Should you Book a Hotel or a Vacation Rental?

This year you are taking a major family vacation. You have all the important activities planned, but you still need to pick between booking a hotel or a vacation rental. Here are a few questions and answers that may make your choice easier.

Vacation rental or hotel: which one offers the best savings?

Overall, a vacation rental, booked via a site like AirBnb or HomeAway, is priced less than booking a room in a hotel. However, hotels often offer discounts and coupons. Popular hotel brands like RIU Hotels & Resorts often advertise their discounts on Groupon.

Do not compare the vacation rental and hotel prices until you apply all possible discounts.

Which option has costly extra fees?

A vacation rental slightly edges out a hotel when adding extra fees. Room service, buying a movie, and taking transportation adds up to a higher final bill. A vacation rental place allows you to cook your own food, bring your own entertainment, and save extra money for transportation.

Can I have my maintenance issues addressed better at a hotel or at a vacation rental?

Hotels naturally have someone on staff to help you whenever you need it. There is no guarantee that your property emergencies will be addressed at your vacation home or apartment. It depends on whether the owner remains at the place, or if there is a quick way to contact the property manager.

Will I have more space at a hotel or at a vacation rental?

This depends on the vacation rental, but you should be able to determine the amount of space available to you before booking. The only time that you may be unclear on the space is if the person lied on their listing, or if the owner is very strict about where you can go in the apartment.

Generally, vacation rentals offer a great deal more space than hotels.

Do both places offer refunds?

Yes, both hotels and vacation rentals offer refunds if you are not satisfied with your stay.

Does a hotel or a vacation rental offer less noisy distractions?

This also depends on what place you book. However, hotels have policies which prevent many hotel occupants from being too noisy and disturbing other customers. Vacation rentals have no such policy, so you may encounter noise control problems.

What’s a better place to stay as a group? Or as an individual?

Generally, hotels offer slightly safer options for those traveling alone. You do not have to worry about staying with a stranger, and many hotels have security guards available when necessary. But if you feel comfortable enough, staying alone at a vacation rental can be a great way to meet new people.

Vacation rentals are ideal for groups due to the spaciousness of most places.