The vast majority of travelers, me and you included will no doubt book a hotel when visiting another part of the world.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, in fact it has served millions of travelers perfectly well for the last few hundred years or so. In fact many of you are probably thinking there is nothing wrong with staying in hotels when traveling, and you’d be correct. So why are there a new breed of companies that have set out to fix what is not broken.

Well to answer this question fully, we need to consider the pro’s and con’s of both staying in a hotel and the new fabled idea of staying in private rented accommodation.

Firstly let us define what we mean by “private rented accommodation”, well we are talking about renting a room in someone’s house/flat or even renting the whole place of them for a week a two. These are not purpose built to cater for tourists and could be better described as a “home away from home”.

So have you or would you ever consider staying in someone’s home when on vacation, we did recently and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Pro’s of Private accommodation

  1. Price – This was our main motivation when booking we really needed to keep costs down for this trip, and with the average hotel price in Paris being £150 a nights for a really small room, it really was a no-brainer for us to book a room in central apartment for just over £200 for 5 nights (a massive saving of £537).
  2. Home comforts – This is not such a big deal when traveling for only a few nights, but we could image if we were staying for 2 weeks or so, having a washing machine and a few other home comforts (kettle, toaster) etc.
  3. Ability to self cater – Again great for saving money, was the ability to make our own breakfast and lunches, eating out in Paris can get expensive
  4. Local free Knowledge – Our host also acted a bit like our tourist guide, and offered some great tips of where to go, what to see and how to get around. She also recommended our favorite restaurant.

Cons of Private accommodation

  1. Not as luxurious – One of the main reasons we love to stay in hotels is the sense of luxury you get, the amazing mattresses, Egyptian cotton bedding and elegant surroundings. Unless you are extremely lucky, you won’t get this same feeling in private accommodation.
  2. Location – Big hotel chains need to be conveniently located to attract the most guests, meaning staying in a hotel you will be right in the middle of the action
  3. Service – Staying in a hotel means not having to lift a finger, your bed is made, room is cleaned, breakfast delivered to your room and much more. It is extremely unlikely your guest will do any of this for. Now this for some of you is part of the reason of going away, to get a break.
  4. Facilities – Another major benefit of staying a hotel is the abundance of facilities right on site. These can range from bars, restaurants, gyms, pools to on site spa’s and salons. Again you wont find these on your average house rental.
  5. Security – This may be a big thing for a lot of you, you will generally feel more safe staying in a hotel rather than at a strangers home. This is particularly important for single/female travelers. You may also need to check your travel insurance permits staying at a private rental?

I guess after reading the above the choice really is up to you?

I personally think it really depends on what you want from your holiday, for me private rented is great for a city break and for a maximum of 5/7 nights. We found ours on airbnb but there are now lots of different companies offering similar services.

A word of advice, we did a lot of research to check the location, read previous renters reviews and even messaged the owner to get a feel for things before committing.