Airbnb alternatives - The Ultimate Guide
The complete guide to Airbnb alternative websites.
Airbnb alternatives - the big players:
- Booking Homestays
Free / low cost Airbnb alternatives:
- Couchsurfing - rent a couch - for free
- House Sitting - look after a property and stay there for free
- BeWelcome - non-profit Airbnb alternative
- LoveHomeSwap - swap houses and apartments
Airbnb alternatives - niche sites:
- OneFineStay - luxury accommodation Only
- Tripping.com - for long term stays
- Misterb&b - LGBTQ friendly vacation rentals
- Outdoorsy - for campers
Country / area specific Airbnb alternatives
- Niumba (SPAIN)
- Tripadvisor.es (SPAIN)
- Rentalia (SPAIN)
- Wimdu (EUROPE)
- Snaptrip (UK)
- Plum Guide (UK + EUROPE)
- Tripadvisor.uk (UK)
- HolidayLettings (UK)
Why chose alternatives to AirBnB?
Airbnb has millions of listings for every taste and budget, in most countries and cities all over the world. So, why would you consider other options?
- Airbnb has become expensive. There’s a wide range of properties on Airbnb, but prices (and AirBnB’s fees) have definitely increased since the platform started in 2006. Airbnb options can often be more expensive a reasonable hotel.
- Availability. The downside to Airbnb though is that it’s no longer a frequent traveler’s well-kept secret, and sometimes demand for accommodation exceeds supply! In addition to increased prices and fees, at busy times and in the most popular areas, the best properties can be booked out a long time in advance.
- Airbnb has become commercial. In many cases, Airbnb has lost its personal touch as landlords cash in, meaning the only human interaction you get is when you get your keys at the beginning of your stay, often from an apartment concierge rather than the actual host or owner. A lot of properties also arranges self check-in by code, meaning you have absolutely no interaction with a human being during your stay.
- For Airbnb hosts, advertising on multiple vacation rental sites will give you more exposure and more bookings. Furthermore, it will be easier to reach your target groups.
The "big five" alternatives to Airbnb:
The "big five 5" Airbnb alternatives refers to the largest and most popular platforms offering millions of rooms, apartments and houses worldwide:
Booking.com Now Have Apartment Rentals!
We’re guessing you’ve used Booking.com at some point to book a hotel stay? Apartments can be great, but every now and then, you just want a hotel and someone who makes the bed for you every day. And the best place generally, we’ve found, for getting a great deal in any hotel anywhere in the world, tends to be booking.com. And with many excellent deals and often no-fee last minute cancellation policies, we love it too.
Booking.com is one of the worlds largest hotel search engines and has long been the standard for booking hotels online. What you might not have realized is that in addition to hotels, you can also book vacation rentals properties on the site, including apartments and villas, all around the world. More than 300,000 apartments and vacation rentals can now be booked with their same easy-to-use (and easy-to-book) interface .Although it’s great to stay in hotels and get your room cleaned daily, it’s also great to have a private space in a more ‘homely’ environment with all the regular amenities.
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.
Booking.com now accepts provate properties such as Airbnb apartments, and private vacation rentals owners can now sign up with booking.com at no cost.
Apart from loads of great hotel deals, and now apartments, Booking.com is a one-stop shop, where you can book a complete trip from a flight and car hire, to taxis, restaurants and a vacation rental.
# Flipkey by Tripadvisor
Best amenities search engine !
FlipKey is one of the main Airbnb competitors and provides adventure seekers with both domestic and international offerings. Flipkey is owned by TripAdvisor, the worlds largest travel site. More than 300,000 rentals across 11,000 cities in 160 countries worldwide are available to book on Flipkey. If you've ever used Tripadvisor, you'll see the Flipkay interface is very similar.
Owners are verified by FlipKey, and they can list whole homes, apartments, villas, or private rooms. Flipkey doesn’t offer shared rooms – it’s private rooms or whole properties only. In addittion to a large number of reviews on apartments and hotels, you can use the power of TripAdvisor to explore anything – from nearby restaurant recommendations to tried and tested attractions.
One thing we particularly we like about FlipKey is their search engine. Its fast and easy to filter by all kinds of requirements. Each property profile details everything from the number of bed/bathrooms, amenities available, and detailed descriptions of the space, to management information, photographs, and weekly availability.
Want a property with a mountain view or an ocean view? No problem. You’ll find them on Flipkey with a single click. Do you need a family friendly property allowing pets and has a fireplace?
For Property Owners: Flipkey is tied to Tripadvisor, the worlds largest travelsite. . By registering your vacation rental on FlipKey, your property will be searchable across the whole TripAdvisor platform, opening you up to more than 340 million travelers around the world. Since they introduced their Free-to-List option, it’s become even more of an ultimate fave, as it often receives enough targeted visibility to provide an average of 72 inquiries per listing per year.
