Hotel vs Hostel vs Airbnb, Which is the best fit for you?

When you have a million dollar vision, don’t surround yourself with one cent minds!

Have you ever wondered what kind of lodgings situation would be best for you, your wallet, and your well-being? I always think about ways to make my trip more memorable, and I really believe that your lodging situation plays a huge role in your vacation! You now have so many companies trying to sell you a place to stay, whether it’s a hotel chain, a hostel company, and even Airbnb, the new player in the game! You just have to choose the right path for you! Depending on the kind of trip I want I will make a decision accordingly!

Let’s dive into different aspects that should be taken under consideration when choosing between a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb!


We can’t deny that hostels are a steal! Since you are sharing your room as well as the amenities with many people, the cost gets divided between all the visitors. You can negotiate your price in many hostels, and you have fewer hidden fees!

Hotels are very pricy, but you get the comfort of having a whole place for yourself!

Depending on if you solo travel or with a group of friends, you can also consider Airbnb. In many places, this option could be cheaper, but it does require a lot more work to find these hidden gems!


You don’t get much privacy in a hostel compared to staying in a hotel or Airbnb. You could potentially share a room with 12 strangers, bathrooms and showers being common to everyone! If you are lucky, you will get people that have good hostel etiquette and respect your privacy. Otherwise, good luck! In the last few years, hostels started giving the option to choose a private room or a private bathroom if you really want your privacy. The cost may be a bit higher but still cheaper than hotels!

In a hotel room, you have complete privacy. You can even ask that no one comes into your room during your stay and have the whole space for you and your friends!

When it comes to Airbnb, you have the option to choose what kind of place you want and if you want to share it with the owners! You could rent a room in their basement, which removes a bit of your privacy, but you are still free to do whatever you want! Or you can rent a studio far from the owner or even a bed a breakfast. You have plenty of options and can decide what you prefer and what you are comfortable with.


Hotels are known to offer more expensive amenities, like pools and gyms, or include breakfast, which usually doesn’t happen in hostels. They are working on leveling the playground by offering more options to their guests without compromising the price.

And depending on the culture and habits of the country you are visiting, you could have a lot of amenities you wouldn’t get in some other places. For example, amenities in Asia are not the same as in Europe. So do your research well!

Just like for the privacy, you can custom what kind of amenities matter to you and make sure your Airbnb is offering what you want! The price will obviously vary, but your comfort and happiness should come first!


Unfortunately, you have no idea who you’re going to meet on your trip. Whether it’s in a hostel, a hotel, or an Airbnb.

In a hotel or Airbnb, you would be a bit safer, and your stuff would be safer as well. Hostels are a bit different. You can easily get robbed by the other guests, and the reality is you don’t know them at all. You could meet great people. Whom you will keep in touch with long after the trip is over. You could also meet the weirdest people that have no boundaries and hostel etiquette!


Hostels are where you will have the best human interaction. You will meet other travelers, you will discover the city together, share the best spots… It’s a lot easier to socialize with others because you’re all in the same boat.

This is a bit harder to do in hotels or Airbnb. You are so alone, and the connection you have are the people you came with and the staff. To meet new people, you would really have to put yourself out there and meet them in the streets!

Front desk staff

The staff is something extra hotels and hostels have compared to Airbnb. The advantage is having someone that can help you navigate their cities! You won’t waste time trying to get from point A to B. Usually, they will give you a map and indications. They will let you know how to use their transport system or even how to use their money!

Hotel staffs are nice and professional whereas the ones in hostels are a lot friendlier. They are often younger and will go out of their way to help you. Even include you in their outings! Either way, it’s great to have someone guide you a bit!

The most you will get at Airbnb is a text message giving you all the information. Almost no human interaction!


No matter how small or big a town is, you can be sure you will find a hotel somewhere. You have a lot more choices and options. And the growing popularity of Airbnb allows them to be found quickly everywhere. But you will not always find a hostel that easily.

To sum up…

Hotel– Very private
– Can be found in any city
– Safe
– Room service
– Could be expensive
– Lack of socializing
Hostel– Meet other people
– Friendly environment
– Cheaper
– Friendly front desk staff
– Noisy
– No privacy
– Communal bathrooms
– Not available everywhere
Airbnb– Flexible pricing
– Semi-private to full privacy
– Clean
– No exchange with other travelers
– No one to help you navigate the city

So who wins? Every traveler is different and has a particular traveling style! I tend to lean towards Airbnb a lot more because it makes sense for me, and it’s the option that makes me feel the safest, but if you lean toward something else… kudos to you!

Let me know in the comments section below what is your favorite lodging situation and why! I’m curious to know!

If you were looking for some apps for lodging, check out these 11 best travel apps where I listed a few of my favorites!

Until next time,



Sofyah Ov is the founder of Sofyahscorner. Through her travels, she emphasizes the art of living comfortably while adventuring, showing readers how to strike a harmonious balance between world exploration and the soft life. Having lived in 3 different continents, the writer, passionate traveler, and lifestyle enthusiast would love to teach you how you can have it all!

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