This month's article in Consumer Reports

Has anyone else read the article in Consumer Reports “Better Than a Hotel?” Thoughts?

It prompted me to add the following to my listing:

Additional Info
As a licensed AirBnB homestay, we meet (and sometimes exceed!) all state, city, and county requirements.

Took me a while to find the article [I have a digital subscription.] The title of the article online is “Homes Away From Home: The Appeal—and Pitfalls—of Home-Sharing.”

It wasn’t an inaccurate portrayal of the homeshare experience. In fact, it contained much of AirBNB’s [and others] dirty secrets in a fairly neutral way, however, the take-away was absolutely, buyer beware and be careful.

Sorry - you’re right on the title…the one I posted is the teaser is on the cover of the print edition.

Exactly the same as almost every other buying experience…except Costco. :wink:


I wish I could LIKE this about 20 times. Thank you so much for the laugh! And you are so right!


Thank you for pointing this article out to us.

I was interested in the information that 53% of the people who were polled said that they chose homestays over hotels/motels because of the availability of a kitchen.

@EllenN, I found that statistic rather interesting as well. That being said, I’m not sure it applies to those of us who rent out a room in our home, but what do you think?

I wish there was information like this broken down between whole house rentals and private room rentals.

I also found it interesting that more than half of Americans said they’d never even consider a home stay, and that several hosts on this forum say the same. I would have included myself in the bunch, but last November my husband and I found ourselves needing a single night’s accommodation near Hershey, PA. I felt I had enough experience as a host to be able to pick a good listing, and we stayed in a nice room in a gorgeous condo for less than the cost of the local Motel 6. It worked out great.

As do I. All of this information is interesting but not actionable when rooms within a house are lumped together with whole apartment/house rentals.

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Since I added a private entrance and ensuite bathroom and removed use of my kitchen my business has tripled.

Based on my discussions with reluctant guests and friends when I started doing Airbnb the reason why so many people would “never consider” homestay is lack of privacy. No way they are going to stay in a stranger’s home. So what percentage of people would be willing to consider it if they knew they had a private entrance or entirely separate space? Many people don’t realize that even in someone’s home you only pass through the common space to get to your room but you have your own floor or wing of the home. I’ve seen a lot of MIL apartments, pool houses, casitas in the back, garage apartments with kitchens for the same cost as a hotel. That’s why Airbnb has added private entrance as an amenity. It doesn’t seem to be available as a filter yet but it will be eventually. Kitchen may be why people choose ABB but lack of privacy is why they avoid it.


I host a private room in my house. I’ve had several guests who used my kitchen for every meal. These were mostly people who were on a particular diet (high protein. vegan-gluten free, raw, etc.). More than half of my guests eat the breakfast I provide, use my refrigerator to store leftovers and use my microwave (which I bought for Airbnb guests) to warm the leftovers. Personally, when traveling I prefer to have a kitchen. It saves a lot of money to eat at home. Also, it’s fun to shop locally and cook with the ingredients the locals use.

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Just to be the grumpy person here, I have to say that I really don’t like articles like that one. Take the statistics from the survey - how many people did they ask? Certainly not all Airbnb users. 10,000? 1,000? 100?

It’s like the surveys that are posted here for hosts. Most of us here are very caring and conscientious hosts. Go to another forum and they are completely different. Are members here a fair sample of the ‘standard’ host?

And then there are the case studies. The first one - what Americans would arrive in Japan at midnight and not have a torch (flashlight US) on their phone or keyring?

Case study two - the guest booked a place and thought it would be great because it had 4.5 stars and eight reviews. I think that most of us here aim for better than 4.5 star ratings and with only eight reviews would be working like crazy to ensure that guests were happy.

In case study number three, the guest was subjected to a bait and switch but didn’t contact Airbnb at once. He didn’t contact the host via the platform. Rookie mistakes, but when most people are relying on a service for a vacation or business trip, you’d think that they’d read up about the TOS and how to report issues.

And to end this rant (at last!) who wrote the article? A financial planner. Not a host, not an Airbnb guest.

Okay, sorry, Grumpy person. Need to pour a glass of wine. :wink:


According to the article they asked 2000 adults. If those adults were randomly chosen (for example from a random digit dailing survey) that sample size is plenty big. In fact that’s a larger than typical sample. It may be larger because part of if may be somewhat self selected. Was it in CR magazine? Did they ask CR members to log in and take the survey? Then it is more skewed than if they contacted people at random. But it’s still a large sample. It doesn’t compare to surveys posted here, the people that respond to that are indeed a tiny unrepresentative sample.


Here’s a link to the article in question. A subscription does not seem to be necessary.

It looks like a good, comprehensive article, that covers the main points.

This is ludicrous. If any guest asked to see that I would decline them!

“Because the homestay websites don’t require hosts to have liability insurance, the only way guests can know for certain that they’re protected is to ask to see the policy documents and to examine any exclusions or limitations on coverage.”