Fun Friday: Airbnb vs Hotel

The Gotham Gal and I have been on two weeks of overseas travel. We’ve been in four hotels and one apartment over that time. And I must say the apartment is much more relaxing than the hotels.

Which leads me to the question of where folks like to stay when they travel. In the title of this post I called it Airbnb vs Hotel, but what I really mean is do you like to stay in someone’s apartment/home or in a hotel? The former category could include VRBO, Homeaway, Airbnb, a friend’s apartment, or something else.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Joël Cox

    It somewhat depends on whether I’m traveling for business or fun. I certainly prefer a Airbnb-type of accommodation when going in holiday. Airbnb hosts often have great tips on places to check out during your stay and it allows me to better experience a country/city and its culture.

    1. scottythebody

      Agreed. For some reason, I have an easier time staying in the “business mindset” if I stay in a hotel during business travel 😉

    2. Avi Deitcher

      Definitely. For business, I usually do hotels. But if it is for anything more than ~3 nights or with family, ABB all the way.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      My first attempt disappeared so trying this comment again…Same here. For family travel I want a kitchen and outdoor space (teenage boys), but for business, I want services at my beck and call, a workout room, convenience and a degree of luxury. For some of the reasons you described for appreciating airbnb I’ve tried B&Bs traveling with my husband or daughter with wonderful results (but not with my boys!).

  2. Shivji Kumar Jha

    I am from India and have been to Europe 4-5 times. Once I stayed in a rented apartment with a friend. All other times in hotel. The apartment experience was way better!

  3. steve nson

    The fancier the Hotel, the better.

  4. Linnea Passaler

    I absolutely love to find a really nice apartment on Airbnb/similar services with great local architecture/design. It’s an amazing way of experiencing a different lifestyle for a few days and get inspiration for my own apartment. I’ve been doing it for 4 years now and it’s become one of the best parts of arranging a trip.

    1. Richard

      concerns about traveling alone?

      1. Linnea Passaler

        ah no, not at all. I only pick 5* reviewed places.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Reviews make all the difference.

    2. Drew Meyers

      Yea, definitely can’t get that from a hotel, that’s for sure.

    3. William Mougayar

      What do you think about what the town of Gangi is doing in Sicily by “giving away” houses in return for renovation work commitments?…It strikes me as a potential opportunity for someone to buy a few together and rent them on Airbnb. That would generate an influx of revenue and people to these dying towns.

      1. Linnea Passaler

        It’s a brilliant way to attract new energies and capital while opening traditional local treasures to the rest of the world. The deep south of Italy is one of the most amazing places on earth, yet it’s still relatively hard to see foreign visitors except in Capri, Taormina and a few more. Whatever can help fix that is a blessing.

        1. William Mougayar

          Yes, I think there’s potential over time. Been to Capri and closest to Taormina was Messina’s port. But need a serious tour of Sicily.

      2. awaldstein

        I’ve been following this.Interesting in concept but I don’t think enough to drive tourists to go there rather than somewhere else.

        1. William Mougayar

          I was trying to figure out if there were wineries around Gangi. That could be one of the potential attractions.

          1. awaldstein

            There are wineries everywhere in Italy. Doesn’t mean that they are open or interested in tourists.My point–places to sleep doesn’t is not the tail that wags the dog which is what I think you are saying.Places to stay be they airbnb or not are the beneficiaries not the cause of people coming.

  5. Jay Shah

    Here is an article you should read on AirBNB. Their customer services definitely restored our faith in the business. Excellent work and the way in which our case was handled.

  6. Shalabh

    My first choice is youth hostel – best way to meet new and interesting people. Generally, their location is also great. Great way to step outside your comfort zone.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Stayed in one for one night on Orcas island in the San Juans. Not my thing. Was in a room w/ three bunk beds. One person snored and a girl got up, walked over and elbowed him or her in the ribs.Over the camp fire earlier, some hippy aroma therapist or something told us about how she ate rice with maggots in it in the Himalayas, and how it was a custom there because maggots were an added source of protein.

      1. Drew Meyers


    2. Drew Meyers

      I personally love hostels too. Have had so many amazing experiences all over the world, and met great people in the process.

  7. scottythebody

    I try to prefer AirBnB now. I was getting to where the standards I require from a hotel very often exceeded my budget 😉 With an apartment, I am in more control, have less pressure, and the AirBnB app/service design is top notch from a user experience perspective. I absolutely love it.Still, when I am assured of a great experience, I love a great hotel.

