There are often debates among digital nomad communities about how expensive Coliving spaces are and the Airbnb in the surrounding areas are significantly cheaper. We are here to settle that debate (or start one?) 😉
Let's first identify the true differences between the two accommodation options first:
Coliving for Digital Nomads:
Coliving spaces are designed to foster a sense of community among residents. They provide shared common areas, organized events, and a collaborative environment where digital nomads can interact with one another.
Coliving spaces include coworking areas within the premises, offering residents dedicated spaces to work with high speed internet and comfy working chairs. The focus is on creating an environment conducive to both living and working.
Coliving spaces are often professionally managed by a community manager to create and maintain communal living environments through activity planning, facilitating events, coordinating property maintenance and fostering connections among residents. We can write a whole article on that 😉. Their role can result in a more structured and supportive living experience.
Together is better:
Living with others, you naturally get infected by their habits which could be good to build new routines and be motivated to work.
Coliving spaces may offer a range of facilities, such as fully stocked kitchens, fitness areas, swimming pools, gardens and terraces. The goal is to provide a holistic living experience by sharing various large communal spaces.
Airbnb for Digital Nomads:
Airbnb generally provides a more independent living experience. Guests have their own space and can choose the level of interaction with hosts or neighbors.
Diverse Property Options:
The platform offers a wide range of property types, from apartments and houses to unique and unconventional stays. Digital nomads can find accommodations that suit their individual needs and preferences.
The experience can vary depending on the host's style and the property's amenities. Some hosts may offer guidance on local experiences, while others provide a more hands-off approach.
So is Coliving or Airbnb better for digital nomads?
As you can see, Coliving is designed as an experience rather than just an accommodation option like Airbnb but let's not be biased - it is important to identify the drawbacks of these two options.
Coliving spaces involve shared living arrangements, which results in limited privacy. Digital nomads who value solitude might find this challenging.
While the community aspect is a strength, it can also be a drawback. If personalities clash or residents have conflicting expectations, it may lead to an uncomfortable living environment and hinder productivity.
Coliving spaces are not as common as traditional accommodations. This can be a limitation, especially if a digital nomad wants to stay in a specific location where coliving options are scarce.
While coliving can offer cost-effective solutions given the extensive amenities and communal areas, it can be relatively expensive when compared to traditional housing.
Coliving spaces often require a commitment to a specific duration, whether it is minimum stay of a week or a month, which may not align with the more spontaneous or flexible lifestyle that some digital nomads prefer.
Quality and Consistency:
The quality of Airbnb accommodations can vary. While many hosts maintain high standards, others might not provide the same level of cleanliness, amenities, or accuracy as depicted in the listings.
Lack of Community:
Airbnb typically lacks the intentional community aspect found in coliving spaces. Digital nomads seeking a social atmosphere and networking opportunities might miss out on these aspects when using Airbnb.
The overall experience on Airbnb heavily relies on the host. Some hosts may be more responsive and accommodating than others, leading to inconsistency in the level of support and service provided.
There are exceptions to some of the drawbacks for example, a digital nomad can stay at an Airbnb and book a coworking space nearby (if) it hosts a community of like minded-individuals. Or he/she can stay at an Airbnb in a location where a community of digital nomads exists independently from Coliving spaces. Thus removing the "lack of community" aspect however it is important to identify that deeper connections happen at a coliving home over coffee breaks, communal cooking, movie nights, game nights etc.
There is no right or wrong option but we are the first ones to say that Coliving isn't for everyone. At the same time Coliving isn't just an accommodation - it is a community focused experience which offers convenience of ready-made work environments, inspiring events throughout the week, large communal facilities to foster connections and all of it is nurtured by the community manager.