Airbnb or Hostels: Which Is Best for the Budget Traveller?

 Accommodation is a big drain on money for a budget traveller. Here's how to choose between two popular forms of budget accommodation: airbnb or hostels.

Accommodation is a big drain on money for a budget traveller. Here's how to choose between two popular forms of budget accommodation: airbnb or hostels.

Airbnbs and hostels are two types of accommodation that can save you a bunch of money on the road.

Daphne Rose, a lifestyle blogger and freelance author, has put together this amazing piece detailing what to expect from both.

Airbnb or hostels, which would you choose!?


Backpacking across the world has become a rite of passage for many people.

In the summer months, many travellers will be taking advantage of the good weather to explore the UK, or travel abroad. Some will even spend far longer travelling around the world.

Where once the humble hostel was the only choice for budget travellers, Airbnb has opened up more options.

Airbnb or hostels- which would suit your preferences best? Let’s take a look at their differences and similarities to help you decide.

 Location is everything for accommodation. How do Airbnb and hostels compare?

Location is everything for accommodation. How do Airbnb and hostels compare?

How do Airbnb & Hostels Compare in Terms of Location?

Hostel Locations

Hostels are common in the UK, and can be found in all major cities and across the countryside (particularly near popular hiking trails). Hostels are the number one choice for backpackers travelling across the globe, due to their affordability and the chance to meet fellow travellers.

Airbnb Locations

AirBnB is a growing industry in the UK, with an 80% increase between 2016 and 2017 in the number of people staying in this type of accommodation. Similar to hostels, it also has a large market worldwide. You'll find airbnbs in every major city in some of the most sought after locations available.

 What should you expect from you airbnb and hostel stays?

What should you expect from you airbnb and hostel stays?

Airbnb or Hostels: What About Privay?

Hostel Privacy

Privacy is less of an option here, since hostels predominantly provide shared facilities.

These can be in the form of shared bedrooms and bunk beds, as well as common kitchens and bathrooms. This won't be a problem if you are comfortable sharing a room with strangers though. Especially if you are travelling alone or in a small group.

Staying in a hostel provides an opportunity for you to meet other travellers from around the world. This is great as they can give you tips on the area’s must-see attractions.

Airbnb Privacy Details

Airbnb is a lot more flexible when it comes to your privacy.

You can opt to book a private room, an entire floor, or a whole house. It depends on what you prefer. This can be especially beneficial for those travelling in bigger groups or those who need a certain degree of privacy.

Choosing a private space in a shared house is an affordable alternative for groups of four or more.

 What's included in an airbnb and/or hostel stay?

What's included in an airbnb and/or hostel stay?

Airbnb & Hostels: What's Included?

Hostel Inclusions

Inclusions offered by hostels can vary, but most typically provide guests towels, Wi-Fi, and the option for in-house breakfast.

They may have toiletries available at the reception for an additional fee. Many also offer lockers for your storage. This is an important feature since you will most likely share common spaces with people you don't know.

However, the locks may have to be purchased separately. Some hostels may also have a swimming pool or onsite bar, where it's great to hang out and meet fellow travellers.

Airbnb Inclusions

Airbnbs will typically include amenities such as Wi-Fi, TV, and laundry facilitates. Visitors will also have access to a complete kitchen, which will mean that guests will have to shop and cook their own food. This will save money in the long run, compared to eating out.

 Now, what about the price of hostels and airbnbs?

Now, what about the price of hostels and airbnbs?

Airbnb & Hostels: Price Comparison

Both forms of accommodation are cheap options for budget travellers. However, there are some differences worth knowing about.

Hostels may be the better choice for solo travellers since the prices per night won’t break the budget.

For instance, hostel prices in London range between £15 and £25 per night, while prices in Barcelona can fall anywhere from €19 (£16) to €44 (£39).

The more beds there are in a room, the cheaper the accommodation is.

Ladbrokes detailed the difference in accommodation prices for those who travelled to the Russia World Cup this year.

According to them, a hostel stay for 2 people for 2 nights cost around £115, while an Airbnb set travellers back between £60 and £200 per night.

As you can see, Airbnb may be the better budget option for people travelling in a larger group. Simply, they can split the cost!

Moreover, Airbnb accommodation can have prices on par with hostels. It depends on which country you are in though.

For example, Airbnbs in European countries like Malta, Portugal, and Switzerland offer better value than hostels.

Let's Wrap Up...

As you can see, both budget accommodation options have their pros and cons.

They are fairly distinct places to stay. However, they both offer cheap beds in amazing places around the world and include various perks that'll make your stay that bit brighter!

In reality then, it means choosing between the two will depend on your travelling preferences and the situation you're in.

Rest assured though, wherever you end up you'll have an amazing time.

Now I want to hear from you! What's your preference in terms of accommodation? Would you choose airbnb or a hostel?

Let me know in the comments!