What’s Better: RVing Or Staying At An Airbnb?
Both RVing and staying at an Airbnb are great ways to see new places. But when comparing RVing vs Airbnb, which one is best?
Let’s take a closer look at both of these modes of travel and their pros and cons. Then, we’ll help you decide which one is right for you.
Pros & cons of RVing
First up, let’s look at the pros and cons of RV travel.
Pros of RV travel
When you’re RVing, freedom and flexibility are the names of the game. You can go where you want, when you want, without having to worry about hunting for a well-placed Airbnb.
Plus, if you have a change of plans, you don’t have to worry about losing money or paying cancellation fees like you would at a spendy Airbnb.
You have way more options in an RV. While a good Airbnb can be hard to find outside of urban or touristy areas, you can take your RV almost anywhere. Even far away from civilization, an RV gives you a place to stay.
RVing can be more cost-effective
RVing can also be more cost-effective than staying in an Airbnb as well. Unless you stay at an especially nice RV resort, you’ll spend less staying in your RV.
You’ll also avoid needing to pay for lodging and transportation separately, and you won’t have to worry about hidden fees.
Cons of RVing
When comparing RVing vs Airbnb, RVs do have some downsides.
For one, you’ll need to actually have an RV to use. Buying one is a significant upfront cost… and even renting an RV can quickly get more expensive than an Airbnb. While you’re on the road, you’ll have to pay for gas and even occasional maintenance.
Driving an RV can be a challenge
Navigating your RV can be a challenge too, especially in urban areas. In many cases, it can be hard to get around, especially in a larger RV. If you’re inexperienced, driving a big RV can be a daunting task.
Unless you have a luxury RV, you probably won’t have the same amenities as an Airbnb either. While your RV can be plenty comfortable, if a luxurious vacation is what you’re after, you’re probably better off booking an Airbnb.
Airbnb: Pros and cons
Now let’s look at the pros and cons of staying in an Airbnb.
Pros of Airbnb
When comparing Airbnb vs RVing, one of the biggest advantages of Airbnb is variety. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from in most locations, and no two will be alike. Airbnb also offers unique stays, like treehouses, cabins, houseboats, and more.
Luxury & amenities
If you’re looking for luxury, Airbnbs can provide it. Super comfy beds, pools and jacuzzis, fully equipped kitchens, and plenty more are all options at an Airbnb. If you want to spoil yourself, Airbnb is an amazing option.
Staying at an Airbnb can also be a lot more convenient than an RV. You don’t worry about hookups, waste and water management like dumping your tanks, or any of the setup that goes with RV camping. Instead, you’ll just show up, get your key, and maybe take a quick tour of the place, and you’re all set.
Plus, most Airbnbs won’t require you to clean up besides basics like washing dishes. Meanwhile, RVs don’t usually come with a cleaning service. Having one less thing to worry about can make your trip a lot more relaxing.
Easy to access urban settings
When comparing RVing vs Airbnb in urban settings, Airbnb comes out on top. Unless you have a smaller Class B, navigating a city and finding parking can be challenging. If you stay at an Airbnb instead, you won’t have to worry about any of that.
Cons of Airbnb
But Airbnb has some major drawbacks too.
- Airbnb can get very pricey, costing hundreds or even over a thousand dollars a night.
- Booking an Airbnb often comes with unexpected fees when you go to pay. Worse, you could get stuck with a cleaning fee or another fee from an unhappy Airbnb host.
- Restrictions of your stay: You’ll have to check in and out within certain windows of time, which limits your flexibility. If something comes up and you have to change or cancel the reservation, you might not get your money back.
RVing vs Airbnb: Which is better?
When it comes to RVing vs Airbnb, there’s no definite answer to which is better. Each one has its own pros and cons, so it really comes down to your needs and preferences.
If you want flexibility and freedom, an RV is the way to go.
RVing is also the ideal choice if you want to enjoy the outdoors. While remote areas are light on Airbnb, they usually have plenty of campsites. When you’re RVing, you can be closer to nature, even going straight from your door to a hiking trail.
RV owners can also save money vs Airbnb. Campsites are usually cheaper, and you won’t have to worry about all the extra fees with an Airbnb.
If comfort, convenience, and even luxury are what you want, consider going with Airbnb. You can find a wide range of different options, including unique stays you won’t find anywhere else. Airbnbs are also often located in popular tourist areas, giving you easy access to local attractions and activities.
If you’re looking to splurge on luxury, Airbnb is also your best bet. Nice Airbnbs will have quality furnishing and finishes, plus great amenities like pools and jacuzzis. Plus, you won’t have to worry about finding a shore power connection, dump site, or any of the other things that RVing requires.
Get tips from RVers and more
Ultimately, when comparing RVing vs Airbnb, neither option is necessarily better. The right choice for you will depend on your preferences, budget, and travel goals. Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to have a great trip.
One of the best parts about RVing is engaging with the community of traveling enthusiasts. iRV2 forums allow folks to chat with other RVers online, and get other perspectives on everything RVing, including products, destinations, RV mods, and more.
Jennifer lives with her husband in a 29′ trailer in Mexico. She is one half of DashboardDrifters.com and the founder of RVSpotDrop, a web service for full-time RVers. Jennifer Jennings has been RVing for 2+ years and writing about the RV and Van Life for 2+ years. Jennifer specializes in topics such as Lifestyle, van life, campgrounds features, destination features, and product lists.