Booking a private holiday rental with Airbnb or Vrbo is not the bargain that many assume… It could be much more expensive than a hotel
- Private booking options were 19 per cent more expensive than hotels on average
Booking a private holiday rental with Airbnb or Vrbo is not the bargain that many assume – and is potentially much more expensive than a hotel, research suggests.
The private booking options were an average of 19 per cent more expensive than hotels, according to Which?. One-bed listings on Airbnb and rival Vrbo outstripped the average cost of a hotel room – excluding five-star hotels – in 38 of 50 UK and world destinations.
The study included 13 destinations in the UK and 37 across the rest of the world.
It found that a one-night stay in a hotel was an average of £101, compared with £120 across Airbnb and Vrbo.
Accommodation rental companies have a reputation for being cheaper than traditional options due to guests not paying for on-site staff.
It highlighted a series of destinations where travellers can make ‘stark’ savings by staying in hotels.
On the Greek island of Santorini, a one-bed rental on Airbnb and Vrbo was £203 a night on average, 71 per cent more than the £119 for a hotel stay. For a one-week holiday, the hotel was £588 cheaper.
Listings on the rental companies’ websites for Dutch capital Amsterdam cost 58% more than hotels, at an average of £183 versus £116.
Hotel rates were also generally cheaper in many Asian destinations.
It was also revealed that it typically costs less to stay in a hotel than book through Airbnb and Vrbo in several UK tourist hotspots.
The consumer champion found a similar picture in the UK. Southwold in Suffolk draws thousands of visitors despite a high average hotel price of £155. But this was cheaper than the average with Airbnb and Vrbo of £233 per night.
Hotels worked out cheaper in all the UK’s capital cities. In London, a private booking cost £162 versus £102. But Which? said private rentals were good value when a group shares the cost.
Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: ‘Many holidaymakers may be surprised to discover that the average cost of hotels in many destinations is cheaper than one-bedroom holiday lets, which are often promoted as a popular option for travellers trying to save money.
‘When planning your next trip, don’t assume a hotel will cost more, but instead check rates across different platforms.
‘For larger groups that need more rooms and space, private rentals are still likely to beat hotels on price.’
Graeme Buck, director of communications at travel trade organisation Abta, said: ‘Many customers are looking for value when booking their holiday accommodation, and doing so as part of a package with an Abta member is an easy way to get a great deal.
‘As travel experts, they can advise on the best hotel for your budget, on a date and at a location which works for you.’
The analysis was based on average prices for the 12 months to May.
For Airbnb and Vrbo it only took into account listings for entire properties, while the study of hotel rates excluded five-star sites.