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AirBnb vs. Hostels

By Sara | March 10, 2016

Every traveler enjoys having a nice place to rest their head at night. Hotels can be an expensive option, so more and more travelers are turning to hostels and Airbnb’s. The question is, which one is right for you?

What Are They?

Airbnb: Airbnb began as a Silicon Valley startup and is now a major travel resource. People who have extra sofa’s, bedrooms, or entire properties can list them on Airbnb, add some photos, and set custom prices per night, week, and month. Travelers can book either a shared space, private room, or entire place to themselves and all payment goes through Airbnb’s system.

Hostels: Hostels are similar to the concept of a hotel, but usually don’t have the luxury amenities. Most hostels have a series of rooms with bunk beds and a shared bathroom, and charge by the bed per night.


Airbnb: Staying with a local can give travelers a great insight into the local culture, and can help to foster new friendships. The large range of price points provides flexibility and can accommodate budget and luxury travelers alike. Airbnb’s are also quieter than hostels and can feel more like home. And, if anything does go wrong, the Airbnb service team is quick and reliable (we’ve tested this!).

Hostels: The major advantage of hostels is the price, particularly for solo travelers. If all you need is a bed and a bathroom, hostels are the way to go. Many hostels have discounts on excursions, and an information desk with activities. Lastly, since hostels can accommodate more people, it’s very easy to make friends or even find a travel companion.


Airbnb: The host controls the home, so things like quality of wifi, temperature, and pets are all factors that you’ll have to accept or modify by talking with your host. Additionally, Airbnb trust stems from user reviews, so if you’re just starting off it can take a while to get an accepted stay.

Hostels: The downside to hostels varies depending on where you stay. They are typically a bit rowdier, the wifi signal isn’t as good, and amenities aren’t usually as nice as Airbnb’s.

The Verdict

Though there are pro’s and con’s to both, we try to book Airbnb’s whenever we can. A general rule of thumb is to stay in a hostel if you’re looking to meet new people or get a cheap stay, and book an Airbnb is you want to work, relax, or live with a local. If you haven’t tried out Airbnb yet, here’s $35 off your first stay!

Where do you stay when you travel? Comment below your favorite Airbnb or hostel!