If you’re traveling soon and are looking for some of the best Airbnb alternatives, you came to the right place.
Airbnb is a service that helps travelers find housing-options for their trips, however, not all travelers are satisfied with Airbnb accommodations.
If you fall into the category of people above, or, you’re just curious as to the best alternatives, for whatever reason, this article is for you.
But, first, to understand what makes a great alternative to Airbnb, we need to understand what it is that they offer in the first place.
Airbnb: What Exactly is it, Anyway?
Airbnb is an online platform that lets owners rent their properties or spare rooms to guests. It has been around since 2008 and has over 4 million has listings in over 190 countries.
You can find a range of accommodation such as entire apartments, private rooms, hotels, guesthouses, hostels and even unique places like castles and treehouses. The site also allows us to search for experiences in the locations they’re interested in.
Prospective guests can create a profile for free and can begin searching for places to stay at once their account is verified.
They can even send a message to the hosts of the accommodation if they’re interested in asking any questions. A lot of listings require the host to accept the guest’s request to book their space, but you can instantly book some properties.
A service fee of up to 20% applies to all bookings. This can also include a cleaning fee or other fees specific to the country or city in question.
Guests can pay for their booking via the site’s secure online platform. After their stay, they can leave an online review, which other users can see. Hosts can also guest leave reviews.
The platform has been a game-changer for travelers looking for more private and authentic stays in foreign locations or for those seeking extended stays of one month or more, as Airbnb allows guests to stay in cities for months on end.
The weekly and monthly discounts on properties on the site make longer stays more affordable compared to staying at more traditional forms of accommodation.
Guests can also save money when booking a short stay as some listings may just be cheaper than hotels or they may give guests access to a kitchen which will help them save on food costs.
What Sort of Airbnb Alternatives Are There?
Although they do provide a great online marketplace for people to find a place to stay during their trip, it’s not the only site travelers can use to find accommodation. Most of the site’s properties are private residences such as apartments or houses and some people are just not interested in this.
Some guests prefer to be pampered some would like to stay in hotels, which offer room service and free breakfast. Other guests may want to stay in a property that has been through a quality check, which is something Airbnb properties lack, due.
Others may simply want a cheap place to stay where they can meet many people, some would be interested in staying in a hostel where they share a room with other travelers.
Those with a very low budget may even try Couchsurfing, where guests stay on a local person’s couch for free. There are a variety of online websites that cater to guests’ specific needs.
The Best Airbnb Alternatives
Many people are familiar with using TripAdvisor for a range of travel services whether it be booking flights, finding more information about restaurants you can eat at during your trip, or compiling a list of things to do on your trip.
So it’s no surprise that Tripadvisor also has its own vacation rental search engine, TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals. The site also owns rental services like Flipkey, HolidayLettings, and more, so its 900,000 listings in over 200 countries can also be found on other sites.
Tripadvisor’s vacation rentals service is very similar to Airbnb because users can look for a variety of properties such as condos, apartments, villas, houses and more using the site’s search function.
There are slightly more useful filters on the company’s search function than there are on rival websites, such as ‘kid-friendly’ and ‘business travel’ but both sites have a similar review system.
Travelers who use TripAdvisor’s other services may find TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals especially appealing as booking multiple aspects of their trip through one service provider will make their life a lot simpler.
Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner) has over two million properties on its site in locations all over the world, but most of the company’s listings are in Europe. Although Airbnb has more properties on its site, users can find listings on Vrbo that don’t appear on Airbnb.
The platform started listing rentals on their site in 1995, so it’s well established. Many of its listings are also on HomeAway as this company, which belongs to the larger Expedia group, bought Vrbo in 2006.
Any homeowner can list their property on the site, however, the Vrbo has a more limited variety of places to stay as private rooms are rarer to find. Instead, most bookings are for entire units like large villas, condos or houses so Vrbo may be better for big families, groups or people who want a large place all to themselves.
The company applies a service fee of between 5 and 15% to each booking. Vrbo also has a similar search function to Airbnb’s because users can view detailed profiles of properties, which includes basic information, photos of the place, availability, guest reviews, and even interactive maps.
Established in 2007, FlipKey is a vacation rental company that lists its properties, such as hotels and guesthouses, on Tripadvisor, who acquired it in 2008. Property owners can also list their place on the site. With around 830,000 rentals listed, the company has fewer properties than Airbnb, so the choice is more limited.
However, users can read reviews and see house rules on Flipkey. They can send a booking request to the host once they’ve found a place, too.
