Vacation rentals vs. hotels

The benefits of an Airbnb or vacation rental over a hotel

Updated December 2021


One of the biggest steps in booking a vacation is choosing a place to stay. While having options is never a bad thing, weighing the choice of renting a vacation home or staying at a hotel can admittedly feel overwhelming. Between choosing hotel chains, booking multiple hotel rooms for families or large groups, and front desk stress, we’ve rounded up seven reasons why vacation rentals dominate the Airbnb vs. hotel debate.

1. You’ll have more privacy with a vacation rental

Sure, there’s the obvious: by booking a vacation rental, you won’t run into other guests, or do the awkward please-don’t-come-in-here-with-me shuffle in the lobby elevator. On top of that, many of our vacation rentals feature contactless check-in via smart locks, so you could go your entire trip seeing only your travel party (and maybe the pizza delivery driver). Plus, private homes can offer remote destinations and secluded getaways in a way that hotels just can’t. Think living like a local in mountain cabins, lake house rentals, or desert bungalows.

There’s more space than a hotel room

If you’re already feeling cooped up at home, then you probably don’t want to cram the whole family into a hotel room, or take on the cost of multiple rooms. Booking a vacation rental vs. a hotel means more space, both inside and outside, so there’s room for everyone to stretch their legs. And, should you choose, a large yard or a firepit is a great place for a quick (socially distanced) get-together.

You can cook your own meals—or veg out with your takeout

With more travelers opting out of in-restaurant dining, they can turn to vacation rentals for the cooking space of full-size kitchens that most hotels just don’t have. Or maybe takeout in front of the TV is more your style. In that case, find a vacation rental or Airbnb with a spacious living room and plenty of cozy furniture, where you can gorge on pad thai, tacos, or whatever you’re craving.

vacation rental in palm springs with private outdoor pool and firepit

Enjoy private amenities

It’s true that hotels and resorts can offer fun amenities—like swimming pools and hot tubs—but, if possible, why not enjoy one of your very own? Luckily, when you book a vacation rental, you can choose from homes with private swimming pools, hot tubs, saunas, game rooms, and even home theaters. Plus, having one of these amenities all to yourself means more space to enjoy it, whether you’re splashing, soaking, or having a family movie night.

Work remotely—with a view

The great thing about remote work is that you can do it from almost anywhere. Many vacation homes offer free high-speed WiFi so you won’t miss a meeting, plus you’ve got the option to book a place with extra room to use as an office. Besides, wouldn’t it be way better if your Zoom background was an actual beach sunset?

Vacation rentals are more dog-friendly

Finding a dog-friendly hotel can be a hassle, and trying to fit the whole family into a suite—plus Fido—sounds a lot like downsizing. Save money on a dog-sitter with pet-friendly vacation rentals and enjoy spending quality time with everyone on your family vacation. With a pet-friendly home, you and your dog can play fetch in the yard and curl up together in the evenings.

7. Long-term stays are more practical

If your schedule includes a lot fewer in-person commitments these days, a long-term vacation rental is a great option. Whether you’re staying for a couple weeks or a month, a vacation rental is so much more practical than a hotel room. You can relax somewhere that feels more homelike, take advantage of ample storage space, set up a designated office space, and enjoy handy amenities like a washer and dryer. Sometimes, there’s even an added benefit of monthly discounts on snowbird vacation rentals versus a hotel.

Vacation rentals vs. hotels FAQ

Amenities like a pool, hot tub, or game room will be listed in the vacation home’s description. If you’ve booked a Vacasa home, you can always check your Trip Manager for more details.

Generally speaking, a vacation home with its own amenities—like a private swimming pool or a hot tub—is a good bet if you want to make sure you’ll have access to those features during your stay. If you’re planning to stay somewhere with shared amenities (especially a hotel), it can be smart to do your research or call before you book to see what’s open.

Vacasa is committed to providing clean and safe homes for a worry-free vacation. Every home is sanitized and disinfected to our Vacasa Premium Clean standards before each guest’s arrival.
Read more about our Premium Clean program >

Many of our vacation homes are available for a one-night stay, though night minimums may vary based on availability and holidays.

Hotels are owned by management corporations and are rented by the single room, typically in a shared building with public amenities. Vacation rentals, though sometimes serviced by management companies, are owned by individuals. A vacation rental can be an entire house, condo, or apartment, and can offer either private or shared amenities.

Airbnb offers homes, suites, and rooms available for travelers to rent. Resorts generally offer individual condos or hotel-style rooms, often with shared amenities (like ski-in/ski-out access, outdoor pools, or beach access). Explore Vacasa’s resort offerings—including ski-in/ski-out condos and beachfront properties—for your next vacation.

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