8 AirBNB Alternatives: The Best AirBNB Competitors
Short-term vacation rentals are a great option for both travelers and homeowners. Airbnb, the most well-known name on the market, has more than two million rental listings worldwide. But whether you’re a guest or a host, Airbnb may not be a great fit for you for various reasons.
Some people, for instance, take issue with Airbnb’s policies or lack of transparency, and some hosts have struggled to get reimbursement for guest-related costs, which Airbnb is supposed to help protect them from. And if you’re a guest, you may just not be able to find an Airbnb rental that suits your liking in whatever city or area you’re traveling to.
Whatever the case may be, consider these 8 alternatives to Airbnb for both hosts and guests.
This site is specifically a resort marketplace. So it gives you access to a variety of luxury destinations in some of the most well-known family vacation hotspots. It specializes in resort stays for families and friends and seeks to one-up the hotel market where you can just stay in adjoining rooms. Vacatia works with over 600 professionally managed resorts and timeshare residences, but it won’t lead you to a hotel or a private home.
If you’re looking for something more luxurious and family-focused than your average Airbnb stay, Vacatia might be for you. With its particular focus, you can get a great deal on a great place to stay as a group. And you can even make payments over time, which can be a great option if you’re saving up for your next vacation.
Tripping isn’t actually its own rental service for either travelers or hosts. Instead, it conglomerates rentals across many other vacation rental sites, including HomeAway, VRBO, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com. It’s a great option to find a unique condo or personal home rental or a hotel. Or if you’re looking for the most economical trip possible, Tripping can help you compare all the options to find a trip that works best for you.
Bottom line: Tripping is a great place to look if you don’t want to search through all these other sites individually.
Like Tripping, Wimdu is a great place to search for vacation rentals, but it isn’t a hosting platform in and of itself. It compiles over 35,000 places to stay around the world. When you click on an option with Wimdu, it redirects you to the actual site where the property can be rented. For instance, you might get redirected to Booking.com or HomeAway, two other popular services for hotels and home rentals.
Again, Wimdu is an aggregator, not a rental service of its own. But it can be a great place to go when you’re looking for a place to stay and aren’t sure which platform you want to book with.
Here’s another great search engine to try when you’re looking for an interesting or affordable place to stay for your vacation. Again, HometoGo aggregates listings from several other sites, including Booking.com, VacationRentals.com, VRBO, and HomeAway. When you choose the listing you want to book, you’ll actually book it through one of those partners.
HomeAway is one of the leading competitors to Airbnb. Its platform is similar in that it lets individual homeowners list their properties and then lets people rent them from the homeowners. However, HomeAway is different than Airbnb in that it follows the motto, “The whole house. The whole family. A whole vacation.” In other worse, you can’t rent only part of your home, but you can rent other standalone structures like a barn or bungalow on your property.
For travelers, if you’re looking specifically for whole-home rentals, HomeAway is a great place to start. But for hosts who, like me, are looking to rent out only part of their homes, HomeAway is not a good fit. That said, if you have a whole home you want to rent, or if you want to rent your primary residence part of the time, HomeAway could be an excellent option. However, be sure you check out HomeAway’s fees, as they’re known to have higher fees than some other platforms.
Vacation Rental By Owner is actually part of the HomeAway family. Essentially, HomeAway and VRBO are the same platform, and they share listings. HomeAway acquired VRBO, and since then combined the platforms so they look and feel the same.
FlipKey is powered by TripAdvisor and lets owners list their homes online, then charges a 3% commission from guest payments. The interesting thing about FlipKey is that its results get listed in TripAdvisor results, so people who may not normally shop for rentals on a home sharing site could see your listing. This exposure could increase your bookings if you’re a host.
As a guest, FlipKey lets you search for various rentals just like the other platforms do. It’s not an aggregator site, but you’ll still get lots of listings that you may not see elsewhere. Some of the rentals are for part of a home while others are for the entire home or even a castle or villa.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly home sharing situation, check out Homestay. They boast an average per-night price of $31, so they’re a great option for those who are traveling light and low-budget. Like Airbnb, Homestay specializes in home sharing situations, so you’ll be renting a room in someone’s home. Unlike Airbnb, they seem to have truly stuck to that original idea, so you’ll find mostly actual sharing situations with a few whole-home rentals available.
For hosts, Homestay is an interesting option. Instead of getting paid completely through the platform each time, you can have your guests pay you directly when they arrive. So they pay a deposit to book the room, and then they can pay you via cash, bank transfer, PayPal, or another option on arrival. The platform also charges a small host service fee. In general, this looks like a bit more of a hands-on booking option versus Airbnb, which is set-it-and-forget-it as far as payment goes.
Whether you’re looking to make some extra money by hosting guests in all or part of your home, or you’re a traveler looking for an affordable or unique place to vacation, these platforms can be helpful. As a traveler, looking through aggregator sites and more individual platforms can give you more options for booking. As a host, knowing which sites are aggregated can get your listing more exposure so you can book more often and increase your earnings with your home.