Not to start drama but, would you rather book a hotel stay or a vacation rental for your next trip?
Since vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO really began taking off, the popular question now arises, "should we stay in a hotel or a house?" For a while, vacation rentals were the more "millennial way" of doing things however, post-pandemic the space-to-cost ratio (plus the privacy) of staying in an entire place rather than a single room has become more attractive to all travelers.
Both available options come with their pros and cons. The obvious ones being: the space and inclusivity of staying in a home when traveling with a large group vs. the professional customer service and consistent experience of a hotel and sometimes even free breakfast.
So, is there a better choice? Let's look at the more detailed pros and cons of each.
Alright, Let's Compare
We've dug into the details of the debate, hotel vs. vacation rental, and found the most popular questions that need answering to when deciding which to go for. Keep in mind that every vacation is different and what you value going into your trip can vary.
Are daily chores something you're trying to escape from?
If you're someone that avoids cleaning your dishes and making your bed on a daily basis then do you assume that you'll do it while on vacation? This is an important thing to think about because it really sets a hotel stay and a vacation rental apart.
When booking a vacation rental you are agreeing to do some light housework such as making your bed, cooking some of your meals, and washing dishes. Whereas, at a hotel, you are freed from all of that domestic drudgery. Your bed is made for you, the bathroom is wiped down and, you don't ever have to clean up after yourself when you finish eating. Which, takes us to our next comparison.
Do you want to eat out three times a day or cook some meals for yourself?
When staying in a vacation rental you get more of the local experience. You're typically in a neighborhood with other residents in the area who you also share a supermarket with. Yep! That's right. While you could eat out for every meal when staying in a home, why would you when you have a full kitchen? If you're the type of traveler who enjoys a home-cooked meal of their choice (and saving some money too), staying at a vacation rental might be the better choice for you.
The beauty of staying at a hotel is being able to decide what you want to eat, taking a quick form of transportation to the restaurant, and having your food served to you. Effortless right? But also expensive. Dining out for every meal will give you the opportunity to try some of the famous dishes that the city has to offer however, be cognisant of those bills adding up.
What is the length of your stay?
For a long-term trip, staying in a vacation rental is the obvious choice. Not only will you be able to save money by cooking for yourself some nights but, you'll have your own space to get comfortable in. You won't be confined to four walls with one window and the same 10 television channels. Instead, you could have a backyard, a local coffee shop, multiple rooms, natural sunlight, and much more.
On the other hand, for a quick trip somewhere, a hotel is perfect. Conveniently located, hotels make it so you don't have to do much research into the neighborhood, transportation methods, or visiting attractions in the area. So, if you're planning a quick weekend getaway or 3 day work trip, a hotel might be the choice for you.
How big is your group and how much space do you need from them?
If you're planning a bachelor/bachelorette party, a family reunion or just a trip with a lot of people, vacation rentals are great. This option allows everyone to be together at [pretty much] all times. Yes, everyone will sleep in separate rooms but, the living room, kitchen and/ or yard space will be available for group hangouts before or after the day's festivities. Traveling with a large group and staying in a hotel keeps everyone more separate, minimizing the bonding portion of the trip. A.k.a the drunken conversations and clumsy falls that occur when everyone's back and in their pajamas.
Like, we mentioned, hotels have a habit of keeping everyone more separate. However, that's what some people want. Vacationing with a large group of people can be overwhelming at times. It's a lot of personalities in one place and a lot of voices trying to be heard. For some, that escape to the hotel room at the end of the night or a waking up to a quiet space and choosing when they want to begin interacting, is preferred.
Ultimately, the answer to the question of "which is better" depends on the type of vacation you're interested in having, what your travel preferences are, and how you want to experience the area you are visiting. Either way, when booking next time, ask yourself these questions to weigh out the pros and cons of both, and be specific to your values of that trip.