HotelsCombined is our favorite comparison site to check before we book accommodation online. It might look like a hotel booking site, but after selecting your dates and destination you have endless opportunites to filter your search to find Airbnb-like properties and compare them to hotels in your area of interest. It’s not a booking site, rather, it searches all the other booking sites (including booking.com, hotels.com, Agoda, Expedia, etc.) to find you the best price on a hotel.
In addition to hotels, you’ll also find a wide range of serviced apartments and alternative accommodation options such as guesthouses on the site. You can easily filter on your desired preferences when making the search. You can filter by typ of accommodation, guest rating, number of stars, price and much more:
HotelsCombined offers properties worldwide and while it is not the best website to find apartments, it is definitely an accommodation booking resource you should have on your list.
For Property Owners: HotelsCombined searches other sites, so there isn’t a way to add your property directly to this site. The best option is to sign up to one of the sites they search, like Booking.com or Agoda, which will then add your site to the HotelsCombined search engine.
Best Site Like Airbnb for a Kid-Friendly Vacation - Helping Family and Friends Travel Better, Together.
A good AirBnB alternative is Vrbo, which is an abbreviation for Vacation Rentals by Owner. Whilst perhaps not as well known as AirBnB, Vrbo has nearly 2 million properties on their website and have been operating since 1996, 12 years longer than AirBnB. It is very similar to its sister site HomeAway, with the main difference being the properties it has on offer.
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 a better booking option. It generally works best for families or groups of four or more looking for a slightly longer stay – although there are certainly many properties suited to couples.
As with most of these booking sites, Vrbo has its own built-in review system. Owners cannot delete bad reviews so you can be sure that if there is a problem with a property, the reviews will let you know.
Originally, Vrbo didn’t charge guests a service / booking fee, but they changed that in 2016, adding a booking fee to bookings.
Otherwise, the products are fairly similar. AirBnB offers a slightly slicker user experience, but it is much more popular. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on AirBnB, then definitely give Vrbo a try.
If you’re a vacation rental property owner, Vrbo have two different models – either you can pay an annual fee, or you can list for free and pay a fee per booking. Sign up as an owner on Vrbo here.
Homeaway has currently more than one million properties listed around the world, making it one of the largest sites of its type in the world. The site has properties in 190 countries with largest number of properties in Europe and North America.
HomeAway is the parent company to Vrbo and there are many similarities between the two sites. There are some differences though, as HomeAway does have a bit more inventory, particularly smaller apartments, meaning you’re having more options if you’re travelling as a couple or alone. Both Homeaway and Vrbo are now owned by Expedia.
It was announced in 2019, that HomeAway may be subsumed under the Vrbo brand in the near future, but it is currently (at least check) still operating under a separate brand.
If you’re traveling in Asia, use their geo-targeted site, TravelMob, for similar bookings.
For property owners, HomeAway has two different options – an annual subscription where you pay no commission on bookings, alternatively you can choose the free listing option where you pay per booking.
You can sign up for HomeAway as a property owner here. They also own OwnersDirect, a separate marketplace which you can sign up to here.
Low cost / free Airbnb alternatives
# House Sitting
As the name suggests, this is all about swapping houses and apartments. From city pads to chateaux, you'll find everything on this website. Tell other members about your home to attract some swaps. A short description and a few photos is all you need to get started. Once your profile is up just message homes you like to start arranging your swap. You can both do classic swaps, or swap for points. Unlike classic swaps, Points allow you to travel without having to match your plans with another member. Earn for hosting and spend when you travel. Pay a small service fee based on the length of your trip.
For example, if you want a swap to London, but the owner of your dream home has just visited your city, they can host you for Points instead. With the Points you give them, they can book their dream trip to Bali.
Other Airbnb alternatives / niche sites:
Best option for long-term stays
Tripping.com has got over 8 million properties in 150,000 destinations, offering travelers with more than wide variety of unique accommodations especially for the long-term.
It’s more a search engine than an individual platform, as it allows users to easily compare vacation rentals across several major providers already described on this site; Homeaway, Flipkey, Housetrip, Homestay, Tripadvisor, WaytoStay, Booking.com and many more.
Tripping is the perfect website for users to browse by price range, ratings, locations, and a lengthy list of other features and amenities.
The "gay Airbnb"
Misterb&b is a travel and social networking website that provides LGBT+ friendly hotels/motels and apartments/rooms rented by private people. The site provides a searchable database of short-term rentals of homes, rooms, and apartments.
The website operates globally and has gone from offering thousands of rooms available in 65 countries to over 200,000 hosts in over 135 countries as of 2019.
