While Airbnb may be the most well-known holiday rental platform, other options exist for a perfect rental. From unique and quirky rentals to luxury villas and flats, some Airbnb alternatives offer various properties to suit any traveller's taste and budget.
In this article, we will introduce some top sites like Airbnb (some even be better!) for your reference. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore some of the best Airbnb alternatives out there!
Booking.com - Best Reputable Provider
The first on the Airbnb alternatives list, Booking.com has become a household name thanks to its dedication to making travel accessible for everyone. Since its founding in Amsterdam in 1996, it has grown into one of the world's leading digital travel companies. And eventually, one of the key Airbnb competitors.
By leveraging cutting-edge technology, this platform has become among the most popular Airbnb alternatives and the global travel marketplace for established brands and budding entrepreneurs. Booking.com has offered more than 28 million reported accommodation listings in 43 languages.
- Price matching guarantee ensures that travellers get the best deal possible on their holiday rental without spending hours comparing prices.
- User reviews provide valuable insights into the quality of properties, helping travellers make informed decisions and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
- Flexible cancellation policies offer peace of mind and flexibility for travellers needing to change their plans at the last minute.
- Non-refundable rates may be available, which could be a downside for travellers who prefer more flexibility in their booking options.
- Limited loyalty programs with few benefits may be a drawback for frequent travellers who want to earn rewards or perks for their bookings.
VRBO - Best for Short-term holiday rentals
Photo from VRBO
VRBO, or Vacation Rental By Owner, is an online platform connecting travellers with holiday rental properties worldwide. The company was founded in 1995 in the United States and was acquired by HomeAway in 2006, later acquired by Expedia Group in 2015.
Unlike Airbnb, VRBO does not offer shared accommodation options like spare rooms or couches but private vacation home rentals. VRBO also allows guests to directly contact property owners, providing a more personalised booking experience.
- More spacious properties on average than other holiday rental platforms, making it a good choice for families or groups of friends travelling together.
- Flexibility and privacy are key features of Vrbo, as many properties offer private pools, outdoor spaces, and fully equipped kitchens, allowing travellers to create their own unique holiday experiences.
- User-friendly platform with easy-to-use search and booking tools, making it simple and straightforward to find and book the perfect holiday rental.
- Booking fees can be high compared to other Airbnb alternatives, which could be a downside for budget-conscious travellers.
- Limited customer support can be a concern for travellers who encounter issues or have questions during their booking process or stay.
The Plum Guide - Best For Luxury Stays
Photo on Plum Guide
Plum Guide is also one of the most popular vacation rental sites similar to Airbnb. They provide a hand-picked collection of holiday homes and flats available for booking trips online.
Founded in 2016 and based in London, the company offers a curated selection of over 15 million properties located in popular destinations across the globe.
They set themselves apart from other vacation rental spaces by strictly selecting and verifying every property on their site. As such, though selections are limited, you can expect the cream of the crop in a vacation rental market.
- Quality properties that are carefully selected and verified by The Plum Guide's team. Travellers will stay in well-maintained and quality accommodations.
- Personalised service with a dedicated team of hospitality experts who are available to assist with any questions or requests before, during, and after the stay.
- Unique and stylish accommodations are curated to reflect the local culture and design aesthetics, making each stay a memorable and authentic experience.
- Higher prices than some other holiday rental platforms, which could be a concern for budget-conscious travellers.
- Limited availability in specific destinations may make it harder for travellers to find suitable accommodations in their preferred location.
Hipcamp - Best for camping
Photo on Hipcamp
Similar to Airbnb, Hipcamp is one of the online Airbnb alternatives that provides users with a unique camping and glamping experience. The company primarily provides private campsites, glamping sites, and cabins that are available for user booking.
While Airbnb primarily provides rentals, Hipcamp focuses on providing camping and outdoor experiences. Their listings range from basic campsites to luxurious options like yurts, cabins, and treehouses.
They also provide information on local outdoor activities, including hiking trails, swimming holes, and other nearby attractions, making it a great option for those seeking an immersive nature experience.
- Unique camping experiences in a variety of locations, including private campsites, ranches, and farms, provide a wide range of options for nature enthusiasts. Even campsites, RVs, tents, and more.
- Include a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. It is a great choice for those looking for an adventure-filled holiday.
- Supports small, local landowners by offering them a platform to rent out their land for camping, helping to support local communities and preserve natural spaces.
- Limited selection in some areas may be a downside for travellers seeking a specific location or camping experience.
