Are Airbnb holiday homes better than a hotel room

Written by Nick Grant


Published on 3rd October 2018


Last Updated on 27th February 2024


Read time: 5 minutes

airbnb sofa

Are you thinking about your next weekend travel, break, or holiday? A question that always pops up for most of us is where to stay, as nowadays we have hundreds of offers and different places to choose from, especially between a traditional hotel and a holiday let.

Cheap accommodation on holiday is a top priority for many, and in some of the most popular overseas destinations for British holidaymakers, such as Spain or France, overseas holiday lets can be better value for money than hotels. On the other hand, Andorra, Latvia, and Ukraine are some of the European countries where booking a hotel is cheaper than renting an Airbnb. Although it’s easy to assume that a holiday let is always a cost-efficient type of accommodation when travelling, sometimes hotels might be cheaper or the same price as average Airbnb places.

The trend of Airbnb beating the hotel repeats itself in many cities around the world. Naturally, some travellers will still favour booking into a hotel, arguing that it doesn’t involve the stress of searching for a flat, collecting the key and potentially having to talk with strangers in an Airbnb property.

The effect of Airbnb on the UK rental market

Ten years ago the idea of staying in someone’s house while travelling or on holiday would be completely strange for us, but this a new way of life, work, and travel has come to stay. Since 2009, Airbnb hosts were welcoming national and international guests around the UK, whether in a luxury isolated beach house, a holiday cottage, or a flat in any of the British cities. According to an Airbnb 2017 report, there are more than 165,000 places to stay across more than 2,500 villages, towns, and cities in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

hotel door

And more than a half of these properties are entire homes. It’s not difficult to guess who may win this battle between a hotel room and an entire home for your holiday, right?

Airbnb is 10 years old this summer, and the peer-to-peer website has also brought disruption to the hospitality industry, bringing controversy too along the way and enticing guests out of conventional hotels and into people’s spare rooms in their main homes.

Why is Airbnb so successful?

Mainly because the popularity of Airbnb (and similar holiday marketplace websites afterwards), allowing many people from different backgrounds to travel around the globe for a flexible and affordable hospitality experience and live like locals when they are on their getaways. Of course, location is not always the key and it may make sense to search for an unforgettable experience. There is more of chance to find short-term unusual places outside the main hotel districts a treehouse in Surrey, a snow igloo in Finland, or an Airstream caravan in Malibu.

This platform has brought an extra income into properties that nobody else thought of before:

How much rent can I get for my spare room or second home?

It’s estimated a typical host may generate an average income of £3,000 per an average of 36 nights hosted per year for a typical listing home. The social-economy platform contributed more than £3 billion to the UK’s economy last year and almost six million guests used the platform. The host can get their own page on Airbnb that travellers can use to book the experience and start a business without upfront costs.

How do Airbnb hosts protect themselves with insurance?

Guest checkouts might be the least favourable experience for an Airbnb host, as the service doesn’t allow users to communicate off the platform until a payment is accepted on the portal. Every host needs to be clear with the aspects of hosting, reviews, and dealing with issues that they might be required to manage, but guests are all different.

What to do if a guest steals or breaks something?

The company created a safety tool called Airbnb Host Protection Insurance that covers theft and vandalism charges in 2011, after a couple in San Francisco suffered malicious damage in their loft. However as this host guarantee is limited, Airbnb recommends getting a specific insurance for homeowners. Moreover, there are certain countries excluded from the insurance coverage, so you won’t be covered at all if you own an overseas holiday home in a country not on this list.

Many Airbnb hosts might consider taking out home insurance specifically for their spare room or letting home, but they might be informed that not all insurers can provide tailored cover for this specific requirement, especially holiday overseas properties. Airbnb Host insurance policies are not always the same as home insurance policies, and there are lots of things that may not covered.

How to find Airbnb home sharing insurance?

There are now dedicated policies designed for hosts who let a room or their whole property for short-term rental, and includes theft and damage to contents or buildings.

Which element of cover should you consider to get insurance if you want to become an Airbnb host?*

  1. Buildings and contents insurance.
  2. Cover for short term and long terms lets.
  3. Unoccupied properties.
  4. Accidental damage cover.
  5. Public liability.
  6. Loss of rent and alternative accommodation.
  7. Emergency travel.
  8. No need to notify every time you get a new booking.
  9. Loss of keys.
  10. Legal assistance.

You can learn more about what Intasure can offer you so you can decide what cover may be suitable to your individual needs with our Airbnb host insurance and Holiday Home insurance.**

Will be Airbnb cheaper than renting a flat?

The service lets you book from the listed properties according to the owner’s terms, so properties can be rented daily, weekly or monthly. However many cities and towns (including Paris, Barcelona, and London) are limiting where homeowners can do short-term rentals because of house unavailability for locals, as owners pursue more lucrative short-term tenants.

**Terms & conditions apply. This provides you with a summary of the cover. For precise details of cover, including the conditions and exclusions that apply, the policy document itself should be referred to.

*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

Nick Grant is a Business Development Manager at Intasure with 10 years of insurance experience.