Misterb&b is called the "gay Airbnb" and the site serves as a catalyst for the gay community to connect in real life, becoming a response for the strong demand for collaborative tourism in the booming niche of gay travel. It is considered the largest gay hotelier in the world.
Best for RV and Campervan Rentals by Owner
Outdoorsy is the Airbnb of the motorhome world, with over 14 million RV rentals to choose from. Renting a campervan / RV will give you the flexibility to sleep in various locations, cook for yourself and generally have a flexible approach to your trip. Outdoorsy is a peer to peer rental agency, which means you are renting from people who own an RV, and who are letting it out when they aren’t using it.
If you have an RV that you want to make some money off when you’re not using it, you can list it for free here.
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.
No more dreaded key exchanges !
If you're renting a Turnkey property, you’ll always get a given a door code instead of a key, meaning you can enter and leave the property 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.
Largest search engine for vacation rentals
HomeToGo - Largest search engine for vacation rentals. HomeToGo.com is another vacation rental search engine. It’s actually the largest search engine for vacation rentals, with more than 15 million offers in over 200 countries around the world. With such a vast range of properties, HomeToGo gives its users an unrivalled amount of choice.
Founded in 2014, HomeToGo quickly became a favorite of savvy travelers because of its user-friendly interface, huge amount of offers and easy price comparison.
More than 300 providers are integrated into the platform, including HomeAway, Booking.com, VRBO, Expedia, and TripAdvisor.
You can quickly compare vacation rentals from a wide range of providers, and features such as smart filtering and flexible date search makes it easier and faster to find the perfect vacation rental.
# VillasDirect (formerly RentalsCombined)
VillasDirect has 600,000 properties across 114 countries.
As the name suggests, they focus on professionally managed properties and villas rather than individually let out properties. There’s also no booking fee. Property owners will be matched up with a property management company. You’ll pay a fee per completed booking.
Ideal for Living Like a Local, with a Local. Founded in 2013 by travel industry veterans Tom Kennedy (Hostelworld.com co-founder) and Debbie Flynn (Irish Education Partners & A Star Hostels Group), with a vision of taking an offline industry online and making homestays and private room rental a popular accommodation choice.
Homestay.com now offers guests a selection of over 55,000 rooms in over 160 countries.
Tags: Airbnb alternatives, Vacation rental websites, alternatives to Airbnb, other sites like Airbnb
Country / area specific alternatives to Airbnb
# Belvilla Holiday Homes (spain)
# Plum Guide
# Wimdu (Europe)
The European alternative to Airbnb
# Snaptrip (UK & Ireland)
If you are planning a getaway in the UK or Ireland, Snaptrip should definitely be one of the websites that you visit. With over 60,000 properties listed, the majority of which are found in the UK and Ireland, they have a huge amount of choice.
Tools for Airbnb hosts
Limited offer. Airbnb hosts and Vacation Rental owners can now use iGMS software at zero cost. Automate your vacation rental business with this powerful tool. A must have for Airbnb hosts and Vacation rental owners Automated messaging Channel Manager Team...
Airbnb has launched several new tools. See how much you can earn from renting your place or hosting an Airbnb experience here: See how much you can earn as an host here See how much you can earn by hosting an Airbnb Experience here
Get your own professional website for your vacation rental. With an independent website you can take direct bookings and avoid fees (most vacation rental sites such as Airbnb, Tripadvisor or Booking takes up to 20% on top of your price, imagine if you could keep this cut yourself). There are...
It's a proven fact that people are more likely to click on and book the listings appearing first after they have made a search on Airbnb. And with 100's or even 1000's of Airbnb listings in the most popular areas, and more listings added every week, you better stay ahead of your...
Did you know there are several ways to make money on Airbnb without owning any residential property? You can rent / lease a property from someone else and rent in on Airbnb You can co-host for another Airbnb user Airbnb also let people earn money on experiences You can become an...
Advantages for hosts:
- Listing your property on more websites = more exposure = more bookings
- You'll get access to more free marketing tools
- It's easy to manage bookings from multiple sites by using the multicalendar tool
- If you already have a listing on Airbnb, it's fast and easy to copy content to other sites
Advantages for travelers:
- You can often find accommodation even cheaper than on Airbnb
- You'll get access to a wider range of vacation rentals
- You can compare prices accross sites
- Sign up with sites and communities targeted to your special interests and needs
- Freebies, coupons and special offers are often available on different sites
Vacation rental and Airbnb news
As you may have heard, Airbnb is changing the host fee structure and it will be mandatory for some countries as of December 7th. There are less than 3 weeks now. In the new simplified pricing structure, there will be no service fee visible to the guest and the host will pay 15% from the total...