    1. scottythebody

      I should also add that through AirBnB, I have met locals who tip me off to great things to do and have even become friends with some of the hosts. It’s true that some of the AirBnB hosts are actually rental firms, but those are fairly easy to spot and take into account when making decisions. As we speak, I’m looking for a great London spot…

  8. kenberger

    Really a mixed bag– no way that such a simple A/B/C poll is at all meaningful !!The comparison is not just about the staying part for these 2 types of experiences, it’s also about the booking part. Just as ABB has brought serious innovation re providing the platform and having policies and viral marketing, so too has innovation come to the hotel booking scene. and google hotel finder and the many underlying booking agents they find have only gotten better at finding amazing deals, especially last minute. It’s rare this year (traveling constantly) that I *don’t* find an exceptional place for less than €100/night most anywhere in Europe (even in Paris)AirBnB can be amazing at unlocking places to stay that aren’t even covered by hotels. Cambridge, MA comes to mind, and if you’re looking for a place when visiting MIT or Harvard it turns up fantastic results you wouldn’t have had before. But it usually needs some advance booking time, and often a bit more research.Part of my preference is based on city vs country. In Ireland, I did extremely well all over the coasts and countryside where B&B’s are exactly what you want– except in Dublin where the gritty apartment we got wasn’t as nice or convenient as the many hotels that city has.In secondary cities like Dresden, Germany or Bordeaux (city), France where I didn’t have time to research the neighborhoods in advance, hotels tend to be in the most desirable areas and staying in last-minute hotels worked extremely well.I don’t buy the ABB money-saving argument, much of the time. Sometimes, especially in a crowded place where a special event is going on (MWC in Barcelona, for sure), it’s true. But in San Francisco, ABB’s hometown, I’ve seen the ABB stock be MORE expensive than most equivalent hotels, consistently since ABB’s launch. That’s the real hit with ABB that none of the early would-be investors could have expected– that ABB places would in time bring a desirable cachet element to them, driving up the prices in some situations.

    1. fredwilson

      The mere fact that it’s running 50/50 right now is interesting enough that I’m glad I ran this poll

      1. kenberger

        Hey it’s your blog. But I still say that too many respondents can’t answer this poll correctly right now cuz the true answer is a big, fat, “it depends”.;)

        1. LE

          I would even go further and say the “depends” also is a continuum whereby people are x% likely to favor airbnb or x% to favor a hotel.For example I would be 99% likely to choose a hotel over anything else (including staying with relatives or friends) whereby someone else might be 90% likely to use airbnb whenever they could because they simply don’t like hotels for some reason.I am reminded of when Fred was forced out of his home because of the flood in NYC and “stayed with friends”. I simply can’t imagine doing that. When I was in between places about 8 years ago I stayed in a hotel for 6 weeks rather than stay with my parents, my sister(s) or even use my own vacation place which was about 1 hour and 20 minutes from the office. (Some people commute that long every day, right?). The time cost of commuting (as well as the miles, gas and tolls) made staying in a hotel to me a better choice. And it was. Cost about $6000 and was well worth it in productivity and getting sleep and not having to drive. Not staying with relatives gave me the flexibility to not have to deal with other people at the end of the day or clean up the bathroom and be courteous. Was the right decision, for me anyway.

          1. Drew Meyers

            Did you know roughly 30% of the 3.5-4 billion trips a year are friend / family stays? The tech community is a far, far cry from normal….money is a massive issue for most people, while it’s not really for those living & making money in tech.I’ve been working on a startup in this space: (airbnb/couchsurfing with friends, friends of friends, and communities you belong to)

          2. PhilipSugar

            I am so with you on this. Now a nice vacation house with nobody else there??? Maybe, but the issue for me for this is that we are on vacation. My wife feels that if we do this it is no different than her being at home. She wants to be on vacation.For business I can stay at the Fairfield (sitting in one right now), but when we go on vacation she wants full room service, full spa, full pool, maid service, etc. Staying at somebody’s house for work??? NFW.She is definitely not high maintenance but she deserves it on vacation.

          3. LE

            Exactly. My general rule of thumb is I am willing to pay extra to avoid aggravation and problems and to make things easy. I don’t like uncertainty either. Things must work like clockwork and be predictable. Limit the downside and the disappointment. Will stay at the same hotel that I like rather than trying another one which may even be a bit better.That is actually the entire concept behind why you pick a brand whether it be a hotel or a product. And why people patronize franchises.My brother in law (he is about 30) recently married and was living in NYC. He was renting out his place on airbnb (which he rented wasn’t an owner was all under the table of course).After he got married he/they continued to do airbnb renting but his new wife (who is very attractive) put the kibosh on that. He travels (he is an opera singer) so she would be home alone with strangers. Really!! She isn’t super friendly either.It totally amazed me that they even considered doing that at all. He didn’t think it was a big deal until she complained.

          4. PhilipSugar

            We agree. I cannot imagine sharing my home with strangers. Yes, I know there are full rentals etc, but I am talking about having somebody under the same roof as you. That is reserved for direct family and unbelievably close long time friends. Even then it can be awkward, if it lasts more than a night or two.

          5. awaldstein

            Yes and it depends.Vacation for a weekend in Paris or Vancouver, I”m in.A week with extended family in a big beach house on km 12 in Tulum with a cook in to create a banquet, there is nothing like a vacation rental.

          6. PhilipSugar

            Ok, but now we aren’t talking Airbnb. Yes renting a house in the Caribbean with a cook and a maid is totally different. No different than staying on a rented yacht with a staff.I am not saying anybody’s opinion here is wrong. And that is what these are: opinions, preferences, a matter of taste which cannot be disputed. I am amazed at how many people are willing to stay for business with Airbnb. Hey, if that’s what you want to do go for it.