- Varying levels of amenities and facilities may be a concern for travellers who require certain comforts or conveniences during their camping trip.
- Pricing can be higher than other Airbnb alternatives due to the unique and often remote locations offered by HipCamp. There is a 9%-18% service fee.
Hopper - Best for mobile users
Photo on Hopper
Hopper is one of the best travel booking sites similar to Airbnb, which was launched in 2014 as a free mobile app designed to predict the cheapest time to book a flight. Since then, it has expanded to offer additional features, including home rentals and a unique program that allows customers to pay an extra fee to freeze a flight's price for up to a week.
Its platform analyses 25-30 billion price points every day in real-time to help users find the best possible deals. Over 75 million trips have been created on Hopper, making it one of the accredited Airbnb alternatives when booking a holiday trip.
- Predictive flight and hotel booking tools that use machine learning to analyse historical pricing data and predict future price trends. Notifying travellers to book at the optimal time for the best price.
- Ability to track prices and receive notifications for price drops, making it easy for travellers to take advantage of last-minute deals or price fluctuations.
- A User-friendly interface allows travellers to find quickly and book flights and hotels.
- Limited hotel selection compared to other booking sites. Maybe a downside for travellers seeking a broader range of options.
- Some features require additional fees. For instance, “Flex Watch” and “Refundable Booking” options could concern budget-conscious travellers.
- Mobile-only. It may limit the accessibility and convenience of the service for those who prefer laptops or desktops.
H2. Agoda Homes - Best Asia Booking App
Photo on Agoda
Agoda is a well-known online travel agency that caters to millions of travellers visiting their website and app daily. They offer a wide range of quality accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, flats, homes, and villas, with over 1.8 million properties available.
In response to market demands, Agoda Homes were established to focus on increasing the supply and quality of non-hotel accommodation. This includes whole flats, bungalows, houses, and even villas.
Unlike other apps like Airbnb, Agoda Homes hosts do not stay on the property with visitors. Instead, they manage check-in and check-out, provide local suggestions, and assure a quality stay for their clients.
- Wide variety of properties in different locations, providing travellers with many options.
- Competitive pricing compared to other Airbnb alternatives makes it a great choice for budget-conscious travellers.
- Professional customer service that supports hosts and guests, ensuring a smooth booking process and resolving any issues.
- Limited inventory in some areas may make it harder for travellers to find suitable accommodations, especially in popular destinations.
- Unclear cancellation policies can cause confusion and frustration for guests.
- Less popular than other holiday rental platforms, which could lead to lower visibility and fewer bookings for hosts.
Sonder - Best for Business People
Photo on Sonder
Sonder is a global hospitality company with a solid local presence. They have multiple offices globally, with hub cities in Denver, San Francisco, Montreal, and London/Amsterdam.
While Sonder is often mentioned as one of the sites similar to Airbnb, the two companies take very different approaches to the market. Sonder owns and leases out its facilities, which they directly manage. On the other hand, Airbnb is a website where people can list their properties for rent to travellers.
Moreover, Sonder offers a distinct accommodation experience compared to Airbnb, which may appeal to specific types of travellers. Some of Sonder's potential guests include business travellers and those staying for a prolonged period of time.
- High-quality properties designed and furnished to a high standard provide a luxury experience for guests.
- Consistent experience across all Sonder properties, ensuring that guests can expect the same level of quality and service no matter where they stay.
- Professional customer service is available 24/7 to assist guests with issues or questions.
- Prime locations in popular neighbourhoods provide guests convenient access to attractions, restaurants, and nightlife.
- Contactless check-in allows guests to check in and out of their property without face-to-face interaction.
- Higher prices compared to some Airbnb alternatives, which may not be suitable for budget-conscious travellers.
- There are fewer options for guests compared to other holiday rental platforms, which could limit their ability to find the perfect property for their needs.
- Limited flexibility in terms of cancellation policies. Booking changes may not be suitable for travellers requiring more flexibility.
Tripadvisor - Best for Reviews
Photo on Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor rentals are one of the travel apps like Airbnb that provides a platform for travellers to share authentic reviews publicly. It was founded in 2000 and has since grown to become one of the largest online travel communities in the world.
Users can search for specific destinations and browse through reviews and photos posted by other travellers. The platform also allows users to book travel services directly from the website.
The platform’s on-the-ground info is a game changer. Besides the review section, you can chat with other travellers on the forums.
