Booking an Airbnb? It May Not Necessarily Be the Best Value Compares Hotels to Airbnbs in Top U.S. Tourism Cities

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Going to New York? Book a hotel. Traveling to Anaheim? Airbnb is the way to go. Now that Airbnb accounts for a whopping 20 percent of the U.S. lodging market, travelers are no longer limited to hotels for a place to stay.  In fact, some value-conscious vacationers automatically book through the home-sharing network, to get the best bang for the buck.  But this isn’t always the best option.

Sure, Airbnbs are the better pick in cities like Anaheim, Chicago and Philadelphia.  Housing costs there are relatively low, making Airbnbs more plentiful, which gives the consumer plenty of options.  Airbnbs there offer travelers a better value, for the most part. That means that Airbnbs in those cities are, generally speaking, a better bang for the buck.  The large number of Airbnb properties in cities like Austin, St. Louis and Miami Beach make booking one on short notice not only possible, but, very affordable.

However, Airbnbs aren’t the best bet in other cities.  If you’re heading to New York, Atlanta, San Francisco or Seattle, you might be better off booking a hotel room.  These cities have a high average housing cost, which, in turn, gets passed along to the traveler. Additionally, strict housing regulations limits the qualifying Airbnb locations in these cities, which can increase their price.

Right in the middle of the list of 15 tourist destinations is Orlando, Florida.  There are plenty of hotels and home-share options, which leads to a slim 6 percent price difference between a seven-night stay at a hotel or an Airbnb.  A thrifty traveler can choose the comforts of home or the amenities of a hotel, and barely notice the difference in cost.

To determine the best cities to book a hotel or Airbnb, the editors at, the digital business publication, looked at a variety of factors including availability, price, amenities, location and regulatory environment, and analyzed data from key sources such as,, and  All of this research helped to determine which cities offered the better deal on accommodations.  You can find the full report HERE:

The top cities to book hotels
#1.  New York City
#2.  Atlanta
#3.  Los Angeles
#4.  Las Vegas
#5.  Seattle
#6.  San Diego
#7.  San Francisco
#8.  Orlando

The top cities to book Airbnbs
#1.  Anaheim
#2.  Chicago
#3.  Philadelphia
#4.  San Antonio
#5.  Austin
#6.  St. Louis
#7.  Miami Beach
#8.  Orlando

Fit Small Business editors used this analyzed the following weighted data to make their conclusions:

  • Tourism (Baseline) – Editors selected the 15 most-visited cities in the U.S. (listed above) based on data
  • Price (55%) 
  • Amenities, inclusions, travel purpose (20%)
  • Availability (10%)
  • Location (10%)
  • Regulatory environment (5%)

“It’s not always obvious whether you should book a hotel or a home-share when traveling,” says Sarah Wright-Killinger, Managing Editor, Fit Small Business. “We just hope our research makes the choice a little easier.”

With a rapidly growing monthly readership of more than 2.5 million, is an online publication devoted to helping small business owners.  Its full-time staff of writers spends hours of research, data analysis, and interviews with industry experts to answer the questions that owners want in order to run a successful small business.

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