Are Airbnbs a greater deal than motels? Here is what to search for

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

Today, staying at an Airbnb hardly ever entails huge 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 usually are not managed by house owners, however by company property administration behemoths — with out the comfort of on-site, full-time employees.

And the associated fee? A June 2022 NerdWallet evaluation checked out 1,000 US Airbnb reservations for 2022 or 2023. Though there isn’t any method to examine the prices instantly since each Airbnb is totally different, some key indicators present clues as to when Airbnbs are higher or worse than a lodge.

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


For brief stays, Airbnbs are hardly ever 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 accordance with 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 provide these incentives as a result of they’d want having fewer bookings to handle and guarantee occupancy.

Another excuse is cleansing charges. Whereas not all listings have them, the median cleansing charge is $75, in accordance with NerdWallet’s evaluation. Since it is a one-time charge, the associated fee is lowered by longer stays. A $75 cleansing charge stings extra on a one-night keep versus a three-week keep, the place it could quantity to solely about $3.50 per day. Since motels usually haven’t got 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 dearer (although NerdWallet’s research solely checked out “whole place” properties, so individuals sharing a room or dwelling would possibly nonetheless save).

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

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

Here is how median prices broke down, per particular person:

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


After all, 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 automotive?

AVAILABILITY STAFF: For Airbnbs, you would possibly by no means meet the host or work together with any form of employees. In the event you want 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 Lodge & 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 along with your lodge, making it so you possibly can skip paying for different leisure in the event 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 elements went into their lodging selections. “House to work” noticed a 19% improve in 2022 versus 2021 — and an Airbnb with a separate workplace or yard may be a extra pleasing workspace than being cooped up in a small lodge room.

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

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

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

— Sally French, NerdWallet

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