Hotel, Hostel, Rental? Where to Stay When You're on Vacay
Written by Sultana Patail

Monday, January 15th, 2018

When it comes to vacationing, my husband and I have always gone with one of two options: either we take an all-inclusive getaway, or we stay with family. In both scenarios, food and accommodations were taken care of. So when the opportunity came up to go to Hawaii for some much needed R&R, we had to do our homework, since neither of those two options would work. We quickly realized that accommodations would come down to four main options.


We started with the traditional option – hotels. It was by far the most expensive, luxurious option, similar to an all-inclusive resort. However, we wanted to explore other alternatives. We used it as a starting point of reference, and kept it in our back pocket as an option to consider if we had room left in our budget.


Over the past decade, Airbnb has become a widely popular accommodation choice. It's an online service that allows hosts and travellers to connect and rent accommodations worldwide at different price points and for various lengths of time. Travellers apply online, and upon approval, confirmation is sent from the owner. Payments are made through Airbnb and not personally between travellers and hosts. This was our second go-to resource. However, finding an 8-day stay for a family of 3 was still at too high of a price point for us.


Hostels are a backpacker's dream. They're a budget-friendly option, allowing travellers to rent a bed, bunk, or private room, often sharing facilities with others. Although a great way to meet new people, I wasn't entirely convinced this was the best option for us as a family. However, as we started to research, I discovered there were viable accommodations for families, including private rooms. Prices were comparable to our Airbnb searches, so we continued on our hunt.


Finally, we came across condos, which incorporated a little bit of each previous option. This provided a fully furnished condo suite, including facilities such as a kitchen stocked with necessities, washer and dryer, and Wi-Fi. Within the resort where the condo was located was a pool, sauna and tennis courts. It seemed similar to a hotel, without room service.

Our Decision

Ultimately, we chose to spend the majority of our week in a condo. It was a great budget-friendly option for us, provided a bigger space, and gave us the ease to move at our own pace.

For instance, we did our own groceries and cooking. It felt like a home away from home. However, towards the end of our vacation, we decided to treat ourselves to a two-night stay at a resort hotel. It was pricey, but well worth the pampering.

For your next vacation, keep in mind that there are plenty of resources online to help you make the right decision for your travel needs.

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