      2. LE

        I would have guessed given the age group of AVC readers that airbnb would be up in the 70’s at least.

  9. Mario Cantin

    Airbnb hands down. I wrote a story last November that illustrates why I personally feel that way:

  10. creative group then every other option. Travel like a local and never as atourist.

    1. Drew Meyers

      If you like CS, take a peak at (my startup)

  11. Twain Twain

    As a banker I stayed in 5-star hotels in HK, NY, Switz etc. Otherwise, I stay at friends — like in Rome where no hotel (not even the nearby Hassler Hotel) can give me the comforts of home and vistas I experience.The thing about hotels is we can’t go explore a food market or go down to the pier — as I did in Marseilles, buy some fresh produce (including fish straight off the boat that’s just been out to sea) and then conjure up a meal with our friends. We can do that in a home and AirBnB situation, though.Having a kitchen to cook in makes me happy.In SF, I’ve stayed in lovely homes in posh areas as well as in student / startup “dives” in so-called “sketchy / dodgy areas”.My experience is that being in a “dive” is fantastic for staying grounded and understanding that it’s everyday regular folk we’re building for as founders. Plus it instils a discipline wrt working with budget constraints and getting along with people from different backgrounds.Besides which, it’s healthy to be super-adaptable.

  12. awaldstein

    In town for a night or two, hotel.Spending a week in the Marais–nothing like an apartment that is close to the street and the neighborhood and a local routine.

    1. pointsnfigures

      That sounds awesome. A week in the Marais-or the 17th arrondissement. Good farmers market up there.

  13. Murtaugh

    For hectic business trips where the work day runs say from 7a – 10p with meetings and then dinners its a no brainer for a hotel (for me)But for vacations . . . I am as of this week an airbnb convert. We just spent one week in Rome and one week in Puglia with our family of five, ages 9, 8, and 5, and we did a three bedroom apartment in Rome and a house in Puglia.Not only did we save money because we didn’t have to eat all meals out and we could do laundry at home, but we really got to know the local people in our neighborhood very well, ate at the local restaurants, shopped at the local grocery store, etc. Plus for some reason you feel less “guilty” hanging out in your apartment reading or watching a movie then you do in a small hotel room.For our future vacations as a family I definitely see airbnb as the sweet spot for exposing our children to local cultures and actually saving money.

    1. William Mougayar

      “we really got to know the local people in our neighborhood …” That’s exactly what Airbnb’s promise is.

      1. Richard

        But….vacationing means not having to deal with people, but choosing to.

        1. William Mougayar

          Of course.

    2. Drew Meyers

      But that exact experience was available prior to airbnb, no? VRBO, homeaway, etc

  14. William Mougayar

    It’s interesting to note that Airbnb has more than 1 million available bookings at any time, which makes them bigger than each of the top 3 hotel chains, Hilton, Intercontinental, Marriott who have about 700,000 each.

    1. awaldstein

      TrueBut of course what you get with a hotel is a somewhat consistency of knowing what you get.Ever book a place on AirBnB in NYC?Great stuff but the variation of the hundreds of bookings on any given night is from dreck to fabulous.It is not comparable as one is a chain of the past, the other a sorting of the possibly. Take a look at AirBnB by pricing, then it become more of an apple to apples.

      1. William Mougayar

        Sure there is variety and folklore with Airbnb, and it’s not for everybody and you need lots of time vetting your options (and getting vetted by them); but that’s the nature of the beast.

        1. awaldstein

          Of course.AirBnB is not the hotel business, it disrupts it.Uber is not the taxi business, it disrupts it.That’s my point.

  15. Anne Libby

    This is an “it depends.” Renting condos has been a great way to explore different winter sports resorts, and have the option to cook in and watch a movie when dead tired. The people who run those kinds of rental operations in resort towns seem to have the drill down.My only Airbnb experience was much more frictiony/stressful. Not the experience, but choosing a place where we could guess we’d get what we expected.(Hilarious interchange with one of the “hosts.” We wanted a whole apartment for a weekend in Pittsburgh; we guessed he was a CMU student renting his apartment for the summer. At some point he changed his post to mention that his roommate might be around, but would be totally cool. )We ultimately found someone who was obviously a bnb professional, using the service to supplement to her own website to rent apartments in a townhouse she owned.We did love finding a neighborhood we never would have seen, the fun Thai restaurant that might not have been recommended by a concierge, and being off the beaten path.But In the end, professional wins out for me.Knowing what you’re going to get is good. Knowing that you won’t anger the neighbors, priceless. (A while back, another AVC regular told a story here about visiting NYC, and being asked by her “host” to tell people that she was his cousin. Frictiony.)

    1. LE

      At some point he changed his post to mention that his roommate might be around, but would be totally cool.The “chill” factor is really at the core of this. If both people are chill it probably works. That is probably one reason that I don’t use airbnb I am not chill. I hate when people fuck up it is totally annoying to me. The idea that some college student could think it’s ok to have someone else around is upsetting who needs that type of uncertainty.

