With sites like Airbnb dominating headlines in recent years, the very nature of travel is in the early stages of reform. Gone are the days of hotels and hostels serving as our only options for accommodation. As the number of Airbnb alternatives grows, so do our potential travel possibilities.
With the advent of home rental booking sites and vacation rentals, renting a room or a property straight from another person can save you a sizable amount of cash, and you might even be helping the host to pay their bills in the process.
Often you’ll get a relaxed, homey feel with a complete set of amenities. And if you’re traveling abroad and renting a room from a local family, you might get a slice of cultural immersion, with a chance to stay in an authentic neighborhood.
That all being said, by using some of these Airbnb competitors not only can you find rooms, apartments and vacation rentals, but you can actually stay at timeshares and resorts at a fraction of the price.
There are many other sites like Airbnb, which makes it hard to know which ones to use and when. Every apartment and spare room has the potential to serve as a boutique hotel, and there are some top-notch alternatives for booking home and vacation rentals that you might not know about.
Whether you’re looking to make bookings or sign up as a host, these are some Airbnb competitors you definitely want to check out.
Best Site Like Airbnb for Short-Term Rentals
Vrbo is the more refined, older brother of Airbnb. You’ll find more polished listings for vacation homes on Vrbo, since the hosts tend to be professionals who list for a living. If you’re looking for a higher standard of rental, Vrbo is the obvious choice.
Vrbo (an acronym of Vacation Rentals by Owner) is yet another solid Airbnb alternative. It is very similar Airbnb, with the main difference being the properties it has on offer.
Vrbo has around 2 million house rentals around the world and the thing that differentiates it is the size of the properties. Generally speaking, the properties on Vrbo are bigger and have backyards. This means that if you are a big group or a family with children, Vrbo is better than Airbnb as a booking option.
As with most of these booking sites, Vrbo has its own built-in review system. Owners cannot delete unflattering reviews so you can be sure that if there is a problem with a property, the reviews will let you know.
Best Airbnb Alternative for Small Group Bookings
Flipkey offers an abundance of vacation homes around the world, and since their parent company is TripAdvisor, it seamlessly integrates with their encyclopedia of real user reviews. With such a comprehensive set of data on every property in their database, you can filter your results by the type of amenity you’re looking for. Jacuzzi anyone?
Though there are plenty of options available on the site for single travelers, Flipkey excels at group bookings in popular tourist destinations. The large majority of their properties are vacation rentals and holiday homes which fit four, five, six or more people. You may not get that homely feel, and you may not get insight from a local host, but if you’re traveling in a larger group, that’s not always very important anyway.
Best Airbnb Competitors for a Holiday with Complete Freedom
The main selling point for TurnKey that makes it quite a potentially strong Airbnb competitor is that it has done away with dreaded key exchanges. For Turnkey’s own rental properties you get given a door code instead of a key, meaning you can rock up and leave whenever you want. This offers a bit more freedom to the busy traveler and eliminates the problem of losing your key.
In order to obtain the door code for your rental property, you will need to download an app. This app is a treasure trove of information, offering you restaurant suggestions and letting you know what local entertainment is going on. It’s a bonus that most companies similar to Airbnb don’t offer.
Currently TurnKey is only listing properties in the US but it has plans to branch out in the near future so watch this space.
This Luxury Website Like Airbnb is Perfect for Vacation Rentals
4. Plum Guide
Plum Guide takes the cake for quality vacation homes. Their Home Critics put every single one of their vacation rental properties through a grueling vetting process, and most applicants are actually rejected. That means you’re pretty well guaranteed an exceptional, magnificent place to stay, simply because it meets the Plum Guide standard. Browse the listings and you’ll see they’re all exceptionally beautiful.
Thanks to this strict vetting process, you don’t have to worry about any unwanted surprises or fake reviews. Plus their concierge team of Experts are on hand seven days a week to help you if you need it. Plum Guide prides themselves not only on their properties but their customer service, too.
And not only do they have short term rentals in key cities throughout Europe and the United States, but they also have vacation rental homes in smaller regional locations. So if you’re seeking a staycation with a side of luxury, you’ll find it. A villa in the Catskills with an enormous pool, maybe? How about an estate filled with antique furniture in a wooded hamlet of the Cotswolds? Perhaps a dreamy desert vacation rental in Joshua Tree?
