Travel / Mixtapes

What's better: Airbnb vs. Outsite vs. Hotels?

We compared popular accommodation options so that you can choose the best one for your upcoming trip.

One of the most important choices a traveler can make when planning their trip is deciding where to stay. This decision is one that can make or break your trip, so consider it carefully.

For some travelers, Outsite and Airbnb have a clear dollars and cents advantage over the traditional hotel experience. It’s easy to find good, cheap Airbnb listings in the heart of a city or town, helping adventurers on a budget — be it the backpack-toting college student or the single-suitcase business person — save money on room and transportation. And that’s great, because each dollar saved on the bare necessities means another dollar that can go into your explore & enjoy fund.

But be careful, sometimes when planning a trip we can get so carried away with comparing prices and numbers, we forget to factor in the more hard-to-define, emotional considerations. The things beyond price, location, and bed-size — the externalities, to use economics lingo.

What are these mysterious extras? Well, let’s think about all the little things that differentiate Outsite from the traditional hostel or hotel.

Conversation, for example. How many heart-to-hearts have you had with a bellhop? Traveling is all about collecting stories, so it’s only natural that a great traveling experience is made up of both making memories and sharing memories. We forget that great travel moments don’t just come from what you do or see, but also from what you hear.

If you are lucky, you might have an involved Airbnb host to regale you with life stories from the area is one of the best ways to learn about your destination’s culture and distinct flavor. With Outsite, community is a guarantee. A far cry from the eerie silence of hotel hallways, every Outsite and some Airbnb listings often come livened with the sound of laughter and the delicate “ping” of Facebook friends being added. 

Authenticity is an often overlooked feature - the authenticity of staying in a real home instead of a room mimicking a home. It’s the difference between staying at Outsite's beach villa where you can walk to the local hangout with your new friends, and staying on the 52nd floor of a building, taking a taxi to the museum, and having coffee in the lobby.

Consistency is another important factor. While Outsite doesn't have the large number of locations that Airbnb has (yet), Outsite offers consistency. When you book Outsite or a hotel, you know what you are getting - but when you book a hostel or Airbnb, it's often a toss up as to the cleanliness and comfort of your room. Additionally, for workers on the go - it is rare to find a fully-equipped workspace in a hostel or Airbnb. 

When choosing where to travel, it's important to always like to take into account not only costs, but also the amount of enjoyment we’ll get from the experience. Choosing travel accommodations should be the same way. A part of the story of your trip, and not just a place to sleep.

The beauty is that you don’t need to have the same answer every time. For a work trip you might prefer a hotel; for a personal trip you might prefer a hostel or AirBnB. Or you might change your mind based on the destination. Rather than declaring loyalty to one for the rest of time, we compared popular accommodation options so that you can choose the best solution for your upcoming trip. 

Words: Annie Brown & Rick Chatas

Photographs: Outsite

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