With tens of millions of users and countless properties to choose from, Airbnb really is incredible. But as far as vacation rental websites go, it’s not perfect. You might want to look at a few Airbnb alternatives for these reasons:
- All the properties in your budget might be booked.
- You may not find what you’re looking for.
- You might want to avoid Airbnb’s massive service fees.
- Or you might just want to support the smaller fish.
So why not try one of these Airbnb alternatives instead? These range from Airbnb’s direct competitors, to smaller vacation rental sites catering to tiny niches. Between these, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.
Part of the HomeAway family of websites, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is a leading Airbnb alternative focusing largely, but not exclusively, on un-hosted rentals. This means you’ll often get the whole place to yourself.
You’re guaranteed to find something of interest on VRBO rentals. After all, they have over 2 million properties in around 200 countries.
Homestay is essentially what Airbnb was way back when it first started. Instead of offering rooms and dedicated vacation rentals, HomeStay allows you to stay with a local in their own home.
Not only does this offer genuine value for money, but you get to experience an entirely different side to a location that you wouldn’t normally see while making friends in the process.
Tripping.com saves you masses of time by displaying results from several Airbnb alternatives at once—but it won’t show results from Airbnb itself. You’re able to scour 12 million vacation rentals (not hotels) on sites like VRBO, Trip Advisor, and Home Away, all from a single search.
When you click on a listing you like, Tripping.com will direct you to the correct site, where you can find more information, read reviews, and make your booking.
HomeAway is one of Airbnb’s main direct competitors, offering a huge range of property rentals, from lakeside cabins to quirky studio apartments.
Like Airbnb, many of HomeAway’s properties can be booked instantly, without the need to wait for confirmation from the host. But unlike Airbnb, HomeAway’s service fee ranges from 6 to 12 percent, compared to up to 20 percent from Airbnb. This sometimes translates to slightly lower prices for guests.
With around 1000 properties, Kid&Coe is scarcely a replacement for Airbnb, but it does deserve a special mention. Each of these beautiful properties has been hand-picked to ensure it’s absolutely perfect for families. There will be books and toys galore, highchairs, cribs, gardens. The works.
Having a selection of child-ready houses in many of the worlds most visited cities will be a godsend to many families, and a shortcut to spending far less time hunting for a kid-friendly vacation rental.
Although originally set up as a European alternative to Airbnb, 9Flats has grown to offer vacation rentals around the world. Most of 9flats’ listings are actually hosted by the property’s owner, so you can usually gather local knowledge and recommendations directly from your host.
As an added bonus, you also have the option to pay in cash on arrival (provided that option has been activated by the host) after paying a small deposit on the site.
Although it’s not a direct competitor to Airbnb, Behomm is worth a mention. This is an exclusive global exchange site for creatives who love to travel. “You stay at my home for free while I stay at yours.” If your host is up for it, you can also stay at their home for free while they’re around, too.
There’s a catch, though. To join this community you not only need to be invited, but you also need to have an absolutely stunning house (like these) to exchange. If you are lucky enough to be invited, you get to try out the service for free for the first year. After that, it’s €95 per year. To try to get invited by one of the founders, complete this form.
On its own, Trip Advisor is the world’s largest travel community (though there are plenty of other travel communities out there alternatives), so it was only a matter of time before the company launched its own site like Airbnb. And with close to one million properties available, you’ve got more than enough choice here.
The aim of Trip Advisor Vacation Rentals is to offer guests an alternative to hotels, where you get the additional space and amenities to feel at home. Plus, Trip Advisor integrates its rentals with the community, so you’ll receive useful information about tours, experiences, and itineraries when you book.
With 350,000 vacation properties available, Wimdu is definitely worth checking out. Bear in mind, however, that although the site’s listings are spread over 150 countries, it’s in Europe where the site really stands out, claiming to be “Europe’s biggest portal for city and holiday apartments.”
The site offers different levels of quality checks, so you can have confidence that you’re getting what you pay for. Thousands of these listings have even been checked in person. Plus, for extra piece of mind, there’s also 24/7 support on hand in case you need any assistance.
OneFineStay is essentially a luxury Airbnb, offering “distinctive private homes and villas in over 180 destinations—with an unprecedented level of service.”
Each listing is hand-picked, described, and photographed by one of the company’s trained staff members. And before your stay, each home is prepared to exacting standard to ensure you have the best stay possible.
The criteria to be included on OneFineStay is quite simple. The property must be extraordinary. Naturally, this is a site aimed at those with a healthy budget looking for something exclusive. This means the service is that much better, with OneFineStay greeting you on arrival, and ensuring your bathroom is kept stocked up, and your sheets are always kept pristine.
TurnKey is another luxury Airbnb alternative. They provide “one-of-a-kind vacation rentals offering the experience of a fine hotel” across 50 locations in the US.
And just like with a fine hotel, TurnKey’s prices reflect what you’re getting. Each property is professionally cleaned and includes all the amenities you need. You have access to a 24/7 local team to answer any questions, or even to make house calls. And you’ll get exceptional communication from the moment you book.
Couchsurfing is your lifeline if you are on a tight budget or traveling solo. This is a site where local hosts open up their houses and allow travelers to stay for free. Hosts will often show you the local culture, share their lives, and do their best to help you experience the best travel ever through Couchsurfing.
This is a unique way to travel and adds a dimension to your adventures that you won’t find through any other site.
Use Caution With Vacation Rental Websites
Remember, when using sites like Airbnb, the onus is on you to communicate with the host. Before making a booking, read the reviews for the accommodation carefully. Ensure you are clear on what to expect on arrival. If the accommodation doesn’t have any reviews, proceed with care. But if it does have good reviews, chances are you’ll have an amazing time!
Which Airbnb Alternative Will You Choose?
If Airbnb just isn’t coming up trumps, or if you just want to try out an Airbnb alternative, this list should have you covered, no matter what your travel budget is.