My favorite thing about these guys is their “Home Truths” section in each listing. From a rental in the Hamptons:
“Your host, Jack, provides bikes, but there are only two at the moment.”
I LOVE that kind of transparency!
Booking.com Now Offers Alternatives to Airbnb!
Booking.com has long been the standard for booking hotels online, and now you can book apartments and vacation rentals with their same easy-to-use (and easy-to-book) interface. That also means you won’t have much interaction with the host, though, so what you’ll get is an apartment with the booking and check-in process of a hotel. This is a rare bonus when dealing with companies like Airbnb.
When searching for places to stay on their site, their filtering system proves to be one of the best on the market, which means your search results can be refined to show exactly the type of place that you need. Plus, because they have such a high inventory of properties, the competition is fierce, which means you get better properties at better prices.
Airbnb Alternative for RVs and Campervans
Hit the road and explore the great outdoors by renting an RV or campervan with Outdoorsy. If cruising down the California coast or driving cross-country on Route 66 sounds like an ideal vacation, then think about RV travel.
Similar to Airbnb, each listing has a built-in review system so you can see what previous drivers have to say about the rentals. Not only is Outdoorsy a great alternative to Airbnb, but it’s also a great alternative to staying in a traditional apartment or hotel.
Ideal for Living Like a Local, with a Local
The main difference between Homestay and most other websites like Airbnb is that you are always living with a host. Naturally, this has its pros and cons depending on what kind of traveler you are. You might find it awkward living with someone you don’t know in their home. On the other hand, it could be the most unique and enriching experience you have on your travels.
The point of Homestay is to give travelers a taste of authentic local life. By living with someone who calls your destination home, you will get a completely different experience to what you would normally have had.
Your host will also be able to give you some background history of their city, tell you about the regional dish you simply must try and help you avoid the tourist traps!
Ideal Alternative to Airbnb that Feels Like a Luxury Hotel
Sonder takes all the perks of Airbnb (like rentals at great prices) and combines them with the experience of staying in a hotel—right down to luxurious sheets and mini toiletries.
All of Sonder’s listed rentals are private rental apartments, so you never share a space with its owners. Whether it’s a studio space in New York or a giant six-bedroom apartment in Montreal, your property will have a full kitchen and living area to use as your own.
One of the best things about Sonder is their wonderfully efficient app. You rarely have to interact with the homeowner, but you can use the app to check in, request fresh towels, and even get dinner recommendations in your area.
There’s a 24/7 concierge service you can call or text for all the little details, like getting locked out or a light bulb burning out. Now that’s customer service.
Right now Sonder has over 5,000 listings in 35+ cities, and they’re still growing.
An Airbnb Competitor with Luxury “Unhotels”
onefinestay is the opposite of the other services like Airbnb on this list. It offers upscale vacation rentals in London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Rome. And onefinestay thoroughly vets their hosts by staying in every property. They only list the creme of the crop on their site.
onefinestay calls their curated collection of homes “unhotels.” It’s a fitting name that accurately represents their properties. Location is a determining factor for each one. And the owners aren’t allowed to be home during your stay. You’ll never have to share and you’ll always have the place to yourself!
Best Airbnb Alternative for Glamping
If Airbnb and Vrbo aren’t your cupt of tea, and you’d prefer to lay your head down under a starry sky, Hipcamp is definitely for you. Hipcamp caters entirely to campers, but the listings here cover a huge range of different accommodations, including tents, RV parks, cabins, and treehouses. It’s Airbnb for campers.
Hipcamp lists 13,047 parks, 25,978 campgrounds, and 425,938 campsites all over the States. The folks behind the website completely believe that connecting people with nature brings out the best of human nature, and that’s something I can get behind.
Like Airbnb, regular people rent out their private spaces to nature lovers—but you can also find unique places to spend the night, like on a blueberry farm or a horse ranch. It’s the ultimate option for camping lovers simply because the range of experiences is so wide.
