A couple of posts back, I was discussing Airbnb and how it made travel affordable for me, but the truth is, the reasons why you should stay at an Airbnb rather than a hotel are not purely financial. There are a lot of reasons to forego the traditional hotel route and stay in unconventional housing when you travel. I’m going to list four reasons to stay at an Airbnb for you here.
#1: Authentic Experience: When I was 14, I spent a month living in a small residential neighborhood in Duncans, Jamaica while on a mission trip. As a result, I have a very different story to tell about Jamaica and its people than your typical tourist who sticks to the resorts and beaches. I made friends and took showers with rainwater… these are things the Hyatt simply can’t offer. When you stay in an Airbnb home, you get to feel a little of what it would be like to live in a place, rather than just sightsee. You become part of the community, rather than a mere observer.
#2: Environmentally Friendly: If you think about it, hotels take up a lot of real estate–real estate that is mostly empty a lot of the time. But when you stay in an Airbnb home, nothing extra has been built for your convenience, and as a result, you are being a little kinder to the earth than those who stay at the local Mariott. In fact, you’re being so good, you should reward yourself with a little bit of ice cream 🙂
#3: Airbnb Hosts have the 411: At a nice hotel in any city, there will be a concierge who can answer basic questions for you about where you are, and maybe even help get you a reservation at the more popular tourist watering holes. That’s all well and good, but an Airbnb host will tell you where the locals eat, helping you to find some of the coolest off-the-beaten path places you might have never expected. That info is definitely worth foregoing the pricey hotel all by itself!
#4: Socially Conscious: In addition to being good for the environment, Airbnb is actually good for the economy–regardless of what investment bankers might think. When you stay at a hotel, your money is going into the pockets of a mega-corporation like Hilton or Holiday Inn or whatever, helping them to give their upper management nice Christmas bonuses, but when you stay at an Airbnb, your money is going into the pocket of a real live human who has actually worked hard for it. Sure, Airbnb itself is a big corporation, but any corporation that’s making it easier for normal people to become entrepreneurs can’t be all that bad, if you ask me.
So, even if it weren’t cheaper (which it is) or infinitely cooler (which it is) to stay in an Airbnb on your next vacation, there are other reasons you should consider it too. And if you do, be sure to use my link so I can keep going places and telling you about them!