      1. Anne Libby

        Hah, exactly.I am chill about certain things. Not chill about Joey’s totally cool roommate maybe showing up while we were lounging in our pjs and having coffee. (Or about the questions Joey didn’t answer for us…) But I think that pegs us outside of the target market for this service. The service has too much Joey risk for my taste.

        1. LE

          I always find it fascinating how generally chill (and social) people have no understanding of people who are not chill and what might bother them.Many years ago I was invited to visit a friend for dinner from college and had to travel pretty far. After showing up for dinner with my fiance at the time my friend tells me that some guy (his neighbor) was going to join us. That really bothered me. I thought I am not going to see this person again and I’m not really into making new friends in this way and was really pissed off. My fiance at the time was a uber social person and thought that it was great. She never met a person that she didn’t enjoy socializing with. [1] She had no clue why it bothered me to her it was a good thing.[1] There was a reason for this and after analyzing her mother (who was the same way) I figured out why that was and how they were different. Was a good learning experience.

    2. kenberger

      Totally agree re “it depends”, as I just mentioned in another comment.It’s impossible for me to fit my answer into this poll’s choices.

      1. Anne Libby

        (I answered “hotel.”)

  16. William Mougayar

    With kids & on vacation, it’s tough to beat staying in an apartment. Hotels are notoriously bad if you’ve got kids.Also, Airbnb gives you interesting options you couldn’t find elsewhere, like staying in a houseboat on a side canal on the Amstel river in Amsterdam. I don’t think the Hilton offers such choices 😉

  17. awaldstein

    The other piece to this is the driving power of loyalty programs.If you travel you have them and you push them into air or hotels. I push into Starwood and there is simply no value in AirBnb that touches the value of hotel points.Is anyone addressing this value chain as it can touch AirBnB?

    1. JimHirshfield

      I don’t know if anyone is leveraging that angle. But loyalty points don’t trump comfort in my opinion. And if the family is more comfortable in a 2 BR apt for a week, then that’s the way I lean.

      1. awaldstein

        Loyalty points are currency though.If you are running businesses you are building huge surpluses of travel/hotel currency strictly by paying your bills.Not to use them is silly and the idea that hotels don’t offer condo opportunities for rental is not true.Want to stay at the St. Regis in Aspen and ski(which you should) for points–simply use them on an apartment.

        1. Chris O'Donnell

          Earn $10K in free lodging with loyalty program, or save $10K up front via AirBnB. I don’t think the distinction is quite as distinct as you think it is. And really, in today’s world of constant budget pressure, I’d expect a lot of companies to opt for the up front savings of hotel alternatives.

          1. awaldstein

            You are making my point I think.Cash in and out is everything. It will always go out and until you have terms, invariably in credit cards.Points are currency that you’ve already paid for. You will spend it. Residency hotels are a hedge against AirBnb.

          2. meredith collins

            Totally agree. I pay for everything using my Starwood Amex and am in Nashville right now at a lovely Starwood hotel that I paid for with the loyalty points I earned from charging everyday items. 5 nights and all I actually “paid” for with actual dollars are ~$100 in taxes. And no shower Russian Roulette!

          3. awaldstein


          4. Eric Satz

            Credit card points are another beast!

          5. meredith collins

            A beast I love. I’d be using cc’s no matter what, so the many trips I’ve taken around the world just paying taxes feel like a crazy awesome bonus.

          6. Eric Satz

            I havent done the math but i think if you do you find the pv of points doesn’t come close to the cash saved as chris points out. Now whether people squirrel that cash away and save it for skiing, as i agree they should, is another question altogether.

          7. awaldstein

            I think of it differently.I don’t use my cc to gain points. I use my cc to run my life and my businesses.Points are not incentives, they are part of the deal and pay back.

          8. LE

            I’d expect a lot of companies to opt for the up front savings of hotel alternatives.Holy shit another reason that I am glad that I don’t work for today’s world of constant budget pressureThere is no more budget pressure today than there was 40 years ago. The change is social proof and what people find acceptable siimply mimicking what others do. Nothing else has changed.

          9. Drew Meyers

            AirBnB is not really a budget option anymore, even though that’s where they started their business. Sure, you can get cheap shared rooms if you want – but most people don’t get shared rooms/couches. Renting an apartment on airbnb is usually largely close to the same cost as renting a hotel.

          10. Donna Brewington White

            But apartment vs. room. There is a vacation house we rent regularly via airbnb. If we rented enough rooms in a hotel to get that same amount of space, it would be double or triple the cost.

          11. PhilipSugar

            No way. The company has liability (workers comp on travel) and will not because of fear of employee owner fraud.So personal yes company no

        2. Matt A. Myers

          I could see Airbnb easily offering this, however to me all loyalty points means is that they’re using some of their profits – money I paid them – to redistribute it. In reality I’d rather not be brought into that game – but yes, it does lead to deeper buy-in.

