Airbnb vs hotels - the final showdown




Jack's Flight Club ✈️ Travel News & Inspiration

Hey there, JFC-ers,

Are you a mosquito magnet? Do you get bitten everywhere you travel? Are your holidays a horrific slew of itching and anti-histamines, night after night? Do you wonder why your travelling companions get away without a single scratch?

Well, here’s some news which might bring you a bit of comfort; according to Science, it’s all because your skin is so beautifully soft and well-moisturised that the little bloodsuckers just can’t stay away.

Or to be slightly more accurate, the mosquitoes like the smell of the chemical which your skin is producing to moisturise itself in greater quantities than other people.

So there we go. Animals love you, and you’re going to stay as youthful-looking as Keanu Reeves for all of time.

Many thanks and happy flying,



Airbnb vs Hotels - your views

Last week, we asked you readers how you were feeling about Airbnb in 2022, after a succession of bad press stories ( here's another one from this week) - is it still a good way of travelling, or have you gone back to the convenience of hotels?

You offered up some seriously thoughtful responses from both sides: here's just a few of your anonymised and condensed experiences. (The big takeaway for us? A lot of you travellers are falling in love with

Skykomish, Washington State, has become famous for its impeccably-designed Airbnb cabins.

"I've always been a fan as I prefer travel where I can stay in an apartment to a hotel, especially if there's more of a local / personal / home touch.

HOWEVER, I have spent this year as a digital nomad, working and travelling through Europe, changing places every month or so. And my experience has really shifted me to I must say - even though it hurts me a bit!

There's basically no longer any price difference between the two in a lot of cities, and now also offers apartments for rent, including from individuals (not businesses).

Plus, there are no extra hidden costs with (it's super annoying to search by price on Airbnb only to have Service fee and Cleaning fee added to take the total up). AND I discovered the Genius discounts really make a big difference, and you don't even have to do anything to earn them."

Jack's notes:'s 'Genius' (no relation to Apple) loyalty programme is definitely worth a look, as this reader suggests - it grants an instant 10% discount on participating properties when you sign up, so there's really no downside.

"I still favour Airbnb as I’ve always had really positive experiences plus I prefer to be able to cook for myself and have the privacy of a holiday residence to myself.

I’m just hoping all my bookings continue to be as enjoyable as my previous ones!"

"After our last stay in Puglia and the host asking us to carry all of our week’s rubbish to the nearest municipal rubbish depot which was 10 miles away we have decided that hotels are a far better option. At least you don’t have to remove your rubbish or any other chores and best thing is you get fresh towels, breakfast and clean sheets everyday. 😊 "

Jack's notes:

The stunning limestone cave-dwellings of the Sassi in Matera - the old town, literally named 'the Stones', which dates back to 7,000 BC as a human settlement - are one of the most extraordinary sights in Puglia and southern Italy. But they're also a fascinating microcosm of the debates around Airbnb.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Sassi were infamous for their poverty rates and sickness, with cave-dwelling Materans suffering from rampant malaria caused by summer mosquitoes, and struggling with a total lack of electricity and running water.

In 1952, the Italian government evacuated the Sassi's citizens to modern housing on the outskirts of the town - and for the next 30 years, the old town was largely abandoned.

In 1986, the government made a new effort to rehabilitate the Sassi as a tourist site - offering subsidies to Matera's citizens to rebuild and renovate the cave homes as visitor attractions. Boutique hotels and craft workshops quickly followed, but the rise of Airbnb in 2008 allowed residents to get in on the act independently, renting out their historic homes to tourists.

In 2017, the University of Siena estimated that an astonishing 25% of Matera's homes were available to rent on Airbnb.

Meanwhile, around 730,000 visitors come to the city every year - 7,000 times the number of the Sassi's permanent residents - while Materans who aren't involved in the tourist industry have effectively been priced out of many restaurants and activities in their own historic centre.

"The feedback thing needs to change. I don't want to get feedback on me as a paying guest. doesn't do it, nor does any other hotel booking site or even hotels.

