We have so many accommodation decisions to make when we travel, haven’t we? Hotel or bed & breakfast? Hostel, maybe? A rented apartment or studio? A rental house? Perhaps a room in someone’s home? And the chances are that we’ll have different needs during different trips, or maybe on the same trip – an airport hotel on the first night and from then on to a rented apartment for a week.
Or a houseboat. Or treehouse. Or igloo. Or even private island.
There are so many options available. Some of these options suit some of us and that’s a good place to start. Let’s start at the very bottom of our expectations list. What are the minimum standards you require? What features do you absolutely need to have?
For me, I require air-conditioning if I’m in a warm climate (and heat if I’m in a cold one), I really prefer to have an en-suite and internet availability is a must. Having a child/children traveling with you will also be a factor as will travelling with a pet. If I’m travelling by car then parking will be a consideration too.
Then I go to the other end of the scale – what do expensive places provide that I rarely if ever want, need or even think about using. I never use hotel spas/gyms, the minibar, the pool or the beauty salon. I don’t need the bed to be made for me every day or a clean set of towels daily that are supplied due to excessive use of the planet’s resources.
The reason for my trip is going to be a factor too. If I’m away on business and can’t stroll around in jeans and a t-shirt all the time then an iron, ironing board and full-length mirror are going to be important to me. On the other hand, if I’m on a beach vacation and my accommodation gives me the free use of beach chairs, towels and sun umbrellas that’s terrific.
Note that I’ve inadvertently talked myself out of a five-star hotel there! But yes, I do want something a little more relaxed and I don’t see the point of the nightly fee I pay including the cost of things I won’t be using, like the spa or gym.
But the real point is, that we rarely make our choices on price alone. What counts to us all is a) getting the product that’s right for us and b) getting value for money.
So there’s no right answer about which type of accommodation is going to be best but we can be sure that the lowest price isn’t always going to be the best way to choose. Did you ever see a Porsche or a filet mignon or a bottle of vintage wine? Have you ever bought a bunch of flowers, a bottle of perfume or a hardback book?
As human beings, we don’t buy the cheapest, we don’t buy things simply because they are essential to our survival.
Airbnb hosts who are trying to offer the lowest possible prices – and making themselves not a penny profit in the meantime – are not only hurting themselves. They are hurting others in the same business – people just like themselves. They are catering to a segment of society that is very very small indeed – people who only buy on price alone. It just won’t work.
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.