          1. awaldstein

            It is beyond me to imagine the logistics for them to accomplish this.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            It’s a matter of taking a % of fees paid by people and offering rewards in return. It may be a bad idea to do that though – dilute their brand and trust in certain ways.

      2. TeddyBeingTeddy

        Does your company pay for your travel? Do you travel often? A random family trip to the lake, yeah – you need Air B&B to avoid kids keeping you up at night, and need that extra bedroom or two. But if you travel for work frequently, that’s different.

      3. LE

        And if the family is more comfortable in a 2 BR apt for a weekTwo hotel rooms with an adjoining door that can be closed at night with two bathrooms and the kids can watch tv and play and you don’t hear the noise.

    2. TeddyBeingTeddy

      Really great point. Starwood, American Airlines, etc. have all learned the value of that Tier 1 recurring customer. If Air B&B can capture that too, that would be an enormous boost to valuation. Corp travel is decided by traveler but paid by the company. So rewards is that pull, not room charge. If Air B&B can attract that biz traveler visa vis rewards…that’s Big.

  18. andyswan

    It still boggles my mind that people want strangers staying in their house.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Most are unarmed. So yer good.

    2. awaldstein

      There are people renting their couches and in cities, a host of places that are basically condo rentals.Case in point–newco in NY that provides concierge services to AirBnB rentals. Book a place and have Luli beverages in the fridge when you arrive and delivered on a schedule.

    3. Richard

      Yep, not much fun either if you live in a high end condo only to find random people in the building / pool etc.

    4. William Mougayar

      Agreed, but many of them are rental properties that are not being used by the owners. So, it lets you generate a lot more than you would if you were renting it monthly.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        This is exactly my experience with AirBnB and VRBO. I don’t think I’ve stayed in one yet where anyone actually lives in the house full time.

        1. Drew Meyers

          I think shared rooms/couches are less than 25% of the transactions on the site. I heard a 30% number, but that was several years ago and I’m willing to bet it’s shrunk substantially since then.

    5. LE

      What boggles me further is people who rent out their place who honestly don’t appear to need the money. I’ve seen people who appear to own multi million dollar places in, say, NYC who for some reason want to get an extra dollar for a night or a week. Makes no sense to me at all. And I somehow don’t think they are doing it because they are having financial problems. I just postulate that they are removed from the emotional bump that most people get from ownership and sole possession or for some reason they are getting an inverse “thrifty” brain boost similar to how people with money often are cheap when they don’t have to be.I resisted renting a small vacation place that I owned even though for the last 10 years I rarely used it. I finally decided to make it a full time rental and have no intention of ever using it again. It will either be a rental or I will sell it. The fact that others are using it now in my mind makes it hard for me to go back.

      1. Richard

        Same holds true for people who continue to focus on making money knowing that they can’t spend the $ they already have.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          As my Dad used to taunt when I was a kid, while adding to his stack of Monopoly bills “Money comes where money is.”

        2. LE

          Making money is fun for some people so it’s never about needing the money.

      2. Zachary Reiss-Davis

        The definition of “need the money” in top markets like NYC and SF is a bit blurry; I host in downtown Oakland (in the house I live in), and can afford my mortgage, but I certainly am happy for the extra cash flow. If my house was worth $2M more than it is, I assume the same thing would be true, just with different dollar amounts.

        1. LE

          I am not defining “need the money” by the value of the real estate but what the person’s total financial picture is.As such since you say “but I certainly am happy for the extra cash flow” to me that means that the extra dollars help you “balance your budget” which I take as meaning (and I could be wrong this is just a quick gut) that you don’t have a significant cushion or are working toward some long term goal (retirement or kids with college and so on).To me anyone who has a mortgage that approaches anywhere near what the traditional definition of the percentage they say you can pay for housing might very well be living over their means (and there are for sure reasons to do that I acknowledge so I am not being judgemental). That might be a necessary evil in certain hot markets obviously.Otoh a house that is keeps going up in value is like forced savings since assuming you can sell it one day and you don’t end up living in the same high priced location you have just made a great investment. If you never move then you don’t get to take advantage of that though. (Your heirs might of course).

      3. Jack Sarvary

        It’s the ability to find those sorts of places that makes me use AirBnB in the first place. I’m glad those people are out there!

    6. Zachary Reiss-Davis

      I’ve been hosting (in my house, while I live there full time, in Downtown Oakland) for about a year now; I’m really liking it. It provides a very non-trivial source of extra cash, and we carefully screen guests, so so far have pretty much exclusively had very cool / easy / fun / good people say with us. Glad to answer questions.

    7. Donna Brewington White

      In our case, we just couldn’t do that to our neighbors who treasure their privacy. A permanent renter is a different thing.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Donna so well said, that is one thing that I find missing more and more today. How do my actions affect those around me. Not just people I know but strangers. This seems to get ignored.You know I travel a lot so I will use an example. This week I was at the airport and I wanted to get a seat at the bar for a burger and a beer. Somebody was sitting with a bag on chairs on either side of them. It was full. I asked if anybody was sitting in the seat. Loud chuff and they reluctantly moved a bag.Later on I had open seats to either side of me. I noticed a couple wanted to sit down. I asked which way would they like me to move left or right??? The bartender says nobody ever does that the next one is on me. Nobody ever does that??? Move over one seat?? That is considered an effort so a couple can sit together???

