Airbnb is able to undercut hotel prices due to a lack of overhead costs. Since there is no staffing or management required for a property (not including property owners or companies who use cleaning staff and booking agents), prices can be kept lower. Plus, while most hotels will maintain pricing that fits market demands (and profit margins), individual hosts are free to charge what they choose, which offers more competitive offerings. Plus, a huge perk of Airbnb is the variety of spaces available, ranging from single rooms to entire homes. This can make bookings for larger groups easier and significantly cheaper than hotel alternatives. Single guests and couples, however, might be better off at a hotel depending on the details of their stay.
Another thing to consider is your length of stay. Airbnb is significantly more affordable for longer stays. In fact, a seven-night Airbnb stay resulted in a 32% cheaper nightly rate than a one-night stay. Many Airbnb hosts even offer perks or discounts for extended stays. Plus, since Airbnb’s infamous cleaning fees can be extreme (34% of cleaning fees amounted to 20-30% of guests’ nightly rates) it’s important to remember that cleaning fees are only applied once, so a longer stay diffuses this cleaning fee up across more nights which can make a longer stay more affordable. Also, while most hotels charge exorbitant nightly pet fees and have weight and size restrictions, Airbnb generally offers more variety in pet policies across properties.