Airbnb has really made traveling much easier for everyone. This is no doubt one of the best ways to find better, cheaper, and safer accommodations as backpackers, families, and groups go to different places. Less-known fact, however, is that Airbnb is not the only one of its kind. There are many other competing services that offer the same features, in the United States and abroad.
The difference can be small, but having more than one option is never a bad idea for anyone looking to get the best choices. Check these out:
Most people who have been looking for Airbnb alternatives probably found VRBO first. The acronym stands for “Vacation Rentals by Owner.” Operating since 1996, they’ve been around a lot longer than Airbnb – 12 years longer to be exact – and have had over a million properties listed in their books, so while they’re clearly not as popular as their more recent counterpart, they have proven themselves to be a reliable alternative. As the name VRBO suggests, their niche is restricted to vacation properties. This makes it a more ideal choice for families or groups of four or more who are looking to stay over longer periods of time. There will be properties that are ideal for couples, but VRBO isn’t exactly known for them. This is definitely a site to look up if you can’t find what you’re looking for on Airbnb. (website)
Booking.com is pretty popular for having the best deals for hotel bookings worldwide. After all, it’s not all the time that people want to stay in a home setting – sometimes a hotel is just the right choice for a vacation. What most people don’t know is that Booking.com also does homes and apartments, just like Airbnb! If you’re someone who’s been using the site to book hotels, you’ll be happy to know that they’ll offer the same quality service for booking homes and apartments as well. (website)
Vacatia started in 2013 as a San Francisco online marketplace for selling and buying timeshares. It has since developed into a resort residence marketplace. Its goal is to help families to choose the right resort residence, combining the coziness of home with space and hotel services, in an easy and intuitive way. At the same time, the service assists family-focused resorts in having a more significant presence on the resort market. Vacatia works with more than 600 resorts and resort residences. Clients can choose from a number of carefully selected studio to six-bedroom resort residences from 29 of the most popular family vacation destinations. The clients are provided with floor plans of each residence, large photographs, and all the details that make it special. The listings are in real time, allowing families to make a quick but well-informed choices and book instantly and easily with a range of payment options. Only professionally managed resorts are included in the listing. (website)
This meta-search engine covering more than one site has a one-stop-shop vibe to it. The site will allow you to go through different sites like VRBO, TripAdvisor, and even Airbnb itself with just one click. It doesn’t really cover all the sites, but it’s a pretty good place to start if you don’t have any Airbnb alternative in mind or if you’re looking to find new ones. (website)
If you are visiting London, England, for the first time, finding a perfect vacation apartment can be a daunting prospect. The possibility of a catastrophe, or at least finding yourself in a dingy basement apartment surrounded by garbage bins, is all too real. Why risk ruining your vacation when you can let London Perfect take on all the stress and details of planning? London Perfect is a vacation home rental agency in London with more than 20 years of experience of ensuring that each client gets just the apartment they need. They hand-pick each apartment in their roster, making sure it is in a desirable and safe location and that it meets high standards when it comes to décor and amenities. London Perfect will share with you tips about local restaurants, shops, and attractions. They will take care of all the details and all you have to do is enjoy your stay. (website)
Boasting over 600,000 properties found across 114 countries, RentalsCombined is an entire network of its own. They focus more on the bigger rental market, which means your search results are going to show professionally managed properties instead of the usual individually owned homes and apartments. It’s great for those who usually plan corporate outings or huge family vacations that are better off in larger properties. The site doesn’t really network with its competitors as it has its own niche and property list, but this is definitely one site you’ll want to bookmark if you want to have more options.
Many have heard of TripAdvisor, but not Flipkey. Both, however, have the same owner, so if you’ve trusted TripAdvisor for a while now, then you’re going to want to check this one out. While Flipkey does have fewer choices (roughly 300,000 units across 11,000 cities), they do function more or less like Airbnb.
One thing to note, however, is that Flipkey only offers private rooms or whole properties, so it’s not for those looking to book shared rooms. But if you’re travelling alone or as part of a large group, you can book a variety of properties, including waterfront properties, those with a mountain view, and those that are pet-friendly.
Planning on going around European cities? Wimdu might be a particularly good site to look into. The site is popular with European travelers and offers around 300,000 properties across 100 countries in the world – so it still has a lot of options. Wimdu is also known for its competitive prices and comes complete with property reviews and other information you’ll find useful.
VRBO and HomeAway are related companies, so you can expect some overlapping listings between the two. What makes HomeAway its own alternative to Airbnb is the fact that it has some unique property types in its inventory that you probably won’t find on VRBO. They offer smaller apartments and other accommodations better for individuals and couples compared to their counterpart, which focuses more on larger properties.
Much like VRBO, however, HomeAway has some properties on list that can’t be found in Airbnb, so it’s definitely a site to keep in mind in case your Airbnb search doesn’t show anything you like.
What Homestay has that most Airbnb users miss is the guaranteed genuine local hosted experience. With Homestay, travelers get to stay in the house of the host, giving them better opportunities to live just like the locals would (instead of having the typical, touristy feel). It’s a pretty unique way of experiencing a new place (or one that you’ve been to before), and it’s almost always a wonderful experience.
The only downside with Homestay is that they keep to a very limited market. There aren’t really as many hosts willing to offer guests a hosted experience. Most property owners rent out their spots like they normally would on Airbnb. But if you’re lucky enough to book a place for one of your trips, it’s definitely worth a try.
Go With Oh
This one has a very specific niche: City apartments in Europe, so it’s definitely not the Airbnb alternative for everyone. On the other hand, it’s a pretty good choice if you happen to be looking for what they have to offer, especially if you can’t seem to find it on Airbnb.
The small list that Go With Oh is working with, however, offers an advantage – quality control. The listed properties are all personally visited and evaluated by a Go With Oh representative in order to ensure that they’re giving their clients the best service possible. They are also known for their lowest price guarantee.
So, if you happen to be travelling to some European cities, checking out Go With Oh might get you some good finds in terms of not only price but quality as well.
There are definitely a lot more Airbnb alternatives out there, but this list will make sure you can get started in finding the best accommodations possible on your next trip.