Is Renting On Airbnb Cheaper Than Staying At A Hotel? A Graphic Comparison Of US Cities

Venturist, Flickr

Airbnb has become one of the go to sites for travelers looking for a more authentic experience while traveling. After all, if you are in a city for more than a few days, it’s certainly more comfortable to have your own kitchen and space for chilling out after hours of adventuring.

But it’s not just about having a cool place to stay. Renting from individuals on Airbnb is cost effective as well.

Pricenomics did an official breakdown of hotel vs Airbnb prices. Overall, you will save yourself about 21 percent if you rent an entire Airbnb apartment, and 49 percent for a single room. Of course, there are some places where your wallet will be happier opting for the hotel option than for a full apartment – Las Vegas and Houston, for example.

Often times full Airbnb apartments are around the same price as hotels, but pack them full of a few travel buddies and not only do you have a cheap place to stay but an instant travel party as well.

Check out the full findings and infographic here.

Via: Fast Company

Life Nomadic: How Much Does it Cost to Be a Nomad?

Tynan and Todd getting fitted for tuxes in Bangkok

One of the big barriers between most people and becoming a nomad is money. It sounds expensive. Most questions I get about it have to do with affording the trips.

Here’s the big secret: being a nomad is not expensive. In fact, without knowing how much money you spend monthly, I can confidently say that you can probably comfortably become a nomad and spend less.

I don’t have exact numbers, but I’d say that Todd and I each average spending under $3000 per month. That includes everything including lodging, airfare, food, entertainment, and small gear purchases along the way.

There’s a big difference between “cheaply” and traveling “cheaply and well”. I have little interest in eating ramen in a hostel or taking buses across the country.

That’s backpacking. Nothing wrong with that, but being a nomad is different.

The key is not treat it like a vacation. Many people spend money outrageously “because I’m on vacation”. Life Nomadic is a lifestyle that’s intended to be sustainable.

One big advantage the nomad has is that he has no expenses back home. The tourist is paying nightly for a hotel, but he’s also paying rent, electricity, and cable back home.

That’s like trying to pay for two lives at once.
A basic hotel in Tokyo will cost at least $150 per night. That’s not a great hotel, and it’s definitely not in a great location. $1050 for 7 days.

Renting a large room with a fridge, two beds, and a couch cost Todd and I $1000 for a month in the most desirable neighborhood of Tokyo. That’s cheaper than it would have cost us for a mediocre hotel for a week.

It’s almost always cheaper to rent an apartment for a month than to get a hotel, but you can also just choose cheap destinations. Thailand is full of great hotels for $20/night, either in downtown Bangkok or on the beach on an island. In Panama City you can get a solid (but not exceptional) hotel for around $30 a night.

If you really have a limited budget, go to any of the countless cheap-but-awesome destinations. You’d be shocked at how cheap great places in Southeast Asia are.

The savings you create by living in such cheap locales can easily pay for the plane tickets you need to get there.

If you really have NO money, go to Ko Phi Phi in Thailand. You can hand out flyers for the big reggae club for four hours a night and make enough cash to pay for all of your food and hotel forever. And that little island is paradise, believe me.

Every country you visit will have a whole tourism industry centered around creating an America-like experience for you at a premium price.

Avoid that. Live like the locals.

Take the train, walk, or buy a bike like the locals. Don’t take overpriced cabs. Buy food from the grocery store and cook for yourself in your rented apartment. Ask around and see which beach the locals go to. It’s usually much better than the one that tourists are whisked off to.

Spend time in nature. It’s usually free or cheap and some environments you’ll see are unlike anything back home. Even something as simple as the deserts of the Middle East are breathtaking to a foreigner.

If you’re going to be somewhere for a month, don’t feel like every day needs to be filled with sightseeing and adventure. Spend four days a week practicing your language, working, and walking around town like you would back home. Then on the weekends go white water rafting through the rain forest instead of seeing the latest disappointing movie.

Above all, don’t let money stop you from living the dream. Being a nomad can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be, and the sheer adventure of doing something almost guarantees that the money you spend on a monthly basis will be well worth it.

Airline Claims it Will Save $20 Million by Increasing Fuel Efficiency

Etihad Airways has announced that it is on track to save $20 million this year because of the success of its fuel-saving techniques. The airline has taken steps to reduce weight and improve engine performance by increasing the number of engine washes and reducing cruising speeds.

The fuel-saving strategy is not a last desperate attempt to stay in business. Etihad has been wildly successful over the past year. In the first half of 2008, it saw an unprecedented 41% increase in the number of passengers when compared to the same period in 2007. The airline has recently added routes to China and plans to expand further in to Europe and North America.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has added new routes and is planning on expanding its fleet by more than 100 aircraft in the near future. However, a slowing world economy and a projected drop in the number of passengers flying into and out of the Middle East might put a damper on Etihad’s ambitious growth plans.

Bolshoi in Russia: Moscow truly is a ridiculously expensive city

Greetings from Moscow! Bolshoi in Russia is my variation on Big in Japan. (Bolshoi means “Big” in Russian. Get it?) Stay tuned for my live dispatches from Russia this week.

Moscow has been ranked the world’s most expensive city for two years now. Still, it’s one thing to see the ranking in the newspaper and another thing to actually be here and pay the prices. In an average bar or restaurant, this is what you are looking at:

  • $5-10 for a shot of vodka
  • $8 – 10 for a latte (and they insist on putting a straw into it, to make matters worse)
  • $8-10 for a beer (sometimes, they put a straw in beer, too)
  • $20-$30 for lunch (and I am taking sausages, not an actual meal)
  • $50 for a decent dinner

It is the price of coffee which would kill me here. It would be very hard to just hang out in a coffee shop without going completely broke.

The funny this is, the average salary in Moscow is about $1,500/month. Most people, however, make less than $1,000. How do they afford this stuff? The easy answer is they don’t. You see kiosks all over Moscow where people grab lunch, dinner or beer to go. Every metro station has a cluster of these kiosks and people simple hang out outside of them, drinking beer and talking. What do they do in the winter? You got me.

There are, however, some really affordable aspects of life in Moscow:

Take metro tickets, for example. They are only 19 rubles, or roughly 80 cents. The subway system has great coverage and is extremely efficient. Trains come every 1-2 minutes. They pretty much have to because the subways are always packed.

Another bargain in Moscow? Theater tickets. We paid 300 rubles (or about $15) to see a classical music concert in the Moscow International Hall of Music. Really nice venue, great music, all that for the price of two lattes. As much as I love coffee, I would have to opt for music here. Even the Bolshoi Theater has bargains.

The other thing that is fairly affordable in Moscow is sushi. Like many place around the globe, Moscow was swept by the sushi wave about five years ago. So many new sushi restaurants opened, that they all had to reduce prices. Mind you, it is still not a bargain, but comparing to everything else in Moscow, California roll for $10 is a good deal. They really go crazy with rolls here, by the way. Most of them don’t even have fish in them. You can get a Caesar salad roll, (yes in a Japanese restaurant), pizza roll, ham and cheese roll…you see my point.

Let’s see, what else if affordable in Moscow? How could I forget! You can see dedushka Lenin in his tomb for free! I saw him today. He looks very peaceful in there. I couldn’t tell if he is real or if its just a wax figure, as some conspiracy theories suggest. At the end of the day, who cares.

Then, of course, there is vodka. You can get some good deals on Vodka, but I wouldn’t suggest going with the cheapest stuff. You an get a shot from as little as $3 to as much as $20. Russian Standard is a good brand. A shot would set you back about $5. With a little vodka in you, the cost of hanging out in Moscow doesn’t hurt as badly.

From Russia, with love.