- A large inventory of accommodations, including hotels, vacation rentals, and restaurants, provides travellers with a wide range of options.
- Transparent reviews from verified guests help travellers make informed decisions about where to stay or dine.
- A reward program that allows travellers to earn points towards future bookings or discounts.
- Wide range of services, including travel guides, booking tools, and customer support.
- Limited quality control, as anyone can leave a review regardless of their experience, potentially leading to inaccurate or biased reviews.
- Hidden fees or additional charges that may not be disclosed upfront, leading to unexpected costs for travellers.
Homestay.Com: Best For Local Experience
Photo on Homestay.com
Homestay.com is a global travel platform that connects travellers with local hosts who offer accommodation in their homes. This cheaper alternative to Airbnb was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
True to its name, in addition to accommodation, you can find other local experiences, such as city tours and language lessons. What’s more, the prices are budget-friendly, too. So it’s a good app for students and solo travellers.
- Authentic experience, as travellers stay with local hosts who can provide unique insights and experiences about the destination.
- Personalised touch, with hosts often offering personalised recommendations and assistance to guests during their stay.
- Affordable prices compared to some other Airbnb alternative sites. It is a good option for budget-conscious travellers.
- Safe and secure, with measures in place to verify both hosts and guests and provide insurance coverage.
- Lack of privacy, as travellers typically stay in the host's home and may share common spaces with other guests or family members.
- Limited amenities compared to hotels or traditional holiday rentals, with some homestays offering basic facilities and accommodations.
- Scheduling restrictions, as travellers may need to work around the host's schedule for check-in and check-out times, which may only sometimes be convenient.
Vacasa - Best For Full-Service Rentals
Photo on Vacasa
Vacasa is a holiday rental management company that provides professional management services to rental property owners. The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA.
Unlike some booking sites like Airbnb, this complete holiday rental management service focuses on offering the best full-service experience for homeowners and renters.
Vacasa offers a wide range of properties, from condos to luxury villas, and provides a range of services, including property management, housekeeping, and guest support. They also include holiday rental home tours and insider travel guides to help guests make the most of their stay.
Up to this day, Vacasa has received numerous industry accolades, including being named one of the “Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company in 2020.
- 3D walkthrough of the rentals gives prospective guests a detailed virtual tour of the property. Thus, everyone can get a better sense of the space before making a booking.
- Home-like amenities, including fully equipped kitchens and living spaces, provide a comfortable and convenient stay.
- Personalised attention, with some properties offering additional services such as housekeeping or concierge services.
- Potentially extra service fee compared to other Airbnb alternatives.
- Potential quality inconsistencies between properties or locations, as each rental is owned and managed by different individuals or companies.
Momondo - Best for travel offers from many sources
Photo on Momondo
Momondo, a cheaper alternative to Airbnb, is a travel search engine that allows users to compare prices on flights, hotels, and car rentals from a wide range of providers. The company was founded in Denmark in 2006 and became one of the leading travel search engines.
In addition to its search engine, Momondo also provides users with a range of travel-related content, including destination guides, travel tips, and reviews from other travellers. The platform's blog and social media channels are also popular resources for travel inspiration and advice.
- Comprehensive search results provide users with a wide range of flight providers and hotel options.
- Flexible search options allow users to filter results by price, location, and other preferences.
- Price alerts notify users of price drops or deals on selected flights or hotels.
- Hidden fees, as some airlines or hotels may charge additional fees that are not initially displayed on Momondo's search results.
Blueground - Best For Long-Term Stays
Photo on Blueground
Blueground, one of the websites like Airbnb with headquarters in Athens, Greece, is a global real estate tech company that provides high-quality furnished flats for mid-to-long-term stays.
Since it focuses on long-term housing, its houses include all the essentials to make visitors feel at home, including full kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms. And, with flexible lease policies, they make it simple for tenants to stay for longer or relocate if necessary.
In addition to its core business of flat rentals, Blueground is also committed to sustainability and has implemented a range of initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint.
- Fully furnished apartments that offer a hassle-free move-in experience and comfortable living arrangements.
- Flexible lease terms that cater to various needs, such as short-term or long-term stays, and allow for changes in rental periods.
- Professional management that provides maintenance and support services to ensure a seamless living experience.
- All-inclusive pricing that covers rent, utilities, and other necessary expenses, simplifying the rental process and reducing hidden costs.
- Higher costs than traditional long-term rentals or sharing accommodations may be a downside for some budget-conscious renters.
