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Vacation Rental versus Hotel Which is Best?

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Planning a vacation can be stressful. When it comes to choosing where to stay during your trip, you need to decide which is best for your travel needs- a hotel or vacation rental? The answer may not be as simple as you think. Here are a few things to consider before you book.


Several factors can affect cost such as the length of stay, destination, and location within your destination. Vacation rentals such as Home Away, VRBO, or Airbnb are a more cost-effective option for large families and groups or if you are on a tight budget. If you look at the cost per sq foot of space, a vacation rental is almost always cheaper and offers far more space than a standard hotel room.


What amenities do you consider a “Necessity” on your trip? You’ll want to make a list of what you consider a must-have convenience or amenity during your vacation. Do you prefer having your bed made up and fresh towels when you come in from a day of exploring? Many hotels offer free breakfast or have an on-site restaurant. Do you typically order room service? Swimming pools, fitness centers, and free Wi-Fi are pretty common standard amenities even in budget hotels but not as common in vacation rentals. There is comfort in knowing that you can call guest services for an extra pillow or that if you forgot something from your toiletry kit that you can get it at the hotel. Hotel concierges are happy to recommend trendy spots in the area for dining or entertainment. Motel 6 had a famous ad line that “We will leave the light on for you”- as there is 24-hour service at hotels versus a home rental. What happens when your flight is delayed and you won’t arrive until 2 a.m.?Pros for vacation rentals: If you are traveling as a family or large group, you may enjoy access to a washer and dryer, the extra space having a living room offers, or the ability to cook your own meals rather than eating out.

3.Group Size

If you are traveling with kids or even a large group, vacation rentals offer more bang for the buck. If you need multiple rooms or beds to accommodate your needs, vacation rentals are almost always the most economical option. Home rentals generally offer more than one (or two) beds, therefore have the ability to sleep more people than a standard hotel room. Also, larger groups may prefer having a kitchen to have the option of eating some meals in as previously mentioned. It is generally cheaper to rent the larger space of a home rental than multiple hotel rooms.


Hotels are often situated in commercial zones and near popular attractions in the heart of the city. Hotels are often landmarks and very easy to find. Vacation rentals are often found in residential neighborhoods or suburbs. Being away from the city center has some benefits. Business districts are more geared towards higher-end restaurants or touristy stuff whereas you are more likely to find budget-friendly places to eat and shop in an area that is mostly residential. Vacation rentals can also give you a more authentic travel experience within the area because you are immersed in the local scene.


Generally speaking, hotels typically have security guards or staff assistance available around the clock. There is added security at many hotels in which you have to use your card key to access any entrance other than the front door. Hotels also generally have security cameras throughout the facility and safe deposit boxes in each room to deter theft.

When booking a vacation rental, be sure to read user reviews and take note of the type of neighborhood or the host if you plan on staying with them. If anything unexpected happens, there isn’t usually any type of assistance with a home rental.


Hotels, especially the big chains, are generally fairly predictable when it comes to the aesthetics, amenities, and daily housekeeping whereas vacation rentals offer variety and individuality. From private homes, chic city apartments, to cozy cottages, the variety of accommodations you can find in a vacation rental is endless.

Vacation Rental OR Hotel?     

There are certainly pros and cons to both vacation rentals and hotels. Ultimately, it is all about what your priorities are and what you can (or can’t) live without. A hotel may be the better option for you if you have a flexible budget and are only looking for a place to stay for a couple of nights. However, if you need something more cost-effective or to accommodate a larger group of people, a vacation rental may be the better option for you. We’ve given you a few points to help you choose what is best for your travel needs. Good luck and have fun!

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