Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Airbnb Versus Hotels for Business Travel: What to Consider Before You Book 

While most businesses have concentrated, over the years, on booking hotels, motels, and apartments for their employees to stay in while away for work, things are slowly changing. Airbnb has significantly impacted business travel bookings and continues to grow in popularity with the corporate crowd. 

Of course, whichever way you go, there are pros and cons of every choice, so it’s helpful to understand some of the key factors to keep in mind when deciding which path to tread for your venture’s new T&E solution. Read on for the lowdown on the benefits and potential downsides of choosing Airbnb accommodation for your team now and in the future. 

Benefits of Airbnb

There are numerous benefits arising from booking places to stay on Airbnb. For example, you can pick out one big house or a retreat to house whole teams. That way, everyone can stay together in one place and share common rooms such as kitchen, living, and dining spaces. This encourages your workers to share ideas, bond more and generally come together as a group in a way that having individual hotel rooms typically does not. 

Another benefit of Airbnb stays is that it’s much easier to cook and eat healthier. When staying in hotels, most of us end up ordering less-than-ideal meals from room service or in on-site or off-site restaurants. Everything may taste good, but we don’t know what gets put in the food and, therefore, if it’s healthy or not. 

When you hire a house on Airbnb, though, you generally have access to a full kitchen and can cook whatever you like. In turn, you know precisely what has gone into each meal, can avoid things that cause issues with intolerances or allergies (such as gluten, peanuts, seafood, or dairy), and feel better all in all.

Airbnb places often cost considerably less than hotel rooms, or you can get better value for money. Rather than spending hundreds on a simple, often small, hotel room with few facilities in-room, you can get a home with more space and functionality. Many Airbnb options come with more inclusions, too. For instance, many offer parking for no extra cost and have pools, spas, breakfast items provided, plenty of tools to cook with, gear for going to the beach or bikes to ride, extensive home entertainment systems, etc. 

Business owners and leaders appreciate Airbnb’s corporate dashboard, too. The company has this feature for organizations to help streamline travel management. The Airbnb for Work dashboard facilitates workflows by consolidating business travel data and expense information into one spot. It’s easy to run reports, see who in the venture is staying where and when, and it features traveler contact information and Airbnb listing details all in one place. There’s also a world map and data on average rates paid and cost savings made. 

If you need to set up employee relocation accommodation or find places for staff to stay for long-term projects away from home, Airbnb can help out. Due to the various functions mentioned above, this travel site helps you find more affordable and comfortable stays for team members, whether they’re going to be in one city or region for a month, quarter, or longer. 

Potential Drawbacks of Airbnb

Of course, as with anything, there are some potential drawbacks to Airbnb that you need to consider. For instance, so far, the booking business doesn’t offer a loyalty program, as many hotel chains do, so you can’t gain perks from that. There are often fewer public transport connections to Airbnb properties since many aren’t in the center of towns or cities. 

As such, your employees may not be able to take advantage of hotel bus pickups and drop-offs, and you may need to spend significantly more on cab or Uber fares, etc. It can also mean more safety and security risks if the homes are situated in spots with less foot traffic and potentially more crime or other issues to be aware of. 

If you have huge groups of workers to house for a night or more, Airbnb isn’t your best option since most properties suit smaller groups rather than big ones. There also generally isn’t any 24/7 customer service or room service to utilize. 

However, Airbnb can often be the best pick for many businesses when sending staff members off for work trips or relocating new hires or current employees. Before you go straight to a hotel booking selection, it’s worthwhile investigating the choices on Airbnb and seeing if you can find a better fit for your needs there. 


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