There is an instant booking option on the site, alternatively, users can also send a message to the owner or complete a form to book a property. Guest fees can range from 8 to 16% per booking.
Flipkey also has certain filter options comparable to those on Airbnb, such as how many bathrooms or bedrooms are in the property or what types of amenities are available.
However, some of Flipkey’s filters are more thorough. For instance, users can search for wheelchair accessible properties or listings close to golf courts, clubs or ski resorts and more.
When a guest books a listing on Homestay they are opting to stay in a private room at a local host’s house, which is not always the case with Airbnb. Some homestays even include free breakfast. The host could be a single person, a couple or even a family.
This gives guests a great opportunity to hang out with hosts and get advice and information about local attractions, which is a perfect model for people who want a guaranteed personal and local experience or for solo travelers who may get lonely during their trips.
Homestay has a similar search function feature and an identical ‘instant accept’ to Airbnb, but users use hearts, which range from one 1 to 5, and not stars to rate their stays.
Given that the site only lists private rooms, Homestay is cheaper than Airbnb in most cases. However, the platform has a limited inventory, with only 33,000 homestays in 150 countries making it possibly difficult to find a property or get a booking accepted.
Booking.com is great for finding the best hotel deals in countries around the world at affordable prices. With more than a million rentals, the site has an almost endless amount of places to stay in its inventory and has an easy-to-use interface where users can specify which type of accommodation they’re looking for (hotel, B&B, guesthouse and so on), the price they’re willing to pay, how far away from the city center they want to be and more.
The site also offers free cancellation on many properties, too, which allows prospective visitors to have some flexibility when planning their trip. Guests also don’t pay a booking fee.
Although guests don’t have to make an account to book a space on, doing so enables them to receive certain rewards. For instance, Booking.com has a referral system that allows users to get some money from their trip back.
When guests with an account on the site share their referral link with others, these people can get a certain percentage off their booking and the guests receive some money. The site also has a genius loyalty program, which automatically gives you discounts on properties that take part in the scheme.
For a long time, Booking.com seemed like the opposite of Airbnb, as the website’s emphasis was on short stays and more traditional types of accommodation like hotels or hotels. However, guests can also use the site to book apartments and homes, which may be cheaper than the apartments listed on Airbnb.
Formerly called RentalsCombined, VillasDirect has been operating for more than 20 years. The company is one of the biggest independent operators for online apartment rentals as it has more than half a million properties listed on its site.
VillasDirect works primarily with property managers and not hosts renting their spaces. Users also can’t contact the property managers directly; they must email the Villasdirect team instead if they want more information about the property.
However, this isn’t an issue as the company takes quality customer service seriously and works very closely with the companies that provide their listings. Villasdirect even offers to help customers find the best place for their trip if they email the company. Like Booking.com, Villasdirect doesn’t charge travelers booking fees.
As the name may subtly suggest, Onefinestay makes sure guests stay at the finest and most luxurious properties, which staff at the company personally select. Guests who book property can even customize their trip by adding on extras and experiences, which are more expensive than the experiences offered on similar accommodation booking platforms.
So although Onefinestay offers many of the same types of accommodation, and has many of the same search features, it tends to have spaces that are more expensive and aimed at guests with a big budget.
The company basically strives to combine the hotel and apartment experiences, with the support of the hotel chain Accorhotels.
The site has a more limited listing of properties in far fewer cities than Airbnb, as it’s only possible to search for places in select locations, such as major cities like Paris, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Rome, and New York City.
Guests can only book whole buildings on the website, as it’s impossible to stay in a private room or shared house. Nonetheless, Onefinestay is ideal for those who are looking for a guaranteed lavish trip with high hospitality standards.
Rentavilla has been around for over 25 years. It was originally a family-owned business catered to families who found it difficult to stay in hotels. Nowadays, the company is aimed at all types of travelers from individuals to groups on business trips.
The site features properties such as villas, houses, apartments, and condos in a limited amount of locations: the Caribbean, France, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and Thailand. Rentavilla is also similar to Onefinestay given that staff inspects every property listed on the company’s site.
Some would argue that Rentavilla has better customer service, as a local representative greets guests upon arrival to the property they booked.
It may also be easier for prospective guests to find the ideal property on Rentavilla than it is on Airbnb because although both sides also have similar search functions, Rentavilla also has a handy feature where prospective guests get help with finding the ideal property for their trip. All they need to do is fill out a form with details of their likes and dislikes or give the company a call.