    8. JamesHRH

      They have a need to fill – financial or emotional.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Isn’t that what drives everyone?

        1. JamesHRH

          Can’t speak for everyone, but like my brothers Jake & Elwood, I’m on a mission from God.

    9. Tom Atkinson

      As a traveller it connects you with the real place its neat that way – see: if you are a musician this is great:

  19. Barry Nolan

    Last four family holidays all Airbnb. More interesting is my family – who are not ‘early-adopters’ by any definition. Both my brothers and my parents rent out rooms every week to visitors. At last count, they had collectively earned €45k.

    1. Drew Meyers

      While they are there, or while they are gone? What city do they live in?

      1. Barry Nolan

        Parents rent out their house and effectively travel/party with the proceeds. Brothers rent rooms.

        1. Drew Meyers

          Got it. Thank you.

  20. Russell

    I go AirBnB nearly every time for work and fun. As it is usually cheaper than hotels it isn’t a hassle to get it signed off from my business. However I haven’t had much success persuading other travelers in the company that they should try it. One other factor I would like to see added to your survey is a quantity – how many nights do you travel in a month! These guys do a great survey tool, which asks questions … and then asks how much you care about it. A key follow up! Sadly they don’t licence it out,

  21. Richard

    It all depends on what you are vacationing from!

  22. Jordan Thaeler

    Eh inserting the word “like” is really going to obfuscate the results. I like staying in a $10,000/night suite but that doesn’t mean that’s what I practically purchase. Airbnbs are generally cheaper, so if you’re expense-constrained that is the appropriate option. If you are wealthy enough, or if someone else is paying for it, then you opt for a hotel.

  23. JimHirshfield

    Hotels suck for more than a few days.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Yup. Went just north of Puerto Vallarta Mexico, used VRBO to rent a house on the beach. Much better than a hotel

      1. JimHirshfield

        Nice. I missed the pictures on Instagram.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Last time I was there, there wasn’t an Instagram!

    2. LE

      I think that really depends on the hotel, don’t you?

      1. JimHirshfield

        Yeah. I had business trips in mind. Exceptions would be certain vacation resorts.

        1. LE

          Hmm are you saying that your employer won’t pay for decent hotels? What is the norm for business travel at startups actually? Isn’t it at least Marriott or Westin?

          1. JimHirshfield

            “…employer won’t pay for decent hotels?”I didn’t say that at all. This isn’t a question of cost; it’s personal taste.I stayed in the San Fran Hilton for 2 weeks, years ago. It sucked.I lived in a 2 bedroom flat in Montreal (AirBnB) for 2 weeks a few years ago. It was awesome.

          2. LE

            Fair enough as they say. But in this day and age in a major city like San Francisco it is certainly possible to find a hotel that doesn’t suck unless for some reason you needed to be at that hotel (convention). I am assuming that it wasn’t possible or practical to change hotels prior to the 2 weeks ending (which is what I would have done). I kind of like the cozy feel of a hotel room actually as opposed to a larger space.

  24. Richard

    Fred, male/female demo is relevant here. Need an airbnb that is vetted for woman.

    1. Drew Meyers

      Trust is a massive, massive issue for woman, no doubt. I’ve heard that over and over and over from that segment over the last year working on Horizon. We recently created a private solo female travelers group, and have given the unlock code out to a few people thus far.

  25. Tom Labus

    LIke both, depends on the place. Have stayed in houses and also hotels. Smaller hotels in European ciries are great and who wants to cook on vacation

    1. pointsnfigures

      Me if there is a great farmer’s market nearby

      1. Tom Labus

        we may need to coordinate!!

        1. pointsnfigures

          As long as there is internet and we can scalp a little, it would be fine. Sell strangles, collect premium and spend the money at the wine shop and farmers market!

  26. pointsnfigures

    Depends on the length of stay. One or two nights, I hotel. Longer, I VRBO or Airbnb. I did an Airbnb one night in Denver and because I don’t know the town the particular neighborhood I was in was sketchy.

  27. laurie kalmanson

    conference / travel for work: hotel for conveniencelonger work travel: the extended stay type hotels with kitchensvacation: pampering vs authenticity — us, hotel; overseas, apartment swaptwo week stay so my kid can take middle school art classes: airbnb but friends of friends only

  28. Lee Blaylock

    If we’re going to one city from more than 5ish days, we actually do both to dollar cost avg. We stay in a home or apt for first part and then a super nice hotel the second part. Gives us a flavor for both experiences.

  29. OurielOhayon

    every time i have a choice: Airbnb. specially with kids. no brainer

  30. LE

    And I must say the apartment is much more relaxing than the hotels.I guess I don’t understand what could be relaxing about staying in a strangers home where you are being rated and you have to worry about being a good guest as opposed to staying at a nice hotel where you are anonymous and they are worried solely about keeping you happy? And they are there to clean up after you and you don’t have to walk on eggshells.

