Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb

There are so many accommodation options available to us when we travel that it is hard to know where to start. It seems that everyone is looking for the best deal, and are never willing to pay full price. There are price comparison sites popping up left right and center, it is tricky to get your head around all the options available to you.

To add to the confusion there are so many different types of accommodation option available. Hostels, hotels and then there is the uprising of Airbnb and individually run holiday rentals.

  • Hostels were once considered a destination for people between homes or for backpackers with absolutely no money but that is not the case.
  • Hotels were once considered the accommodation of choice for the rich and affluent but again, this is not the case; there is a hotel to suit every taste and budget.
  • Then there is Airbnb that since its establishment in 2008 has grown from strength to strength and shows no sign of slowing down.

With a myriad of travel accommodation options available to us it is worth getting up to speed with the pros and cons of each so that, regardless of the objective of your travel, you can find the best accommodation for you.


Hotels are a timeless form of accommodation for travelers, holiday makers and business people alike. From the luxurious and grand five, six and now seven star established to the quick sleep over stops on the sides of the highway there really is a hotel for every occasion.

Pros of Hotels

Privacy – In a hotel, you get your own space, your own bed in most cases the majority of the amenities you will need. If you are traveling for business then a hotel is the logical place to stay.

Staff – In most reasonably high-quality hotels the staff will be there for your to weigh on you hand and foot. If you need room service at midnight or a taxi to be arranged for you the hotel staff should be more than obliging.

Room Service – If you want a cup of tea or coffee or alcoholic beverage delivered to your room this can be easily arranged. If you go out for dinner a turn-down service may be offered. In the morning when you head to the hotel’s restaurant for breakfast one of the hotel staff will come and make your bed and replace any towels you need too.

Security – All hotels will offer guests use of the safety deposit box and many hotels will have a safe in the room for complimentary use.

Cons of Hotels

Social Life – Because you have your own room and own assigned table at breakfast there are little opportunities to socialize unless you put yourself out there at the bar and start a conversation. Unlike in a hostel where the opportunity to socialize is more organic.


In the past ten years as the travel and tourism boom has it, the hostels have kept up with the times and upped their game. Gone are the grotty bunk beds, moldy kitchen, and holes in the bed sheets, hostels in 2017 are destinations in their own right.

Pros of Hostels

Social – Hostels are perfect if you are traveling on a budget. Often cheaper than hotels and Airbnb rentals hostels consistency come in on the lower end of the accommodation price scale.

Wifi Connection – Whereas in hotel rooms you will be assigned your room in a hostel there will be one router for everyone to use. This means that at peak times the wifi can be very slow. Most hostels try to provide a good internet connection but this isn’t always the case.

Service – There is staff who work at hostels but they are mainly responsible for checking guests in and out, managing booking and keeping the communal areas clean. You will be responsible for making your own bed and washing your own dishes, should you use any.

Cons of Hostels

Privacy – If you share a dorm there is very little privacy. If you are not very sociable then you may not like sharing a room with strangers.


The rise of Airbnb has totally changed the way we travel and stay away from home. Their motto ‘live like a local, if only for the night’ is very true. You can hire a room in a house, a whole house or an entire apartment.

Pros of Airbnb

Family Travel – Airbnb whole house rentals are perfect if you are traveling as a family or a big group. By hiring the whole building you can keep costs to a minimum compared to staying as a group in a hotel.

Location – Many Airbnb rentals are in the very heart of the city or town you want to visit. What’ve more, you can find accommodation far away from the beaten track.

Cons of Airbnb

Safety – You will have the key to the property as will the owner. Some people feel uncomfortable about this fact. If you chose a host with a high rating you can give yourself some peace of mind.

Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb

Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

2 thoughts on “Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb”

  1. Came across your post when I was doing research on hotels, hostels, and airbnb’s for myself. I really enjoyed your post, and learned some things that I never knew about. I’m thankful that you included the pros and cons of all the stay selections!


Leave a Comment