This website differs greatly from Airbnb and most of the other alternatives on the list because it’s more like Google for hotels. As the name suggests, hotels combined is an accommodation comparison site that compiles a list of the best or cheapest places to stay for travelers from sites like Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com and more.
In contrast to Airbnb, HotelsCombined also has a best price guarantee. This means that the company guarantees to find the best-priced hotels for their customers, and if guests find a cheaper hotel after they’ve booked a property on HotelsCombined then the company refunds them the difference.
This platform is a lot more focused on hotels but users can still find other types of accommodation HotelsCombined given that the travel websites it searches also list apartments and other types of lodging. Although it may not be the best for those looking specifically for apartments, it’s great for people who hate having to look on multiple websites to find the perfect place.
Wimdu is like HotelsCombined but is more of a vacation rentals search engine, which finds properties on sites like Homeaway, Expedia and Booking.com.
The company aims to provide budget-friendly apartments and rooms to its users. Wimdu has over 350,000 listings in all parts of the world but mainly attracts guests who want to visit Europe.
Most of its search functions are like Airbnb, but users can find more useful features on Wimdu when looking for a place to stay. For instance, the site tells prospective guests which dates can get them cheaper deals or which dates have the most available rentals before they complete their search.
Outdoorsy is very similar to Airbnb but with one main difference: the site exclusively focuses on RV and campervan rentals. More specifically, the company helps RV owners rent their vehicles to other people. Examples of vehicles users can book are airstreams, fifth wheels, toy haulers and more.
When the company first launched in 2015, it focused solely on renting RVs to people based in the USA, but the company now operates in countries all over the world such as the UK, Spain, France, Italy, Australia, and Canada.
Guests can apply filters to their searches such as vehicle type, price, amenities, rating, entertainment and so on, to find the perfect vehicle for their trip. They can also review their rental after they’ve finished using it. Outdoorsy is a wonderful alternative to Airbnb for those who are looking for new and exciting experiences.
Quest Apartments Hotels (or just Quest) has over 170 apartments in Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, so it’s a great site for travelers visiting Australasia. It’s like Airbnb in that it lists apartment spaces on its site for guests to book, but there are no private rooms to book on the site.
So when guests book a property through Quest, they get to stay in apartments with fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and separate dining, sleeping and living areas, which gives them a lot of autonomy and space.
One main difference between the two marketplaces, however, is that Quest also offers hotel-like services, which makes sense when you look at the company’s name.
For instance, the company provides unique features for guests during their trips, such as regular housekeeping, valet laundry, dry cleaning services, and even a babysitting booking service.
Quest is predominantly aimed at business people as a lot of the properties on the site are close to business centers and head offices. However, many properties are also close to tourist spots so, like Onefinestay, Quest also appeals to those who want the best of the hotel and apartment worlds while on vacation. The site is also perfect for families who want a comfortable trip.
PerfectPlaces has been operating since 1996 and lists over 75,000 properties in 103 countries and 6,600 cities, most of which are in Europe.
Just as Airbnb is great for longer stays because some listings have discounts for weekly and monthly stays, most listings on PerfectPlaces have both nightly and weekly rates, which also makes it viable to use for extended stays.
Guests can stay in properties listed by individual property owners such as homes, villa, cabins, condos or properties professionally managed by businesses such as Bed and Breakfasts and more.
The website has more in-depth filters in the search function than Airbnb, though, because users can search for places near leisure activities such as tennis courts, hiking trails, scuba diving spots, fishing locations and more. However, unlike Airbnb, PerfectPlaces does not have any traveler or service fees.
Founded in Switzerland in 1965, Interhome offers over 95,000 vacation rentals in 31 countries on its site, most of which are in Europe. Examples of the listings users can find on the site are villas, mountain chalets, apartments, cottages, and castles.
Interhome rates its properties from one to five stars. A one-star-rated property describes a place with simple furnishings, whereas a five-star-rated property is described as having luxury furnishings.
This helps prospective guests to know what standard to expect from the listing they book. The company’s service team also carries out regular quality checks on properties to make sure each property is in line with its rating.
One of the company’s greatest strengths is its fantastic customer service. For example, Interhome has local staff to welcome guests making handing over the keys, organizing activities and seeking support straightforward and easy.
Choosing the Best Airbnb Alternative for You
Regardless of where your next trip takes you, rest assured you’ll have an easy time picking the top Airbnb alternatives for all your travel-accommodation needs.
What do you think about our list of the best Airbnb alternatives? Did you see an alternative that jumped out above all others?
Or, perhaps you have an accommodation booking platform that you’d like to suggest to our audience? Whatever the case may be, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.