  31. Shaun Dakin

    There is no way that my Wife will EVER allow a stranger into our home (as a landlord) and there is no way that she will EVER allow us to stay in a place that is not “legit”.Never.No How.Not going to happen.

    1. Drew Meyers

      What do you define as stranger? Simply anyone you’ve never met? What about if they were good friends of a good friends? What about if they were members of some trusted community you belong to?

  32. Yinka!

    Space, privacy and security are paramount for me.If staying only a couple of days, then it’s all about a hotel in a safe area. For longer stays, I prefer private (entire) apartments for the increased space, convenience (e.g. equipped kitchen for off-hours meals) and privacy (less likelihood of noise on either side of room, no cleaners disrupting rest by popping in, etc). Staying in a residential area (especially if conducive to my art/design interests) is also more interesting and allows me to experience a new neighbourhood, its residents and a piece of daily life in that city.That said, if cost wasn’t an issue and a comparable hotel was available (spacious, apartment-suite great location, etc), I could also go with that per the ease of access and standardized expectations.BTW, didn’t take the poll because a) the poll didn’t load in Firefox, only saw it in chrome (after checking due to someone mentioning a poll) b) I found the question improperly framed – it’s not either rental or hotel; like many others, I use both based on different factors.

  33. Peter Gasca

    It really depends on the company I am keeping when I travel. For instance, I am traveling right now with my family (i.e. – two young kids) through the US, and it is nice knowing exactly what I am getting in terms of amenities (continental breakfast, pool, fitness room, etc). I also traveled to Chicago recently with two buddies for a weekend of craft beer and Cubs baseball, and we stayed in a VRBO apartment, and it was awesome and much more affordable for the size (we each had a bedroom) and location (walking distance to Wrigley) we wanted.I think both have advantages, and it is going to come down to your comfort level and need for amenities overall.

  34. abn

    For me, a lot depends on the reason for the trip and the city I am visiting. I prefer to stay in hotels when I am traveling to developing nations. In Bangalore, the Airbnb community seems to be taking off. I have a lot of friends who use Airbnb to cover their rent and then some, in fact many of them turn a handy profit by renting out a room or two. Bangalore is a tough city to stay in without a concierge and approved Taxi vendors, personally unless I knew the city well, I would prefer the Marriott or Hyatt.Chicago, HKG, Paris and NYC are definitely Airbnb locations for me. That being said, I will scan Airbnb when visiting developing nations to see if their is a host that would make me feel safe and comfortable.

    1. Drew Meyers

      “I will scan Airbnb when visiting developing nations to see if their is a host that would make me feel safe and comfortable.”I completely agree:

  35. Leigh Drogen

    What is the “other category”, is that like park bench or I attempt to go home with someone from the bar?I think context to your trip matters a lot. I would choose Airbnb over a hotel almost any day except when I need to make a last minute trip for work and I just want to make sure that I can get in and out real quick with no problems, then HotelTonight takes the cake. Anything leisure, Airbnb for sure.

  36. Peter Stegnar

    Fred, how did you find Ljubljana during your travel?Regarding your question – I totally agree “apartments” are much more comfortable. However, hotel is fine for a quick stay.

  37. ErikSchwartz

    Like many others it seems, for me it is very situation dependent.The major variable is time, the secondary ones are purpose of trip and who’s with me.Two weeks in Hanalei with the family after transpac? House. A month in Umbria with Katy? House. Overnight trip to LA? Hotel. Two days in NYC for a conference and meetings? Hotel. A week in NYC training broadcast partners? AirBnB.

  38. gyardley

    It depends.A luxury, boutique hotel is generally nicer than a good apartment rental, which is nicer than your typical business hotel chain, which is nicer than a bad apartment rental.The longer the stay, the more likely it is that I’ll look for an apartment, for both business and leisure travel. For short stays, I prefer a hotel for business travel and a bed and breakfast for leisure travel.The challenge is in finding a good apartment to rent – for me, AirBnB has had more variability than just making the safe choice and booking the Hilton. Reviews help, but only so much, because the reviewers are often fussy in ways I am not, and not fussy in ways that I am. Sometimes I wish I could get a weighted review score based on the individual reviewers’ compatibility with me in a domain-specific OkCupid-like personality test.

  39. Pranay Srinivasan

    i travel on business all the time and it depends on the destination – If its a city, I airbnb (always a separate room or a full apartment). If its a smaller city, or out of the way, I stay in a hotel.I voted Airbnb because I can usually get an amazing location for a price a hotel can never touch. I can also usually experience the true life of the city and I can possibly make a friend.The poll is tilting towards us in the sharing economy but I feel both have a place in the world and 50:50 is a good estimate on how I travel too.Thanks for setting up the survey, Fred.

