is a great alternative to traditional hotels. But before you book your next stay, let’s look at the pros and cons of Airbnb.

Advantages of Airbnbs

Pro: Cost and Value

For budget-conscious travelers, Airbnb can offer a great bang for your buck. Whether you’re looking to save on cost or get more space than what traditional hotels provide, Airbnb allows you to find the perfect balance between price and amenities that best suits your needs.

Pro: Accommodating Large Groups

bunk beds

Airbnb is an excellent option for large groups, as it can accommodate more people than a hotel room.

If you’re a large family or group, you’ll need more than one hotel room, which adds up quickly. You can book a home with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, and living spaces for a much lower price.

You can make that family vacation a more comfortable and memorable experience.

Pro: Local Experience

Airbnb offers the unique opportunity to stay in a destination as though you are part of its community. Sometimes the properties are located in the heart of a city, making it easy to explore the local area.

You’ll have the opportunity to dine with locals and immerse yourself in their culture.

Pros: More Amenities

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Airbnb rentals often provide more amenities than a hotel room, such as full kitchens, living rooms, laundry machines, free parking, and pool access. These are amenities you can filter out and look for when researching Airbnb.

Having a kitchen is a popular reason to book an Airbnb. You can go grocery shopping, cook in your Airbnb for some meals and save money.

We love to book Airbnb’s sometimes during a long vacation just because we can do laundry. We make sure there is a washer inside the Airbnb when we’re researching. This is a great amenity to have while traveling.

Read more: Creative Way to Save Money to Travel

Pro: Hosts

A great Airbnb host can make a difference in your stay. Some hosts are willing to go that extra mile and help with tips and advice about the area.

We once had a host in Florence provide us with a free cellphone to contact her anytime with questions. Others have left us local snacks and bottles of wine.

Pro: Unique Spaces

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Airbnb offers unique and interesting spaces that you won’t find in a standard hotel room. You can choose from studios, traditional homes, villas, lofts, airstreams, planes, and treehouses.

And if you’re looking for something more off-the-beaten-path, Airbnb will likely have options that hotels will not have.

Pro: More Payment Options

Airbnb gives you the freedom to choose how to pay for your stay. With various payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and Google Pay, Airbnb offers more flexibility than traditional hotels.

Disadvantages of Airbnbs

person researching airbnb on a laptop
Research is key.

Con: Additional Fees

Airbnb often charges additional fees on top of the nightly rate for amenities such as late check-in, cleaning fees, security deposit, and admin fees.

You must do your homework and determine if the cost is cheaper than booking a hotel. Sometimes booking an Airbnb for a short term (1-3 days) may not be worth it.

Cons: Lack of Standards

Airbnb does not have standards like hotel chains. Some hosts may provide great service, while others may not. Again, research is key.

Con: Risky

Airbnb can be risky, especially if you decide not to rent an entire place but a room in someone’s home. You never know who you’re staying with and what kind of people they are.

Con: No Hotel Services

someone pushing a car with room service

Airbnb does not provide hotel services like a concierge or room service. You’ll have to manage things independently, like booking reservations.

Although this is not always the case, some Airbnb hosts are knowledgeable and do not mind providing advice.

Con: Poor Customer Service

While some Airbnb hosts are helpful and attentive, others may not provide the same level of customer service as a hotel.

If you have an issue, you may encounter some problems with resolving it with Airbnb.

Con: Paying in Advance

Unlike booking directly with a hotel or with Booking.com, which has the option to pay in full at check-out, Airbnb requires you to pay in full in advance. You can pay a 50% deposit at booking and have the balance automatically charged before your stay or pay in full. Payment plans are available for certain stays.

The host does not receive payment until after you check-in.

Con: Cancellation Policy

Airbnb’s cancellation policy varies by the host. Some hosts offer generous and flexible cancellation policies, while others have strict ones. Before booking an Airbnb, read the cancellation policy and make sure you won’t be penalized if you have to cancel your trip.

It’s important to get trip insurance.

Airbnb is not for everyone. Where else can you book a vacation rental?  You can also research and book vacation rentals on Vrbo.com and Booking.com Apartments.

Airbnb Pros and Cons FAQs

couple with suitcase checking in to a vacation rental

What are the pros and cons of Airbnb?

The pros of Airbnb include affordability, local experience, more amenities than a standard hotel room, access to unique spaces, and the ability to connect with helpful hosts. The cons of Airbnb include a lack of standards, risky situations, no hotel services, paying in advance, and varying cancellation policies.

Is Airbnb reliable?

From our experience, we have found the hosts we’ve booked with to be reliable and communicative. However, the quality of the property may vary from host to host, so it’s important to research and read their reviews before booking. As far as Airbnb customer service, the reviews are mixed.

Who owns the most Airbnbs?

Airbnbs are primarily owned by individual hosts, although some corporate entities own multiple Airbnbs. Sometimes Airbnbs are handled by property managers on behalf of owners.

Is Airbnb Safe?

Our experiences with Airbnb have been positive, and we’ve felt unsafe. We recommend making sure that when researching properties, you narrow it down to safe and secure areas and always read the reviews. In addition, you should always trust your instincts when booking a property. If something doesn’t feel quite right, don’t book it.

As far as booking on the Airbnb site, it is safe. Keep all communication within Airbnb, including payments. When checking in, always coordinate with the host within the Airbnb app.

These Airbnb pros and cons should give you an idea of what to expect when renting a property via Airbnb. Whether you decide it’s worth it or not is up to you and the research you do. It can be a great way to find unique, affordable accommodations that fit your travel needs.

Check out these related articles to help you plan your next Tasty Itinerary:

Airbnb Tips for Guests

Travel Resources to Book an Amazing Vacation

What is a Food Tour? Plus Practical Tips to Book One

Travel Essentials List: 30 MUST-HAVE Items to Carry-On

How to Plan a Cruise Vacation

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Kathy Ava

Meet Kathy Ava, a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena, and the owner and main writer of Tasty Itinerary. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she's become a pro at crafting unforgettable tasty itineraries. She's always on the hunt for delicious, fun travel destinations and cruise itineraries. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it, so always say yes to dessert.

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