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There’s no denying that Airbnb has disrupted the lodging and hotel industry. It started out as a place where people could rent out their spare rooms or homes when they weren’t using them, but it is (obviously) grown and morphed into something much bigger. It seemed like it used to be more of just a one-off thing for people to do as a side hustle. Now, it seems like most Airbnbs are run by huge corporations and/or professional property managers. I have stayed in some amazing Airbnbs, and also had my Airbnb host try to charge me an extra $410. I even hosted an Airbnb for a couple of years (I’ve since sold that property and gotten out of the Airbnb business), so I know quite a bit about how Airbnb works and the pros and cons of Airbnb.
Airbnb is broken – how to fix it
So with all of that said, I got a real chuckle when I saw this tweet the other day
Airbnb is broken. Hear me out.
The space needs disrupting. Think:
– a building dedicated to hosting
– full service
– central location
– guaranteed amenities
– professionally trained staff
– knowledgeable concierge
who’s building this?
— gaut (@0xgaut) July 10, 2022
If your sarcasm meter is broken, he is basically describing (tongue-in-cheek) a hotel. It was rather amusing to read some of the replies where people missed the joke entirely. On the other hand, there were some good replies that fit right along with the original post, including this one:
A few notable players in no particular order but might make sense if you start from the end Notilh, ttoirram, ttayh, snosaes 4, nretsew tseb
— Alex Barreto (@alexbcnd) July 10, 2022
And then of course, for us miles and points people, someone made the great suggestion to gamify the whole system with some “points”
incredible.. what could we call those? Maybe gamify it? Make it fun for people? Points, perhaps?
— gaut (@0xgaut) July 10, 2022
Is Airbnb broken?
So, is Airbnb broken? While I have had (mostly) good experiences when staying at an Airbnb, there are certainly some ridiculous things, many of which were catalogued in the Twitter thread above.
I’m curious … have any of you found yourselves more recently preferring a hotel over an Airbnb? pic.twitter.com/Dp8HD8Tw3c
— marty.com (@martymadrid) July 9, 2022
(SEE ALSO: Is It Time to Give Up on Airbnb?)
Hotel vs Airbnb – Pros and Cons
There are pros and cons for staying in hotels vs staying at an Airbnb or another vacation rental. Some things about Airbnb that I like are:
- Location: Sometimes there just aren’t hotels where you want to go. I stayed in an Airbnb in Billund, Denmark, to go to Legoland with my son. There weren’t any hotels (or at least any points hotels) in the whole city.
- Having a (larger) place to yourself: We are a family of 8, so being able to spread out and not have to worry about disturbing the neighbors is a nice feature.
- A full kitchen: Being able to cook our own meals can drastically cut down on our total food budget.
On the other hand, hotels offer:
- Hotel points! This is a miles and points blog, after all, and getting “free” stays is a big reason I prefer hotels. With Airbnb, there aren’t really very many good ways to use points to pay for Airbnb stays. You can use purchase-erasing points like Capital One Venture miles, but that’s about it. Some cards like the new Capital One Venture X offer credits toward vacation rentals.
- “Free” breakfast and/or dinner: With a family of 8, staying in a hotel that offers “free” breakfast or dinner can also be good value.
- Consistency of experience: This goes back to the original point. When I stay at a Hampton Inn or a Holiday Inn Express or a Hyatt Place, I know what I’m going to expect. While there are a few brands (Choice for one) where you have to be a bit careful about that, knowing what to expect is a huge benefit.
What about you? How do you like to travel?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts on how you find yourself staying when you’re traveling. Do you gravitate towards hotels? vacation rentals / Airbnbs? I think there can be different options for different situations. But there’s certainly no doubt that I am getting annoyed with Airbnbs where it’s $59 / night with a $200 cleaning fee (and you still have to do most of the cleaning yourself).
Where do you typically stay when traveling? Do you prefer hotels or Airbnb?
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