  40. Simone Brunozzi

    Fred, the reality is that AirBnB is no longer mostly about renting a spare bedroom, but rather a platform to let people rent entire apartments. Call it “the emergence of the professional AirBnB host”, or something like that.I see two problems with that. First, regulation in the sector is old and illogical, but has a reason to be there in the first place, and AirBnB simply ignores its existence. This brings problems to both host and guests.Second, AirBnB’s margins are too high. 20% is simply too high, and it’s an incentive for people to look for workarounds, and in my view they will find one (as they will for Uber). If they do, what will happen to the sector? I don’t know.

    1. Drew Meyers

      I couldn’t agree with you more on this comment. We’ve been talking to the types of people looking for the workarounds.

      1. Simone Brunozzi

        What’s the most promising one, in your view?

        1. Drew Meyers

          I know in the sublet scenarios (20% of their business per a recent tweet), many people book the place for a couple days, then simply speak to the host and pay for a longer stay direct.Another angle is using existing networks – fb, fb groups, twitter, etc – to source the places (which is the angle we’ve been working on).

  41. Nick Lashinsky

    my preference is for Airbnb about 90% of the time.Even when I travel for business, I’m still usually looking for relaxation and exploration, so I tend to want to see the area, eat real food, get off the beaten path meant for outsiders.Though, sometimes when I’m traveling for business, if I’m only there for a short period and need to be near the conference, a hotel is convenient.

  42. Polyana

    I think it all depends on the situation. I’m actually a travel agent/entrepreneur who recommends and usually stays in apartments and homes, but the cost x benefit comes into play a lot too. I’m going to Peru soon, and am going to be spending most of my time out and about, so we ended up booking more hotels – they’re cheaper there than apartments too, surprisingly! Meanwhile, here in Brazil, it’s usually more worthwhile to rent a house/apartment in bigger cities, and small B&Bs in smaller towns. Hope this south american opinion helps 🙂

  43. laurie kalmanson

    it used to be called taking in boarders…Sherlock Holmes lived in a boarding house at 221B Baker Street, of which the landlady Mrs. Hudson provided some domestic service.H. G. Wells satirized boarding houses of the Edwardian era in his novel The Dream (1924).In the 1946 movie It’s a Wonderful Life, the main character George Bailey grows up in his parents’ boarding house. His mother continues the service after George grows into adulthood and moves out.Lynne Reid Banks’s novel The L-Shaped Room is set in a run-down boarding house.Ben Mears, the main character in the 1975 horror novel ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, stays at Eva Miller’s boarding house.Many of the scenes in the comic strip Bloom County took place at the Bloom Boarding house owned by the family of main character Milo Bloom.In the movie Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, the film takes place in a boarding house. It was once a church until it was turned into a boarding house. Brayker and the residents battle the demons in this place.Arnold, from the critically acclaimed Nickelodeon television show Hey Arnold!, lives in a boarding house owned by his grandparents.In The Vampire Diaries, Stefan and Damon Salvatore live in the old Salvatore Boarding house when they return to Mystic Falls.In True Grit the main character, Mattie Ross, stays at the Monarch Boarding House where she is forced to share a bed with Grandma Turner, one of the long-term residents and where a robust communal meal takes place.Harry Dresden, from the book series The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher lives in the rented basement of a boarding house early on in the series.

  44. Matt Zagaja

    Currently on vacation in San Francisco and thinking I kind of wish I chose the AirBnb over the hotel. While the hotel is nice I chose this for price over location and kind of regret it. AirBnb places downtown were in a similar price range. Also this is a really weird city. The amount of homeless people everywhere is downright depressing.Also had a cappuccino at blue bottle coffee it was the best one I ever had. Worth the hype.

  45. Sriram Yadavalli

    Interesting, we are also in Europe switching between AirBnb and regular hotels. AirBnB is hit or miss in terms of quality. Hotels have a standardized experience. I use VRBO for booking vacation rentals in Hawaii.My order of preference would be 1. VRBO 2. AirBnB wth lots of reviews. 3. Hotel 4. AirBnb with less reviews.Broadly speaking, the key question for sharing economy companies is: Would people prefer services from a tech-savvy professional (eg property manager or limo driver) or some one offering services to make ends meet?

  46. Marissa_NYx

    I have had mixed results with airbnb – from entering apartments that were not cleaned after long haul flights (not happy ) to those picture perfect. In the end , what I want is the consistency of a hotel service but in serviced apartment or studios with a little bit of character in great neighborhoods. The closest I have found are One Fine Stay (a curated version of airbnb but pricey ) and the Westin Vacation Villas (better on budget ). Like many I love the idea of airbnb, time will hopefully have it work with experienced managers who can provide curated experiences and convenience . Until then , it’s pretty much hit & miss .

  47. cache

    Join Airbnb with this link to make $25 in

  48. disqus_M7rU9HzJWb

    My wife and I have taken a year long sabbatical (2 months in) and have been using Airbnb (15 total places thus far) for the entire trip…. We love it! It’s a much more personal experience and we’ve connected with locals in ways we couldn’t imagine.

  49. Drew Meyers

    Do you rent shared rooms, or the entire apartment?