I love the search options, too. You can find sites based on listing type, location, activities in the area, amenities, and even landscapes. Want to set up on a beach, or on a lake? Or near some hiking trails, or a fishing spot? Just use the filters to find the perfect place.
Best for Apartment Rentals in Asia
11. Agoda Homes
Agoda has long been touted as the largest online travel agency in Asia, providing more than 1.8 million quality accommodations ranging from hotels, resorts, budget hostels, and now homes.
Agoda Homes differs from other Airbnb websites because listings include only entire apartments or homes listed by the homeowner. Your contact with the host is minimal—you simply arrange for check-in and check-out (although you’re more than welcome to ask for local recommendations).
Here’s an added perk, though: if you’re traveling solo, you can get up to 12% off your rental price! Just select the “solo traveler” option when you’re searching.
Finally, a reason to stay single.
Best Airbnb Competitors for Luxury Rentals
12. Third Home
If you are tired of traveling on a budget, staying in dorm rooms and cheap motels, Third Home will put an end to your accommodation woes. Third Home specializes in high-end vacation rentals. We’re talking mansions, penthouses, and luxury villas. And, the bar is set high for those who want to list on the website. Your home must be more than $500k, be in a desirable location, not be your primary home, and have luxurious furnishings.
With such stringent criteria, you can be assured that only the finest properties actually make it on to the site. In fact, the average property price on the website is $2.3 million. It beats your average youth hostel, that’s for sure. And, the prices are far more reasonable than you might expect, with some glamorous rentals going for just $200 per person per night.
Best for Getting the Whole Place to Yourself
9flats might not seem too different to Airbnb—and in all honesty, it isn’t—but what distinguishes this Airbnb equivalent is its collection of whole apartments to rent. Instead of just a room in someone’s apartment, 9flats gives you the whole place.
The heading of each apartment tells you how many people you can fit in the accommodation and the minimum number of nights you need to stay. This makes your searching even quicker as you don’t need to open the ad to get the essential details.
Currently, the website operates on almost every continent, bar Oceania. It has luxury villas on Miami Beach, chalets in the Alps and just about everything else in between.
Vacasa has been referred to as a “tech vacation company” thanks to its many AI-driven tools used for things like scheduling post-stay cleans and setting prices for accommodations. From the get-go, you’ll notice that Vacasa is set up with some impressive technology: you can even take 3D tours of the property you’re interested in, and the video quality is so incredible you’ll feel like you’re already there.
They also have 24-hour guest and owner support, and the details of your entire trip are laid out for you in the app, including instructions for WiFi and other details (like how to light the fireplace).
Vacasa is a big supporter of sustainable tourism, and so they hire local housekeepers and on-the-ground property managers. This also means that you get highly professional service and incredibly clean properties all while contributing to the local economy.
Vacasa is really, really good at simplifying the booking process and managing the property for both travelers and homeowners. The result is a smooth, flawless transaction from start to finish.
Unlike the other Airbnb competitors on this list, HomeToGo is a search aggregator. You can use HomeToGo to search and compare over 17 million accommodations in over 200 countries from a huge number of partners, including Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and more.
The search tools are impressively intuitive, with options for setting flexible dates, finding your preferred destination, staying within your budget, and selecting all the right amenities. A castle in Southern Italy with a boat included? Yup, you can search for that. A budget room in Berlin for under $50 a day? No problem!
HomeToGo is one of the best options for people on a strict budget. Since they compare so many prices for rentals from hundreds of providers, you’re pretty well guaranteed the best price. Booking is done via the partner website (e.g. TripAdvisor or Booking.com), much like how you would with many flight search engines.
And if you’re not exactly sure where you want to vacation, just peruse the listings of some of the most popular travel destinations around the world.
Final Thoughts on Sites like Airbnb
If you’re like me, you owe it to yourself to experience alternative forms of accommodation! Life is too short. It’s important to broaden your horizons when it comes to travel and choosing where you’re going to stay. So give the competitors of Airbnb a chance. You might just find something that suits you better.
There are more than a few sites and apps like Airbnb. They all prove to be useful in their own special way, depending on what you’re looking for. Knowing which one to use and when is one of the most important things to remember. Then you can start your search for accommodation.