Airbnb messaging strategy is one of the key points for getting new reservations. Guests always appreciate fast and smooth messaging with the host before, during and even after their stay. Check our Airbnb messaging tips, which will help to exceed guests' expectations and save your valuable...
Halloween nights don’t get much spookier than this. You can now sleep like Dracula at a Castle in Transylvania, Romania. Earlier this month, Airbnb announced that Bran Castle in Romania, also known as “Dracula’s Castle”, would be listed on its website for the night of October...
Yourporter has just launched a new app checking your Airbnb's ranking position in search. The app was recently launced and you can get a detailed report on your Airbnb's ranking position on a daily or weekly basis:¨ www.yourporter.com/search See also: 10 Airbnb SEO tips to...
Regulators have forced Airbnb to rectify a major flaw in its customer review system which meant that until now some of the worst listings have escaped bad reviews. Currently, guests who decide to cancel their stay or leave early because the apartment or house is a bit of a dump cannot automatically...
I just used Airbnb as a guest recently and one change I noticed is that when writing a review, Airbnb is explaining what each star means as follows: 1 star = Terrible 2 Star = Bad 3 Star = OK 4 Star = Good 5 Star = Great
"Airbnb is close to launching a new service that will match guests with quality-inspected home and apartment rentals. The product is intended to attract higher-paying travellers who have yet to use Airbnb because they prefer the amenities guaranteed by fancy hotels, said three people familiar with...
Airbnb is introducing new rules for instant book: Improved calendaring — giving hosts with multiple listings (for example, a host with a listing for an entire home and a separate listing for a room inside that home) controls to link their Airbnb calendars and prevent double-bookings, as well...
"Is there room for smaller, more focused Airbnb competitors? French startup Misterb&b thinks so as the startup just raised $8.5 million from Project A and Ventech to build an apartment renting platform focused on the LGBTQ community. As the name suggests, Misterb&b started with a focus on...
Airbnb is standardizing the check-in process to make it way less confusing "Airbnb is rolling out a new check-in instructions tool to streamline and improve guest arrivals. Now, guests of hosts who opt in to the new tool will receive clear, visual, in-app step-by-step guides on what to...
Tripadvisor is the largest travel site in the world with millions of users worldwide. Tripadvisor is a m u st join for any vacation rental owner wanting more bookings. Tripadvisor has just launced it's free-to-list program, making it possible for private and professional...
Hotel search engine with also a wide range of apartments offered. This site searches through all majord accommodation sites and always returns the best price. Hosts can add their properties for free, guests gets a price guarantee on bookings. After making your search, use the filter...
Booking.com, one of the largest hotel search engines in the world, has just lauched it's own Homestay section to compete with Airbnb and other similar concepts. It's free for vacation rental owners to add their properties and travelers can search among 10 000's of Homestays worldwide. Booking...
Homestay.com is a worldwide booking platform where anyone can book a homestay including tourists, leisure travellers, students, interns, people relocating for work or those who simply want to experience local culture and meet local people when they travel.
VRBO is on of the most popular vacation rental sites in the US with over more than 1 million listings. You can rent everything from cabins & condos to castles or villas.
Airbnb alternatives by country / region
Spanish Paradores Spanish Paradores offer luxury hotel accommodation in Castles, Palaces, Convents, Monasteries, Fortresses and other historic buildings. The group also has a few modern Spanish hotels, built in the traditional style, in areas of outstanding beauty. The Parador hotels...
Beginners guide to Airbnb
by Noel McCarthy, Sterifab Staff Writer “To travel is to live”, said Hans Christian Anderson. And he was right. And there’s no better way than to become an Airbnb traveler. Airbnb is an exciting (and cost-effective) way to see the world. To visit those cities you’ve only heard...
The Airbnb service fee is a percentage of each confirmed booking charged by Airbnb to provide services like 24/7 customer support and credit card processing. The Airbnb service fee consits of 2 parts: The Airbnb host service fee The Airbnb Guest service fee In addition comes Fees for...
Here are our top tips of items you should always provide your Airbnb guests, room by room: GENERAL: A house manual. Print out a brief guide to how all the things in your home work. Include info on the check out procedure, nearby places to eat, interesting things to see, shops, etc A guest...
1) Sign up with Airbnb. It’s fast and easy to sign up with Airbnb. You can connect with your Facebook profile or your email. For travellers: Use this link and get $50 / €45 off your first trip See also: How do I get my house on Airbnb? 2) Profile details. Fill out your profile and...
Many people ask us “How do I get my house on Airbnb?”. By following the simple steps below you’ll have your property listed in minutes. We’ll also tell you how to avoid the most common pitfalls for new hosts. Sign up with Airbnb. It’s fast and easy to sign up with Airbnb. You can connect with your...