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Which is cheaper, Airbnb or a hotel? The shocking response

When Airbnb and Vrbo first came on the scene, they were great. It was so much cheaper than staying in a hotel. NOW? Hotels are coming back. But why?

On the one hand, there are all the horror stories about Airbnb – from hidden cameras to a guest living secretly in the attic of a rental. Seriously, it happened. And have you heard about the group of women who rented an old Victorian house to celebrate their 50th high school reunion? Instead of having fun, they got bats. Some women were even bitten.

If you love traveling but want to save money, this report is worth your attention.


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Rentals or hotels: which is cheaper?

Which?a UK-based consumer research group, compared the average price of thousands of hotels with 300,000 Airbnb and Vrbo listings. They also looked at 50 sites for a year to monitor price trends.

Their discoveries? On average, hotels were cheaper 75% of the time.

The Algonquin Hotel, located at 59 West 44th Street, just outside Times Square in New York, opened in 1902. It was said to have been haunted for decades, including by literary icon Dorothy Parker. (Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

However, a hotel may not be the best choice every time – like when you need a big kitchen or I want the whole gang to be in one place. But it’s at least worth checking out. It’s time to add hotels to your radar again.

Oh, the places you will go!

So why the rise in Airbnb and Vrbo prices? Several major U.S. cities are placing more restrictions on Airbnb rentals, making it harder for owners to turn a profit. Raising rates helps these owners stay afloat.

It’s not just in the United States. The biggest price difference is in Greece. On the island of Santorini, renting a room via a site like Airbnb costs around $104 more expensive than a hotel room.

The same goes for rentals in other major cities around the world compared to hotel rooms:

  • Amsterdam – $83 more
  • Singapore And London – $75 more
  • Dubai – $70 more
  • San Francisco – $44 more


In FranceIt is less more expensive to book a vacation rental than a hotel in Nice, La Rochelle, Antibes, Avignon and Biarritz. But booking a hotel remains even cheaper in Paris and Bordeaux.

Calling all cheapskates

Paying full price makes me sad, so I’m always looking for ways to save when I travel. Follow these tips to get a hotel room at the best possible price.

  • Go at the last minute: If you can, wait until the day you need the hotel room to reserve it. After 4 p.m., hotels know that the chances of selling a room are slim. On average, the same day rate is at least 10% cheaper.
  • You just have to ask: Always ask if there is a room upgrade or free breakfast. If you’re staying more than a few days, give the person checking in a nice tip for a better room.
  • Direct is the best: Analysis some travel sites To find the cheapest rate, call the hotel and ask if they can offer you the same price. You can also ask, “What room is most requested by returning guests?” » No noisy rooms or views of walls, please.
  • Don’t forget the benefits: Join a hotel chain’s loyalty program to enjoy perks and savings and see if they offer discounts for other memberships like AAA.
  • Free stays and upgrades: Use a hotel-affiliated credit card to earn points that you can redeem toward stays. If you use a debit card for things like gas and groceries, you’re missing out!
The Drayton Hotel Savannah, Curio Collection by Hilton

(The Drayton Hotel Savannah, Curio Collection by Hilton)

PSA: always check the cameras

It’s not paranoia, it’s intelligent. This happens too often. You check into a rental or even a hotel room, lay down on the bed and see a strange little light flashing. Is it a camera? A CO2 monitor? A recording device? Don’t wonder. Discover!

Larger cameras are easy to spot, but anyone can easily hide smaller cameras behind furniture, air vents, or decorations. An easy way to spot most types of cameras is to look for lens flare.

  • Turn off the lights and slowly scan the room with a flashlight or laser pointer, looking for light reflections.
  • Scan the room from multiple locations so you don’t miss a camera only pointed at certain locations.
  • Inspect vents and any holes or gaps in walls or ceilings.

You can also get an RF detector. This gadget can pick up wireless cameras that you might not see. Unfortunately, RF detectors are not suitable for wired or recording-only cameras. For those, you’ll need to stick to the lens thinking method.

In a rental, a free program like Wireless Network Watcher shows which gadgets are connected to the wireless network. You may be able to spot connected cameras this way. Do this in every rental you stay in, just to check what’s connected to the network.


Airbnb removed about 30 listings that included places where slaves lived or worked. (Photo illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

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