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Receptionist handing over a hotel key to a guest
Kalim | Adobe Stock

Are Airbnbs Cheaper Than Hotels?

SmarterTravel

Airbnbs were originally billed as a more affordable accommodation option than hotels. However, listing prices seem to have skyrocketed in the last few years. Now when you browse, you may be surprised at just how expensive renting someone else’s house can be—especially once you see the final booking total with a large cleaning fee tacked on. 

Two people shaking hands, standing in front of a vacation rental property in the mountains and next to a grey rolling suitcase
pikselstock | Adobe Stock

According to a new study by NerdWallet, on average, hotels are nearly half the cost of an Airbnbs for a one-night stay. The median nightly hotel room in the US costs $178 compared to the median $314 rate for an Airbnb. 

If you’re traveling in a group of three or more, that might be when you’ll find savings by booking an Airbnb over a hotel. NerdWallet found that the median accommodation price per person, per night was as follows:

  • Hotel Room (sleeps two adults:) $89
  • Small Airbnb (sleeps two adults): $125
  • Large Airbnb (sleeps six adults): $60

Don’t forget to factor in Airbnb’s often hefty cleaning fee when searching for a vacation rental. Keep in mind that Airbnb only shows the base rate for a property in searches, so it’s not until you click on a listing that you’ll see the extra cleaning fees and service fees that can often double the price. NerdWallet’s study found that the median Airbnb cleaning fee for a one-night stay was $75, and 8% of properties listed had a cleaning fee of 40% or more of the overall cost. 

Looking to save even more money by staying in a hotel? Book on our sister site, SmarterTravel Hotels, where you’ll find amazing rates on properties all around the world.  

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