And having it so the guest can't see the host feedback until the guest writes their feedback is a daft idea. It encourages guests to give 5 star reviews even if the accommodation was bad. eBay changed the way they do feedback, so should Airbnb."

"Living (and owning unfortunately) a lovely apartment in a very small, quiet residential (never intended for short-term lets) block in a seaside village in Ireland - where the guy below me has cleared off and now Airbnbs his apartment full-time, constant churnover - I can tell you - it's pure **** for the rest of us dealing with it!"

"My opinions are controversial and probably in the minority. However, you posed a great question and I love using Airbnbs!

I think it's good to have Airbnbs so they can keep hotel prices low as they have competition. Hotels know they cannot charge too much because all their guests will just go to Airbnb for half the price.

For example, in London you can only legally host Airbnbs for 3 months of the year. Have you stayed in London recently? It's definitely not cheap!

I fear if there are too many rules by either the government, Airbnb themselves or too much backlash from visitors or neighbors, less people will be willing to host and this will massively affect end-users because prices will go up for hotels as they have no competition. It's a simple supply and demand situation. If the demand is high and supply is low, then prices will go up."

Jack's notes:

I'm inclined to agree when it comes to central London hotels! Even when you scout out the 'budget in style' options, you're going to struggle to find anything that's 1) less than £100 per night and 2) higher than a 3.9 average rating on Google.

If you're not afraid of fighting commuters on the busy train into London, these days I'd usually be half-inclined to look for hotel accommodation options outside the city. A nice B&B in St Albans or a four-star hotel in Reading plus a direct 20-minute train ride into the centre for sightseeing isn't that much extra inconvenience for the money saved.

(Although for travellers who don't mind a squeeze - the extra-compact rooms of the 'hub by Premier Inn' sub-franchise are some of the best-rated options out there right now for visitors on a budget.)

Huge thanks to everyone who wrote in on either side of this debate!

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Reader Requests

In our regular feature, we offer tips, advice and travel inspiration in response to your questions. Let's get started!

Hi, reader - we're incredibly sorry to hear this.

easyJet actually has a specific clause (5.3) in their universal terms and conditions for offering refunds due to serious illness, which cancer is clearly covered under, So based on the information you've provided, we’re at a loss to understand why they would have refused you.

If you haven’t done so already, you absolutely should be able to complete their Medical Declaration Form along with information from your partner’s medical practitioners and return it in exchange for a refund.

Otherwise, we’d recommend following the Civil Air Authority’s guidance - beginning with a complaint placed to both airlines themselves, along with written proof of your partner’s condition, and escalating to a higher authority if necessary.

Good luck and best wishes from all of us here at JFC.


Our Pick Of The Clicks

All the important (or silly, or strange) travel news from across the web this week.

CNN is continuing to make us cry with its romantic tales of travellers from around the world - this latest story features Andye, who met her future husband Steven when they locked eyes on the Paris Metro.

Great news for fliers who 1) don't care about gazing out of the window and 2) don't mind clambering past someone to get to the loo: Virgin Australia is offering a special lottery.

Passengers who are resident in Australia and part of the airline's Velocity Frequent Flyer programme just have to fly in a middle seat (the preference of just 1% of fliers) between now and April 23rd and they'll be in with a chance of winning prizes that add up to $230,000.

From the writers at The Points Guy, here's the story of how one traveller (mostly) covered a trip to Europe with savvy use of points and airmiles.

From Conde Nast Traveller, here's the story behind the eerily abandoned 'Disney-esque' town filled with identical, ornate miniature castles in Burj Al Babas, Turkey.

And finally, insectophobes look away...but Twitter users are hotly debating after one Vistara passenger angrily claimed that he found a cockroach in his in-flight meal.

The airline conducted its own investigation under a microscope and has formally announced that the suspected beastie was in fact a piece of ginger. Others online say it looks more like a curry leaf.

We'll keep you updated. (Or, more likely, not.)