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Hotel vs. Airbnb vs. Hostel

You’ve booked your flight, you have your itinerary and the next step is booking accomodations. If you’re like us you are probably on a budget. We have booked hostels, airbnbs, and hotels on all of our trips and along the way we have learned some tips and tricks along the way. Let us know which you prefer and if these tips are helpful!


Our biggest advice is to compare, compare, compare! Depending on what region of the world you are traveling to booking a hotel might equal the same as a hostel. We noticed in Europe that hotel rooms weren’t that much more expensive than hotels. And we prefer the amenities in most hotels over hostels. We also prefer private rooms, I personally don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same room as strangers. We also like a space to get ready for the day privately. 

We very rarely book directly with the hotel unless we are going on an all inclusive vacation. We haven’t had any issues using a third party website. We attribute that to calling the hotel to verify that they have our reservations. Over the years we’ve used Hotels, Booking, and Priceline each with their own benefits.

  • Hotels- We definitely use hotels.com the most because of their reward options. After staying 10 nights, you will receive a reward night for the average of what you spent. For us we can get multiple reward nights from one trip since our travels can last up to 6 weeks.

  • Booking- We like using booking because of the amenity options they have versus other websites. Booking allows you to search not only hotel rooms but also hostels and apartments available in your area, while also searching for options such as air conditioning (which in the summer is a MUST for us) or washing machines (if you are traveling for long).

  • Priceline- Priceline has what they call price deals which has saved us a time or two. When we decided to go to Oktoberfest this past year, availability was very limited. With price deals you choose a price you feel comfortable paying and they assign you 3 hotel options that you may get. Once you book they randomly assign you to one of the 3 hotel rooms at a lower price. In cities like Miami or Chicago, the price deals are steals! 


Although we personally prefer hotel rooms or Airbnbs, we have stayed in Hostels. Most of these were in Southeast Asia where accommodations are crazy affordable. Since there are two of us we always opted for a private room. They usually cost the same as two single beds in a dorm room. Most of our bookings took place on Hostelworld. The great thing about that website is the extensive list of amenities, ambiance, and reviews from users.

For us we preferred more relaxed hostels. You can call us grandmas but there were times we would wake up at 5am for a tour. We actually booked a party hostel in Cambodia, and that was an experience with people party all night into the morning. If you’re traveling to a more budget destination, you can find very affordable hostels that are just as nice as a hotel for half the price. Just make sure to check if you need to bring your own towels. Also, sometimes you can find the same hostels on booking.com so always check for the cheapest option. Just because it is on HostelWorld doesn’t mean it is the cheapest and vice versus. 


WE absolutely love staying in airbnbs. In Greece and Europe a large amount of our accommodations were Airbnbs. What makes them great is the kitchens and washing machines they may offer. This will save you so much money. We cook breakfast, lunch, and some dinners since eating out really adds up. Also, hotel laundry services are extremely expensive. If you buy a small bottle of laundry detergent, it will last you most of the trip.

We also love how some of the hosts will give you a packet on the city you’re visiting with information on public transportation and delicious restaurants in the area. It's an amazing touch. Just always check the reviews before you book. You don’t wanna end up in a bug infested airbnb or in a dangerous neighborhood. 

View from our Airbnb in Switzerland

So whether you’re a budget traveler or are willing to spend a little extra money, definitely compare what’s in your budget and what works best for you. We stayed in very low budget places in Thailand just so we could ball out in the Thai islands. It’s always fun to have one hotel, airbnb, or hostel you’re really looking forward to staying in, even if it costs a little extra.

If it is your first time using Airbnb, get $55 OFF by using https://www.airbnb.com/c/madisons337?currency=USD&referral_share_id=ddc638be-ee91-43b3-bacb-2519f192e970 .

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We are Madison and Sam, lifelong best friends and travel partners. In 2018 we decided to skip the typical 9-5 and follow our dreams to travel. Since then we’ve visited more than 20 countries together Our mission is to share our experiences and knowledge of traveling while also exploring all the beauties of our planet. 

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