Summer Road Warrior

Dear Dr. Per Cap:

We’re planning a trip to Santa Fe Indian Market this month and are considering staying in an Airbnb. I’ve never stayed in an Airbnb before. Is it true they’re a better deal than a hotel?


Summer Road Warrior

Dear Summer Road Warrior:

Short-term rentals have disrupted the hospitality industry in the same way ride-sharing apps flipped old-school taxi companies upside down. Airbnb is just one of many short-term rental companies that match people who want to lease their homes or rental properties with travelers looking for an alternative to a traditional hotel or motel.

Whether or not a short-term rental is a better deal than a hotel comes down to personal preference. It is true that short-term rentals often offer more space for the same or lower cost than a hotel. For example, a group of friends or an extended family can split the cost of a large house with lots of bedrooms for much less than the cost to rent a half dozen individual hotel rooms. Just bear in mind there are some drawbacks that you need to consider.

The lack of housekeeping service is one issue that takes new short-term renters by surprise. So, when you leave your trendy adobe bungalow to spend the day walking the Santa Fe Plaza, don’t expect to find a freshly made bed and a perfectly fluffed pillow upon your return.

There also isn’t someone on the property 24/7 to attend to any unexpected needs that might arise. Dead batteries in the TV remote or a running toilet that keeps you up all night – yep, you’re on your own. Also, when it comes time to check out of a short-term rental, guests are often required to strip linens from all the beds, clean up the kitchen, and a host of other chores that can make a vacation feel more like a spring cleaning.

Of course, there are plenty of advantages to short-term rentals, too. Such as the privacy and freedom that comes without having to share walls with other guests. And having a full kitchen means you don’t have to spend extra money at restaurants. Many short-term rental homes also feature swimming pools, hot tubs, game rooms, and home theaters.

I recommend trying an Airbnb on your upcoming trip because you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose. Unless of course, you’re just a few rewards points away from a free stay at Buffalo Thunder Resort.

Have fun at the Indian Market!


Ask Dr. Per Cap is a program funded by First Nations Development Institute with assistance from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. For more information, visit To send a question to Dr. Per Cap, email