Airbnb: When It Makes Financial Sense And When It Doesn’t

Airbnb, founded in 2008, has revolutionized the travel industry by providing travellers with alternative and cost-effective accommodations. In addition, are two of the most popular home-sharing platforms in the world, allowing property owners to rent out their homes or apartments to travellers.

With over 4 million listings in over 220 countries, Airbnb has become a go-to option for many people looking to save money on their travels. However, Airbnb also presents an opportunity for homeowners to earn extra income by renting out their homes or rooms to travellers. This article will discuss when it makes financial sense to use Airbnb as a traveller or host and when it doesn’t.

When Does Airbnb Make Financial Sense for Travelers?

  1. Long-term Stays

Airbnb can often be more cost-effective for staying longer than a week than traditional hotel options. It is especially true in areas where hotels are expensive or in high demand.

  1. Large Groups

If you are travelling with a large group, such as a family or friends, Airbnb can provide cost savings by allowing you to split the rental cost.

  1. Unique Or Off-The-Beaten-Path Destinations

If you travel to a remote or less-visited destination, Airbnb may be your best option for finding affordable and unique accommodations.

  1. Flexibility

Airbnb allows travellers to book last minute or change their plans easily, making it a great option for those who like flexibility in their travel plans.

When Does Airbnb Make Financial Sense For Hosts? 

  1. Location

Hosts in popular tourist destinations or high-demand areas can often earn a significant amount of money by renting their homes or rooms on Airbnb.

  1. Empty Homes

If you have a second home or an unused room, renting it out on Airbnb can be a great way to earn extra income.

  1. Flexibility

Hosts can choose to rent their homes or rooms whenever they want, making it a flexible source of income.

When Doesn’t Airbnb Make Financial Sense for Travelers?

  1. Short-term Stays

Hotels may be a better option for stays shorter than a week as they often offer better daily rates and loyalty programs.

  1. Areas with Plenty of Hotel Options

In areas with plenty of hotel options, Airbnb rentals may not be cheaper than traditional hotels, and the added inconvenience of cooking your meals and lack of hotel amenities may not be worth it.

  1. Hidden Fees

Some Airbnb or VRBO rentals may come with hidden fees, such as cleaning or service fees, that can add up and increase the total cost of the stay.

When Doesn’t Airbnb Make Financial Sense for Hosts?

  1. High Operating Costs

Hosts must consider the cost of cleaning, maintaining, and preparing the rental for guests, utilities, and any additional expenses.

  1. Location

Hosts in less popular or less convenient locations may struggle to find guests and earn a significant amount of money on Airbnb.

  1. Time Commitment

Hosting on Airbnb requires significant time and effort, including advertising the rental, communicating with guests, and preparing the rental for each stay.


Airbnb can be a great option for travellers and homeowners looking to save money or earn extra income. However, it’s important to consider your specific travel plans and situation, as well as the costs and benefits of hosting, before making a decision. When used wisely, Airbnb or VRBO can be the best option, but it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding.

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