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By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director

A hotel, or someone’s house or apartment? There are advantages, and disadvantages, to both.

Hotel Sweet Hotel

Nothing is more comforting than arriving at your destination, jetlagged and bedraggled, and having a helpful front desk clerk ready to hand you a room key. Also appealing are on-property bars and restaurants, room service, clean towels and maid service. Less pleasant are the high prices, lack of space, and astronomical cost of having anything laundered. However, hotels, unlike apartment rentals, generally don’t require a minimum-night stay and long lead times on cancellations. So choosing a hotel makes sense if there's a decent chance your plans might change.

Artful Apartments

If you don’t think your plans will be changing, then renting someone’s home could be the better option. Often you get a lot more bang for your buck, especially if you’re traveling as a group. No on-site restaurant, but your own kitchen more than makes up for it. And being a temporary local in a non-touristy neighborhood certainly has its appeal. Checking in tends to be more complicated, however, since you need to coordinate with the homeowner or caretaker, and there can be language barriers. But the washer and dryer will make it more than worth it. Your two main options for home rentals are Airbnb and Vrbo. The primary difference between them is the type of accommodation. Airbnb rents out spaces as big as a whole house or as small as a shared room. Vrbo only rents out entire homes, whether it’s a tiny apartment or a medieval castle.

So which option is best for you? You might consider opting for both, with some nights spent in a hotel, and others in someone’s home. It’s a great way to add variety to a trip, and to experience the best of both worlds.


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