Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb – how to pick the right place to stay

Book the travel and make reservations for the accommodation. Do these two steps and you’re mostly ready for your holiday.

When I travel, I literally come back to my ‘roaming-home’ just to crash and get ready the next morning so I can head out quickly and experience the place itself. Despite spending minimal time in my place of stay, I still think that booking the right kind of accommodation is crucial to having a great holiday.

It usually turns out to be a Hotel vs Airbnb vs Hostel. Having experienced the different types of accommodations a number of times, I often get confused what to in go for.

In such cases, I remind myself of the pros and cons of each, and what is it that I’m looking forward to in that vacation. Here’s what I think about the three options.

Hotels

This needs no explanation. Anyone who would have taken a vacation, would have definitely stayed in a hotel. So let me just dive into why I choose to go in for a hotel even when at times, it’s the more expensive option.

Firstly, most hotels have facilities that make travel easy in many ways. A 24-hour check-in helps me books the cheapest and most convenient flights (even if it’s late night) so I can also utilize my day well.

You know how I like to have quick breakfasts on regular days; when on holiday, I like to have a hearty breakfast, so that I can have lunch on-the-go. This way, I can avoid the lunch-time rush and cover the touristy destinations during their open-hours.

A sumptuous buffet breakfast makes for a good start to my vacation, and this comes really easy with hotels. I skip the need to look for good places that serve breakfast, and hence, the additional cost seems totally worth it.

Hotels are the most luxurious of the lot, so I tend to opt for them when I seek a little indulgence and don’t necessarily want to share spaces with others. This one’s in Rajasthan, India. The feel of this room was quite royal, much in line with what the place offers.

Best way to choose a hotel – go to Tripadvisor and compare.

Airbnb

I love the idea of a BnB and how easy it is to experience staying like a local in almost any city in the world. This also gives me an opportunity to interact with the locals and get suggestions that tourists wouldn’t know of otherwise. Thanks to Airbnb for making this so easy for us.

Despite liking the concept, in some cases, I may think twice before booking them.

Since individuals play the host in a BNB, they may have restrictions such as not allowing pets, checking in within a limited time period, parking restrictions and the likes. One may also need to adjust with shared spaces.

Some BNBs in residential areas which may be slightly away from the tourist attractions, and may not have easy access to public transport either. Some also allow bookings only when the stay for a minimum number of days (even if it’s just two)!

It’s a good idea to thoroughly check all the details before booking one, so you know what you’re signing up for. In most budget-BnBs, it’s fair to expect most basic facilities and great hospitality. 

I tend to go for a BnB when I’m looking forward to a relaxing holiday where I don’t necessarily need to rush to cover must-dos, or when I’m staying over for a longer duration.

Hostels

I’ve had some of the best experiences staying in hostels. A lot of us would associate hostels with student life. But trust me when I say that it’s suitable for most people; not limited to students and solo backpackers.

Besides being economical, staying in hostels is a lot of fun. I’ve stayed in hostels with a huge capacity and a large dining area – much like a hotel, to smaller ones that are literally made up of ship containers. Staying in hostels is an experience by itself.

Most rooms are shared, with bunk beds, and shared bathrooms. The number of people you may need to share that with depends on the hostel and your budget. Since hostels cater to the budget traveler, getting in your own food and drinks is permissible.

At some occasions, we bought bread, some accompaniments, milk, and cereal for breakfast and stored them in the shared fridge. At another instance, a basic continental breakfast buffet was included.

I was pleasantly surprised to find how one’s stuff is safe in a shared accommodation. I have even seen expensive alcoholic drinks lined up in a hostel kitchen, just with the name labels. If there’s no label on it, it can get consumed, so a little care is good for oneself.

Hostelers are usually considerate, and I was pleased when my stays where they weren’t inconvenient as I had initially thought they’d be. Some hostels even offer private rooms. Either way, one can get access to shared spaces where one can engage in some great conversations.

I opt for hostels when I’m looking for a more adventurous kind of holiday; one where I’d want to interact with people and engage in some fun together.

Hostel World makes it rather simple to book hostels. And I’ve made some real amazing memories and friends during my stay at Zostels in India.

To put it all together…

The accommodation one should book depends on a lot of factors ranging from budget to facilities and personal preferences. If you haven’t stayed in any of these types, I urge you to try it out. You’ll be surprised how different your stay would turn out when compared to the ones you’ve taken for your previous vacations.

Now that the dilemma of choosing the right kind of accommodation is sorted, it’s time to shop, pack and make a must-do list for the vacation. Because a holiday is more fun when there is a pre-holiday excitement and a post-holiday hangover! What do you think?

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    July 27, 2018 / 8:46 AM

    Good guidance for a trip. Aditi you rock with your advises out of your experiences. Keep it up.

    • July 31, 2018 / 7:59 PM

      Thanks a ton! I’m so glad you enjoy reading about my experiences.

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