Upgraded Points, a travel insights provider, has released study data from popular coastal destinations across the US to find the most and least expensive destinations for beachfront rentals.

The research indicates that the cost of an ocean-view vacation can vary significantly depending on the destination, as well as travellers’ choices between a hotel or Airbnb. Beachfront hotels are $120 cheaper a night, on average.

The researchers compiled a list of 75 of the most popular beach towns in the US, then turned to Airbnb listings to gather information on the average nightly prices for both entire houses and hotels in each town, applying the “beachfront” filter.

Beachfront hotels vs. Airbnbs

Across all 75 destinations in the study, an ocean-view rental costs $3,353.28 per week.

Booking an ocean-view Airbnb is 25% more expensive than renting an ocean-view hotel room, on average. The typical nightly price to stay at a beachfront home (entire house) on Airbnb is $538.69 (and $3,771 for a week).

The typical nightly price to stay at a beachfront hotel on Airbnb is $419.39 (and $2,936 for a week).

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In some destinations, staying in an ocean-view hotel rather than a beachfront home can save you considerably more. North Carolina’s outer banks are a clear example. In Corolla, NC, the average price to stay at a beachfront home is $668 a night, but the average price to stay at a beachfront hotel is only $255 a night –– a $413 nightly price difference. Cape Cod and the Islands also experienced the phenomenon, as well as the Hamptons and Southern California.

While hotels have long been the go-to option for travellers, Airbnb’s unique offering of flexible accommodation and localised experiences has gained popularity over the years. However, it has also faced numerous challenges related to affordability and host viability.