Airbnb is the new way of discovering new places at an affordable price. But why should you choose to join the Airbnb community instead of going to a Hostel? We wrote down some important things to keep in mind while looking at the reviews of both communities, to experience your stay to the fullest.
First of all, what’s the difference between Airbnb and a hostel? Airbnb is a community where owners of a house, apartment or studio offer travelers a place to sleep. That can vary from an entire apartment to a little room. In most cases, you’ll become someone’s roommate for a short period. The true charm of Airbnb is that locals can guide you around the city and give you some local insight.
Hostels, on the other hand are made for travellers, typically backpackers. They offer you a bed, communal areas where you can socialize with other travellers and in some instances a place to eat too. For most people, Hostels offer the opportunity to socialize with other like minded travellers, especially people who are travelling alone on a very strict budget.
Airbnb NYC provides some insight into how the new style of accommodation is helping local businesses, as well as tourists.
in the past year, Airbnb has generated $105 million in economic activity
82% of Airbnb properties are located outside of Manhattan
A visitor spends $740 on average in the neighborhood where they stay
Airbnb: Reviews and what to look for
Although Airbnb is a wonderful concept, there are several things you should look at when scrolling through the review section while you’re on the search for that perfect place. The most important one is the way the host accommodates you on your arrival. These aren’t typical hotels so there isn’t a front desk with a fully fledged check-in system. If you read in the comments that the travelers didn’t even see their host, then you won’t be having the real Airbnb experience. You should also keep an eye out for comments related to the cleanliness of the space. While you shouldn’t expect hotel level perfection, you are paying for it – and you want it to be clean!
Another important feature of Airbnb is the response rate. You’re not dealing with a brand, you’re dealing with a person – so you want to make sure they’re responsive. If you asked the person a question through the Airbnb app or website, that person has 24 hours to answer. If he or she doesn’t, their response rate will drop.
Reviews stay within Airbnb – as it is someone’s home after all. The various verification steps needed to create an account help provide comfort that all reviews are real people with real opinions.
Hostels: Reviews and what to look for
Most hostels are being reviewed on external websites such as Tripadvisor or Hostelworld.com.
When we look at the rating of Tripadvisor, there is a general rating system just to get an overall opinion about a hostel. On the right there is a rating summary, with almost the same topics as Airbnb. The only difference is that Tripadvisor wants you to know what your thoughts are about the sleep quality and the rooms. The other useful piece of information – is being able to narrow down reviews to suit your travel type e.g. family vs. solo. By viewing reviews only relevant to your travel type you’re getting a more tailored understanding of the hostel to your needs.
We’ve broken down the differences in the table below – so that you can make up your own mind on the hostel vs. Airbnb debate!