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Selecting the Best Accommodations During COVID-19: Short-Term Rentals or Hotels

The COVID-19 crisis affects us in almost all aspects of our lives, including how we purchase necessary items, how we interact with our friends and family, and particularly how we are able to travel both locally and abroad. Although the majority of travel has been either restricted or relegated to trips that are essential for human survival, there will be occasions where travel, though it may not be imperative, will still be necessary. So during the times you are forced to travel, should you select a hotel or (considering the high transmissibility of COVID-19) are short-term rentals more appropriate? What about homestay rentals, like those that can be booked through Airbnb or similar apps? We will take a look at the different options and outline the various features and drawbacks of each

Concerns About COVID-19: Short-term Rentals Vs. Hotels Vs. Homestay Rentals

Every time you elect to stay in any sort of rental accommodations you probably take it for granted that the space has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. However, thanks to the high transmissibility of COVID-19, cleanliness is extraordinarily important. This is especially true when you consider that there have been strangers spending hours of time in close quarters in the rooms that you will shortly occupy. Being concerned about sanitation is normal, even necessary.

In hotels, rooms must be thoroughly cleaned after each guest leaves. The bedding must be changed, the bathrooms must be disinfected, and high touch areas must be sanitized. Unfortunately, this is not altogether thorough in the post-COVID era. The kind of deep cleaning that removes highly transmissible microbes will involve disinfecting flooring and carpeting and upholstery, as well as the bedding mattresses and pillows.

It’s also important to consider communal spaces when booking hotels. Hotel lobbies, while they are kept relatively clean and tidy through the course of the working day, cannot be thoroughly sanitized. While the maintenance staff can wipe down common touch areas like elevator buttons, door handles, railings, and vending machines, the unceasing activity in these areas will also continually contaminate the surfaces.

When considering a homestay rental, however, you should bear in mind that there are even fewer regulations for homestays than there are for hotels. Essentially, every rental’s cleanliness and sanitation is up to the discretion of the individual owner. While businesses like Airbnb and other applications that connect guests to different rental options do outline their own standards of conduct and make maintenance suggestions, ultimately, whether or not your rental is going to be appropriately sanitized is going to be the luck of the draw. Of course, if a property owner continually rents out spaces that do not meet guest standards in terms of cleanliness, eventually that property owner will be sanctioned by the operating company, but that will only be after numerous complaints. Why risk it?

Short-term rentals, however, follow strict guidelines. They provide the thorough, comprehensive sanitation services that ensure every space is scrupulously deep cleaned and all traces of potential infection have been removed from the properties after the previous guests have vacated. Not only have the bathrooms, floors, upholstery, carpeting, kitchen space, and high touch areas been completely sanitized, but all appliances will also have been sanitized, all dishes and cookware will have been properly cleaned and sanitized using commercial dishwasher facilities, and the ventilation systems will be properly maintained, ensuring a continual flow of fresh air circulates the property.

Checking in During COVID-19: Short-term Rentals Vs. Hotels Vs. Homestay Rentals

How close you are to different people during the check-in process is important — maintaining social distance is possibly the most critical aspect in terms of avoiding infection. Although commercial hotels and short-term rentals sanitize their spaces between guests, hotels put you in dangerous proximity to others during:

  • The check-in/out process
  • Traveling between floors to and from your room
  • Room service/delivery

Short-term rentals, however, can ensure proper distancing throughout your stay. You won’t have shared spaces, and you won’t have to cope with common areas or accidentally coming in contact with others who might be infected.

If staying socially distant is a priority for you during COVID-19, short-term rentals are your best bet during travel. SoBeNY offers short-term rental apartments in Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, Miami Beach, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC, all with full amenities and within comfortable distance from excellent restaurants, shops, and other facilities. If you have any questions about short-term rental apartments, please contact our helpful representatives today.

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