Are Airbnbs a greater deal than motels? Right here’s what to search for

Keep in mind the times when the most effective money-saving journey suggestions was reserving an Airbnb versus a lodge? Not solely had been nightly charges virtually at all times far cheaper, however the Airbnbs and hosts themselves typically formed as much as be essentially the most memorable features of a visit.

Lately, staying at an Airbnb not often entails massive financial savings or friendships with the hosts. For higher or for worse, options like self-check-in make it so hosts and visitors by no means even meet. In the meantime, many listings aren’t managed by house owners, however by company property administration behemoths — with out the comfort of on-site, full-time workers.

And the price? A June 2022 NerdWallet evaluation checked out 1,000 U.S. Airbnb reservations for 2022 or 2023. Though there’s no option to evaluate the prices immediately since each Airbnb is completely different, some key indicators present clues as to when Airbnbs are higher or worse than a lodge.

In some circumstances, Airbnb leases are nonetheless a very good deal in comparison with motels. Different occasions, they’re removed from it.


For brief stays, Airbnbs are not often a very good deal for 2 causes: reductions and cleansing charges.

Financial savings get larger with journey size: The nightly fee for the typical seven-night Airbnb keep was 32% cheaper than a one-night keep, in response to NerdWallet’s evaluation.

  • One-night keep: $314 median nightly worth
  • Seven-night keep: $213 median nightly worth (32% cheaper per evening versus staying one evening)

Why are longer stays cheaper? One purpose is multiday reductions. Hosts supply these incentives as a result of they’d desire having fewer bookings to handle and guarantee occupancy.

Another excuse is cleansing charges. Whereas not all listings have them, the median cleansing price is $75, in response to NerdWallet’s evaluation. Because it’s a one-time price, the price is lowered by longer stays. A $75 cleansing price stings extra on a one-night keep versus a three-week keep, the place it might quantity to solely about $3.50 per day. Since motels usually don’t have cleansing charges, vacationers staying an evening or two may be higher off with a lodge if Airbnb cleansing charges are steep.


For solo vacationers and {couples}, Airbnbs are usually costlier (although NerdWallet’s examine solely checked out “total place” properties, so folks sharing a room or dwelling would possibly nonetheless save).

NerdWallet in contrast the value per head for Airbnbs with a max capability of two adults towards a lodge room in the identical metropolis. It additionally in contrast the price of an Airbnb with a max capability of six folks towards the price to e-book three lodge rooms (assuming two adults per room).

The typical Airbnb for six was 33% cheaper than reserving three lodge rooms. However the common lodge was 29% cheaper than reserving an Airbnb for 2.

Right here’s how median prices broke down, per individual:

  • Small Airbnb (matches two adults): $125.
  • Giant Airbnb (matches six adults): $60.
  • Resort room (matches two adults): $89.


In fact, each traveler’s scenario is exclusive, and different prices go into a visit past simply sticker worth. Ask your self about:

TRANSPORTATION: Does the lodge cost for parking? Is there a free airport shuttle? Is the lodge downtown and walkable, whereas your Airbnb would possibly necessitate a rental automobile?

STAFF AVAILABILITY: For Airbnbs, you would possibly by no means meet the host or work together with any type of workers. In the event you desire to talk to a human (or just want private help for something from getting instructions to serving to clear a multitude), a lodge might need higher choices.

Then once more, even motels are nonetheless understaffed. The American Resort & Lodging Affiliation forecasts that motels will finish 2022 with 1.97 million workers, which is 84% of pre-pandemic ranges, and a Might 2022 AHLA survey discovered that 97% of motels point out that they’re experiencing a staffing scarcity.

FOOD: Are you able to skip eating places by cooking within the Airbnb kitchen? Is the free lodge breakfast extra handy?

OTHER AMENITIES: Does your Airbnb embody laundry? Are each day actions included together with your lodge, making it so you may skip paying for different leisure in case you’ll spend all day on the pool?

For distant employees, what about workplace house? A Deloitte spring 2022 survey of 4,200 Individuals requested what components go into their lodging selections. “Area to work” noticed a 19% improve in 2022 versus 2021 — and an Airbnb with a separate workplace or yard may be a extra pleasant workspace than being cooped up in a small lodge room.

ADDITIONAL FEES AND WAYS TO PAY: Will you owe resort charges? Airbnb doesn’t have a loyalty program, however are you able to keep on the lodge at no cost on factors?

Given the variability, it’s inconceivable to proclaim that Airbnbs are higher or worse than motels. And given ongoing discount in lodge providers like housekeeping and room service, the typically lackluster feeling that more and more surrounds Airbnb is a tricky comparability to make as lodge providers disappear, too.

However in case you’re reserving journey in 2022 below the idea that Airbnbs are at all times the perfect deal, rethink your technique.

— Sally French, NerdWallet

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