Last updated on February 6th, 2021 at 05:18 pm
Before I began solo traveling, I always stayed in Airbnbs. But the more I’ve traveled, the more I have expanded my options. Now I’ll stay at all three and even have couchsurfed before.
Some people have sworn by hotels, while others advocate for Airbnbs, but I think they’re all worth looking into because each type of accommodation has pros and cons.
No matter where you travel to in the world—Hostels will be affordable. And more times than not, it’ll be the most affordable option. If you’re looking to save money while traveling, then check out hostels.
The most I’ve spent on a hostel was $10 and it was absolutely gorgeous! Outside of western countries—hostels are anywhere from $3-$14/night.
If you’re traveling solo or even with another friend, staying in hostels is an excellent way to meet new people.
They’re communal based, so expect group activities like game nights, battle of the sexes, and parties. Making it easier to mingle with people from all over.
You can end up making long-lasting friendships.
When I was solo in the Philippines, I met a group of Swedish women that hung out with me and made the journey that much more enjoyable.
Hostels do a good job at creating tour packages, especially for budget/solo travelers. In my experience, they always have the best rates for excursions and they’re trustworthy.
In Siem Reap, I booked a tour of Angkor Wat through my hostel. When me and my friends were in India, we booked a driver to take us to see the Taj Mahal. I’ve also booked an island hopping tour in the Philippines.
All my adventures were fun + affordable.
If you are traveler that likes to wing your plans, then staying at a hostel gives you the freedom to do that.
I get why most people have reservations about staying in a hostel, they’ve seen movies. They’ve heard gruesome stories. I fully understand the hesitation.
My experience has been totally opposite of that. All the 20+ hostels I’ve stayed in at this point and have been super safe.
Especially for solo female travelers, they have 24 hour security in most places and you’re around others, making it a comfortable environment.
One of the biggest fears of staying in a hostel is the cleanliness, but that can be said for any accommodation you stay in.
I suggest doing research ahead of time, reading the reviews, and looking through the pictures—which is what you should do before any booking.
One time I let a friend book a hostel, and I just went with the flow, didn’t check it out. It ended up being DIRTY. OMG.
I was afraid to use the bathroom, because it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in ages. And the beds were extremely hard too.
Just because hostels are the more affordable option, doesn’t mean you should book the cheapest one.
Depending on what type of room you book, there may be a lack of privacy. Some hostels have individual rooms, whereas others have 6-14 beds in a room.
If you’re staying with other people, then you won’t get the privacy you’d want, unless there’s a curtain for your bed. But even then—it’s not as private.
Some places are for partying, and while others are better for solo travelers—it really boils down to the place you book. If you’re staying in a party hostel, then expect you won’t get that much sleep.
Know yourself and what you’re looking for.
This all comes down to you doing your research, figuring out what the environment is like, the cleanliness, etc.
If you’re looking to have your own space, move at your own tempo, and unwind with luxury—hotels are it. Some hotels are cozy enough that you don’t want to leave your own room.
They offer a level of privacy that you rarely get at hostels, and even sometimes Airbnbs.
Plus, if you like to stay at all-inclusive resorts, then hotels are your best bet.
This is a given. I mean, they give you fresh sheets daily, clean up your room, and even restock the toiletries.
Hotels give you all the “I’m on vacation” vibes because you don’t have to do much, but relax.
Out of every type of accommodation, hotels are the cleanest and you get a certain level of pampering.
Depending on what type of hotel you’re staying in—the amenities are the best part. Hot tubs, pools, fitness center, breakfast, and more.
Hotels are unmatched in this way.
Ohhhh yeah, and can’t forget the room service! No other type of accommodation offers this level of service to guest. Perfect for a relaxing getaway.
Let’s be real, hotels are super comfy. That’s why people stay at resorts because they have everything they need. The cleanliness, the amenities, the food, the views, EVERYTHING. And to top it off, the beds are heavenly.
If you feel like something is missing, all you have to do is call up the front desk and request it.
Staying in a hotel is that simple.
They are the pricier choice, and unlike Airbnb, you’re required to pay once you get to your destination. Some hotels even put a hold on your card until you’ve completed your stay.
If you are someone who’d rather spend money on experiences, then staying in a hotel can cut into your budget.
Some people like the secludedness of hotels because it allows you to keep to yourself. But if you’re wanting to immerse yourself in local culture or meet new people, the isolation of hotels can be make it challenging.
Depending on what hotel you’re staying in, safety can be an issue. I’ve heard horror stories about people’s rooms being broken into and the staff doing nothing about it.
Now, this doesn’t happen frequently, but it’s happens enough.
This is another instance where it’s important to do your research.
If you’re traveling solo, sometimes it’s easier to stay in a hostel because you have others in the same boat as you. Even staying an Airbnb where you have your host checking on you can bring a level of comfort.
One of the best things about Airbnb is the ability to pay for everything upfront. That’s one less expense you have to worry about on your vacation.
That means you can secure your lodging weeks or even months in advance, so you’ll have more money to spend on your trip.
Along with paying upfront, Airbnb offers installments, which is something other accommodations don’t offer.
Not only can you pay for everything upfront, BUT you can also find something within your budget. Airbnb options are plentiful and you can find a place that has the amenities you’re looking for, at the price you’re hoping to pay. Win win.
If you are someone who doesn’t mind renting a room vs the whole place, it’s another way for you to save them coins.
There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.
But staying at an Airbnb is pretty darn close. You can have a washer/dryer, kitchen, living room, or whatever you’re looking for.
Omg, when I first learned you can rent tiny houses on Airbnb, I was excited.
Since then, I’ve stayed in a couple, and they were so serene. But if tiny houses aren’t for you, they also have cabins, yurts, boats, farmhouse, and many other types of lodging.
Even if you are someone that is like “I need to stay in a hotel”, you can find some on there as well.
The advantage of booking a hotel through Airbnb, is it’s prepaid yayyyy!
When booking an Airbnb, it’s important to be mindful of the location. What area is it in, what do the reviews say about the location, is it safe?
You don’t have the advantage of having a front desk or other guest staying at the same place (unless it’s a shared room).
More times than not, you’re at an Airbnb alone. Even if you’re not, the property might be unsupervised. So if there’s an issue you have, you’d have to contact the owner or someone in customer service to get support. It’s not as easy as calling up the front desk, or walking down stairs.
With everything, do your research! I recommend staying at places with 100+ reviews so you can get an idea of what staying there is like.
Sometimes you want to switch up your lodging based on the place you go or who you’re with. Regardless of the reason, all three are worth considering, but it’s ultimately what’s best for you.