Airbnb competitors - the "big five"
1) The largest Airbnb competitor: Flipkey by Tripadvisor
In a comparison of the site to Airbnb, TripAdvisor is more like Booking.com. The site offers a variety of other services apart from booking accommodation. Other things you might need when on vacation are available. TripAdvisor has an upper edge compared to Airbnb because you can use it to plan the things that you want to do on your trip. You can easily find the best shopping centers, restaurants, attractions sites and, more. For both sites, based on booking the accommodations there is no significant difference between them.Note: FlipKey is owned by TripAdvisor and there is no much difference between them in terms of accommodation booking. The properties listed on TripAdvisor are the same ones listed on FlipKey hence no need to cover FlipKey. Also, HouseTrip has same properties as them although its design is slightly different.
Expedia vs Airbnb
Kayak is another travel search engine. The company doesn’t offer direct bookings of its own, but instead allows you to “Search hundreds of travel sites at once.” You can compare prices on flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and whole vacation packages.
A notable difference from Airbnb and many of the other sites we’ve covered in this guide, is that Kayak only allows you to search for hotels. You won’t find any vacation rentals listed on the site, so it’s not the best option if you’re looking to rent an entire home or apartment.
The main advantage of using Kayak over Airbnb is the possibility to compare prices from lots of different sites at once. Of course, properties from Airbnb and other sites that let you rent full homes or apartments aren’t included, so you don’t get a full picture of the accommodation price landscape for your destination.
If you know you want to stay in a hotel, however, Kayak can be a valuable resource for booking your accommodation and other key aspects of your trip.
Like Kayak, Tripping.com is also a travel search engine, but it only focuses on vacation rentals available for short-term.
Tripping.com searches for sites like HomeAway, VRBO, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Booking.com and others notably Airbnb and Couchsurfing.
Using Tripping.com you can view properties listed as spare bedrooms, campsites and even large homes.It also allows you to search for properties available worldwide while filtering based on rating, amenities, and property type.
Tripping.com also has an interactive map to allow you to compare locations and prices for rentals available in short-term in specific cities. It is a perfect feature for those who have a particular location or want to stay in a neighborhood particularly near an attraction. In general, Tripping.com is for those who are not considering hotels and wish to stay in short-term rentals. It offers a variety of options you can compare at once.
Free Airbnb competitor: Couchsurfing
Couchsurfing is a very different site compared to all these other sites that have been discussed. Firstly, the accommodation you'll find at Couchsurfing is free. A “Verified Member” fee costs $60, but this fee is not necessary to use the site.
The tradeoff for the simplicity of this platform is that what you will get for accommodation is pretty basic. Just like its name Couchsurfing, the accommodations you might get can be a bed or sleep on a couch, cot or air mattress.
On the upper hand, you will get to connect at a personal level with a local who has invited you into their home. This aspect may not appeal to traveler especially those who want privacy and other services but it is perfect for those on a tight budget.
Couchsurfing is a good option for a lone travelers or a backpackers on a long trip that comes across different cities each night. Couchsurfing is not the best option for long-term stays because of its nature. It perfectly works for a stay of just a few nights, not several weeks. You can, however, Couchsurf on the same city with several different people even though it is not appealing.
Finally, Couchsurfing provides you with an opportunity for free meetups and a chance to participate in community events as long as you are a member of Couchsurfing. Couchsurfing is an excellent tool for meeting up with people from across the world who you are in the same new city with or they are in your own hometown.
Our final competitor to Airbnb is OneFineStay; a site that only focuses on the most luxurious rentals for short-term stays.
OneFineStay platform pays a visit to inspect and vet each property that is listed on their site. It is not a site for the couches, cots, and air mattresses, here there are divans and four-poster beds and with OneFineStay offering their guests 24/7 concierge-level services.This high level of service, however, comes with a price tag that matches them.
At OneFineStay there is a possibility to see properties that cost more than the average person’s monthly earnings for a single night. Some properties can be found in the low up to $200s, although they are texpectations.
You can find properties in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Oceania, and Asia. The destinations here are more limited when you compare with other travel sites. This is because OneFineStay wants to make sure that its properties meet the required luxury standards that their users would expect.The site more particularly targets properties in the Caribbean as they are perfect “Getaway destinations.” They however also offer urban bookings that are available only to the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. These cities include New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Rome.
The platform has properties to offer luxury accommodations in the popular ski resort towns like Aspen and Breckenridge for adventure travelers.
OneFineStay is the perfect option for you if you are looking for a luxurious vacation. Comparing this high-end feature to Airbnb, there is a competing service in Airbnb called Airbnb Plus and it offers the same. Airbnb provides higher level vetting of properties and luxury amenities for the Airbnb Plus than it does for the typical Airbnb properties.Airbnb with Plus feature targets the wealthy and the ultra-wealthy people. The Airbnb listings here are more modest furnishings and the prices even more than those available on OneFineStay.
Other Airbnb competitors:
Homestay is a platform that helps you find accommodations services around the world in the homes of families. It only focuses on accommodations that are shared, unlike Airbnb whose services are broad.Homestay is for the idea that apart from just getting a place to stay, you will get to interact with a different family and experience their culture. Homestay is not a free service platform but it is less transactional compared to Airbnb. Therefore the rooms in Homestay tend to cost less than Airbnb rooms.The difference comes in because the places on Homestay that you decide to stay in can be pretty basic considering their accommodations. If your purpose of traveling is to experience a new culture or learn a new language then Homestay is a perfect option to use to get accommodation. Homestay specifically would be fit for students who are studying abroad based on the constrained student budgets. It also offers them a great way to interact culturally compared to staying in a dorm.
Other Airbnb competitors:
- Booking.com Homestays
- Hotelscombined Apartments
Tools for Airbnb hosts
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