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Is Airbnb Still A Great Choice For Travelers In 2023?

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The hospitality industry has been changing a lot since the pandemic. Not only the business model but also travelers’ experiences. For years, Airbnb has been a disruptive company that offers great and cheaper solutions for travelers, but this has changed, and guests no longer feel as safe and welcome as they used to.

Host meeting travelers in front of the house

Renting a vacation stay on Airbnb was a great alternative to hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic to avoid large crowds and for workcation experiences. But prices have significantly increased—a 37% increase in 2022 compared to the same quarter in 2019— and travelers are seriously considering hotels as better and even cheaper alternatives. 

In a recent viral tweet, writer Jeremy Gordon said that he stayed at a Holiday Inn instead of an Airbnb, and he considered it a glamorous experience. The amusing tweet had hundreds of comments—and complaints— from users. The discontent is not new. Many travelers have been disapproving of Airbnb's services for a long time now. 

Why are travelers showing a preference for hotels? Here are a few of the main reasons why travelers are no longer considering Airbnb as the best accommodation option in 2023:

Hosts’ Cleaning requests

Just a few months ago, users raged all over the internet to complain about demanding hosts forcing guests to clean before departure while still paying costly cleaning fees. One guest, Necole Kane, said that during her vacation in Arizona, the host had her complete a long chore list after she had already paid a $375 cleaning fee. By the time she finished all the tasks, Necole was late for a tour she had booked. After all that headache, is it really a vacation anymore? 

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Last year, the average cleaning fee on Airbnb in the United States was $143, and many hosts are requesting travelers not only wash the dishes but also clean, sweep, and take care of the linens. Guests are not happy and are getting tired of working during their vacations.

Missing Items And Unexpected Situations

Will you find enough toilet paper or towels? This is never a question when staying at a hotel, but a frequent one when staying at an Airbnb. Each host has their own rules regarding hospitality, so travelers usually have to be prepared to run to the grocery store upon arrival when reality does not meet their basic demands. 

Man reaching hidden key over door  to open the house

Check-in and check-out are also usually a mystery and can be stressful. Will your host be there by the time you arrive? Will you have to meet them and make small talk after a long flight? Will you have to wait for them to open the door? Will you find the hidden key? A Tiktok user recently went viral after describing the check-in experience as being in a show called “home invaders.”

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Privacy And Hidden Cameras Concerns

Security has been a major concern for Airbnb users. A few months ago, a survey revealed that 58% of guests were concerned about hidden cameras in their Airbnbs, and many travelers have found them in their temporary homes. 

Camera Inside Airbnb and man sitting on the couch in the back

Airbnb’s policy states that security cameras are allowed as long as they are disclosed on the listing and cannot be placed in private areas like the bedroom or the bathroom. But how can travelers know if they are being recorded? How much privacy do they really have? What about remote workers who need to protect their company’s information? There are many gray areas, and the topic has aroused debate.

Hotels And Airbnbs

Airbnb has made changes to optimize its services, like updating its platform to show cleaning and other fees in the final price, as many travelers were complaining that the final price was higher than the one featured on the feed. However, prices sometimes are still high and comparable to hotel prices. 

Happy backpacker traveller stay in high quality hotel

Hotels do not make guests clean up before departure, and some travelers are reconnecting to hotel services and describing them as “luxurious” and more relaxing than Airbnb. Now large hotel chains like Marriott are launching new products and services to compete against Airbnb and offer guests the best of both worlds. 

Travelers laying on hotel bed after arrival suffering from jet lag

There are still great Airbnb listings and many options on the platform, and the company is making major efforts to become digital nomads' preferred option, but travelers must consider all pros and cons before booking their stay in 2023.

Man holding phone looking at airbnb listing in new york city

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Dianne

Tuesday 25th of July 2023

I'm very sorry read all the negative experiences people have had. I've got a great Airbnb rating as a host because I care about my guests and want to see them have a great stay. The bad hosts/places make the rest of us suffer. I've seen Airbnb reservations drop in my town this summer so I have put a listing on booking.com as well. About our costs: Both of these sites charge fees to us - the accommodation providers. If you're providing breakfast and you've got a couple taking 2 hot showers a day or someone leaving lights on and blasting an air-conditioning unit all night - it's not about personal greed - we need to cover our costs and make a living (utilities are expensive). If Airbnb is going to weather the storm, they will need to step up and weed out these bad places and reprimand hosts that don't handle matters/guests accordingly.

Alita

Thursday 6th of July 2023

This article is only a paid advertise, promoting airbnb, but in reallyty, not worth. I found cheapest and better hotel, as one room on airbnb. the prices is very high on airbnb, hotels, and motels are cheaper even with 20%-30%

Abigail

Monday 16th of January 2023

From 2020 through 2022 I stayed in different airbnbs in Mexico between Playa del carmen and Merida and there was always something wrong and in a lot of instances it was extremely difficult to reach a resolution or to be compensated although proof was always provided. One Airbnb I stayed in the lights, air conditioner and wifi was controlled digitally (some what of a smart home) The owner was switching the lights, wifi and air conditioner off whenever he felt like it, this experience was terrifying. Leaving us with no way to communicate or get help and although I had international calling on my phone I couldn't get a signal. I always felt like I was being watched in that airbnb. One night we had to make a dash for a hotel because we were concerned about our safety and then we came back the next day for our belongings. This is just one of my many horror stories from my many stays in airbnb. This was not the only issue at this listing (this incident was never resolved although I provided airbnb with proof). Going forward I will be searching for other accommodations outside of airbnb. When traveling things won't always be perfect or always go as planned but for me there have been to many issues with airbnb and my safety and peace mind comes first.

Ken Noyes

Monday 16th of January 2023

We had a horrible experience at an Airbnb in Guadalajara, Mexico November. The first line of the as was "Casa Coronado is a private space. You will have the entire property to yourself." This was a complete lie. Not only was the property part of a tall condo complex next door where everyone used your gate to access but directly across the hall from your door was a condo where the owner threw wild drug-fueled drunken parties that caused the police to come. Airbnb, of course, sided with the host that the lie was not really a "lie." On top of that, when we booked it, the host sent the usual welcoming package with the code to the lockbox. When we arrived, the code didn't work. After two hours of back and forth of badly auto translated messages with the host, we determined they had sent a new code two hours AFTER check in time and while we were on an airplane with our phones off. We will NEVER use Airbnb again

Olaf

Monday 16th of January 2023

Never had any issue with hosts. But Airbnb fees are ridiculous and their woke bs is annoying.