- Lack of personalisation may leave renters with limited options to decorate or customise their living spaces according to their preferences.
RV Sharing Sites - Best For Innovative And Mobile Travel
Photo on RVShare
RV Sharing sites are online platforms that connect RV owners with individuals or families who are looking to rent an RV for a short period of time. They offer a wide range of RVs to choose from, including motorhomes, campervans, and travel trailers.
One of the key advantages of RV Sharing sites is that they are one of the sites like Airbnb but cheaper. Plus, they are even more flexible than traditional RV rental companies. They also provide roadside assistance, insurance, and other services to ensure a safe and enjoyable rental experience.
Renters can choose from a wide range of vehicles and have the option to pick up and drop off the RV at different locations, making it easier to plan a customised road trip.
- RV Share offers cost-effective rentals compared to traditional RV rental companies, making it more accessible to those on a budget.
- With a wide variety of RV options to decide from, travellers can customise their experiences according to their preferences.
- RV Share offers convenience as they allow for pick-up and drop-off at various locations, saving time and effort.
- Availability can be a hit or a miss, especially during peak travel seasons or in popular destinations, which can result in less flexibility when planning trips.
- Some may require renters to obtain additional insurance coverage, which can add to the overall cost of the rental.
FlipKey - Best For Unbiased Selections
Photo on FlipKey
Next on the Airbnb alternatives list is FlipKey. The vacation rental platform was founded in 2007 in Los Angeles as a house-swapping service. After being acquired by TripAdvisor in 2008, Flipkey shifted its focus solely to vacation rentals.
The platform offers a wide range of rental options, including flats, houses, villas, and cabins, in 179 countries worldwide. They also have a strong emphasis on reviews, with guests encouraged to leave feedback on their rental experience.
Flipkey is also known for its strong focus on customer service when considering Airbnb alternatives. With a dedicated team of support staff available around the clock, they can assist travellers with any questions or concerns they may have.
- Flipkey offers a large selection of vacation rentals, providing plenty of options for travellers to choose from.
- The platform features trusted reviews from previous guests, helping users make informed decisions when booking a property.
- Flipkey offers a secure payment system, giving travellers peace of mind when making transactions.
- Flipkey's owner screening process is not as thorough as some other vacation rental platforms, potentially leading to lower-quality properties.
- Additional fees, such as cleaning fees or booking fees, can add to the overall cost of a booking on Flipkey.
- Some properties on Flipkey may have limited amenities compared to other vacation rental options.
Expedia - Best For Full-Package Deals
Photo on Expedia
Lastly, Expedia is among those popular online choices similar to Airbnb for searching for and booking travel accommodations. This can include flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and even holiday packages.
In addition to its consumer-facing services, Expedia also provides technology and marketing solutions for travel suppliers, including airlines, hotels, and rental car companies.
- Expedia offers competitive pricing and bundled discounts on flights, hotels, and vacation packages, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travellers.
- The Expedia Rewards program allows users to earn points on eligible bookings, which can be redeemed for future travel or other rewards.
- The user-friendly interface makes it easy to search and compare travel options across a variety of destinations.
- Expedia's pricing can be opaque, with hidden fees and taxes that may not be initially displayed in search results.
- Customisation options are limited, with fewer options for advanced search filters or personalised recommendations than other Airbnb alternative booking sites.
1. Who is Airbnb's biggest competitor?
Airbnb's biggest competitor depends on the specific market and region, but some of its main competitors include Booking.com, Vrbo, Expedia and TripAdvisor. These platforms offer similar services such as booking accommodations, but they may differ in their target audiences, pricing models, and available features.
2. Is there a cheaper alternative to Airbnb?
Yes, there are several cheaper alternatives to Airbnb that you can consider for your accommodation needs. Some popular options include Homestay.com, Momondo and RV Sharing sites. It's always a good idea to compare prices and read reviews from other travellers.
3. Is Vrbo more expensive than Airbnb?
In general, since Vrbo's service fee is often lower than that of Airbnb, it can be a more cost-effective option. However, it may be the other way around, as Vrbo and Airbnb have different pricing models and can vary in cost depending on the location, property type, and time of year.
To conclude, while Airbnb is surely famous, it would be a shame to restrict yourself to just one platform. There is an entire cosmos of Airbnb alternatives at one's fingertips for you to start exploring!
These holiday rentals would widen the range of choices for your consideration. Plus, they also offer hosts a better chance of identifying the perfect lodger for their property.
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