Is Airbnb Really That Much Cheaper Than Hotels? See For Yourself

Jeff Cuellar



There’s been plenty of conversation recently about short-term rentals in Singapore, especially about how they are illegal in Singapore. In fact, holiday short-term holiday rentals are illegal in many international cities – such as Berlin, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. But don’t let that confuse you with Airbnb being illegal, because it isn’t.


Of course, such restrictions haven’t stopped tens of thousands of property owners worldwide from renting out their rooms (or entire apartment/condo) to vacationers from around the globe for 50%-70% cheaper than the cost of a hotel room.

But is Airbnb really that much cheaper than hotels when it comes to booking a vacation stay?

We compared the average price of a single hotel room for one night against the average cost of renting an out an entire flat/condo in cities with the highest hotel prices in the world.

Here’s what we found:




The Answer Is Pretty Clear – Airbnb Will Save You Money

Even in some of the world’s most expensive cities to book a hotel room, Airbnb still easily saves you 20%-40% on the average cost of a hotel room.

Some might balk at such a number by saying it’s ONLY 20% you’re saving.

Yes, in some cases it’s only 20%, but that’s on renting an ENTIRE place, not just one room. If you compare the price of renting a studio or suite, that 20% saving will quickly jump much higher.

But the real savings comes for families who are traveling to cities with a reputation for having ridiculous hotel prices.

When you can rent an entire property for your stay at 20%-40% the cost of a hotel room, it frees up more cash for you and your family to enjoy the sights of your holiday destination.

After all, that’s why you go on holiday – to enjoy the landmarks, not to spend the whole day in your hotel room.


Final Note: Airbnb isn’t just a good way to save money, it’s also a good way to make money, as there are scores of Singaporeans who have rooms or even entire flats listed for booking.

Of course, as you may or may not know, short-term rentals below six months are illegal. In fact, you can lose your HDB flat (HDB only), get a $200,000 fine, or get jailed for 12 months.

While the HDB hasn’t aggressively pursued people listing their flats on Airbnb, it recently repossessed the flats of two individuals who were renting out their homes to vacationers.

We’ll write an article soon on what you can do to prevent that from happening.


Would you put your holiday accommodation dollars into an Airbnb stay instead of a hotel? Tell us what you think on Facebook! And to find even more useful information on everything personal finance, visit MoneySmart today!


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Jeff Cuellar

I'm known by many titles: copywriter, published author, literary connoisseur, ex- U.S. Army intelligence analyst, and Champion of Capua.