Airbnb or hotel – Which is better for traveling with kids

Everything is relative and it all depends on so many things. There are terrible experiences with Airbnb’s just like there are terrible experiences in hotels. And the other way around. So what is better and what should you choose for your trip? Airbnb or hotel, Especially when traveling with kids. 

There is probably not one right answer honestly, and it will all depend on your taste, budget, needs and where you are going. Whatever you choose you need to make sure to research well the place you are visiting, read reviews in TripAdvisor and in Airbnb before deciding where you will stay,  Airbnb or hotel, what is the best choice for traveling with children? 

Where are you going? 

Are you going to a big city where you will likely not be in your accommodation at all? Are you going to a beach and you will be around the accommodation the whole time? 

If you are going to a big city such as New York, Amsterdam or London you are more likely to find more affordable accommodation in or near the city center if you opt for an Airbnb. We have stayed in beautiful apartments right where it all happens for a fraction of the price of paying for a hotel in the same area. 

If you are going to a beach you may want to consider a hotel. You are more likely to get your money’s worth based on the time you are likely to spend in the hotel grounds. Obviously this also depends on the place and the type of vacation that you are going for because if you are looking to go beach hopping maybe an Airbnb is a better idea? 

What amenities are important to you? 

Amenities are important, especially depending on the type of vacation that you are after. For example for me it is important to have a pool if we go to a beach, because I like to switch in between the two. But if I was going to a big city for a city break I would probably never have time to go in the pool, so that is not something that I’d be looking for. 
Do you have time to go buy some food and prepare some breakfast in the morning? or would you rather wake up and make your way to the breakfast buffet? All these questions are important to consider before deciding if you go for an Airbnb or hotel. 

Many hotels have a kids play area or something to entertain the little ones, while an Airbnb is like being at home, minus the toys. So here you need to consider the amount of time that you will be in the room or apartment and obviously bring something to keep your children entertained. 

Airbnb or hotel

What is your budget? 

Budget matters, especially because that is normally what dictates whether you get to travel or not. Sometimes traveling with a whole family can be very expensive, especially if you have to fly and have kids that pay full price for their plane ticket. 

That said traveling on a budget is possible, and you can go wherever you want and stick to the budget that you have set for your vacation. Do some research, Airbnb is likely more affordable than a hotel, but you could be surprised. Consider the amount of money that you will save from cooking in the apartment vs eating out. All of these little things contribute towards staying in budget.

We have had trips in which we stay in an Airbnb buy fruits and things in the local market for breakfast. Bring sandwiches and snacks to the beach and then only eat dinner out. The amount of money you save is huge! and then you can travel some more – hopefully πŸ˜‰ 

How many people are traveling? 

How many people are you and how important is it that you are all together? In hotels sometimes you can’t guarantee that rooms are nearby, you can always ask for that but it is no guarantee that you will get it. Is that a showstopper? Then opt for an Airbnb with more than one bedroom. On the other hand if you are traveling say with other families and you value your privacy then maybe you should opt for a hotel room. If you are a large group and want to stay together, the best way to do that is renting a large apartment or a house.

airbnb or hotel

Pros of staying in an Airbnb 

  • You can save money from cooking and eating in
  • You can have a large group together 
  • The night doesn’t have to end because it is children’s bedtime 
  • You are more likely to find city center accommodation for a fraction of the price of a hotel room

Pros of staying in a hotel 

  • A hotel likely has a kids play area or some entertainment for the little ones.
  •  You can have your own privacy if traveling in a group
  • The amenities that a hotel offers 
  • You don’t need to think of breakfast (assuming it is included).  

The choice is up to you, like I said Airbnb or hotel, there is really no wrong answer it all depends on the type of trip, where you are going, your budget and who you are going with. 

Do you have a preference? How do you decide whether to book an Airbnb or a hotel room? Let us know in the comments.


We are a family living abroad since 2012. We love to travel with our toddler and want to share with you that traveling with kids doesn't have to be complicated no matter where you go.


Suvarna · 31/07/2019 at 9:12 am

Elsa Ramos Arsuaga thank you so much. Just finished reading your post. It’s very good info for Travelers. I will follow you and pin the post.

    familymeetsworld · 31/07/2019 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for your feedback! I am happy to hear that you liked it.. I hope to see you around!

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