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.
HotelsCombined is our favorite comparison site to check before we book accommodation online. 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. If any details of your property are wrong, you can ask HotelsCombined to update your listing here.
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.
Other alternatives to Airbnb:
Although the above mention sites are the biggest and most popular sites, doesn't mean you cannot find great places to stay using the other alternatives to Airbnb. These are niche-sites where you can find hidden gems tailored to your specific needs:
OneFineStay - for luxury trips
OneFineStay is quite like AirBnB, but at the luxury end of the scale. The site is similar to Airbnb in many ways, with the key difference being that they focus on only high-end properties.
These places aren’t cheap, like $1,000+ a night. Number of properties is also limited, OneFineStay only offers properties in only five cities at time of writing: London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Rome.
They also only offer whole properties so no private rooms or shared houses. Personal greet on arrival.
Whilst the homes are owned by people, they are never a hosted experience, so you can experience some truly luxury properties all to yourself.
For property owners, OneFineStay is quite selective, with many apartments not making their strict requirements. Fees are also quite high to reflect the fact that this a fully managed service. You can apply to list your apartment on OneFineStay with this link.
Free Airbnb alternatives
House Sitting - stay for free
By using House Sitting you can stay at people’s private properties entirely for free or at a very low cost.
The way this works is that people who own properties occasionally want to leave them and go on travel. Rather than leaving their houses empty, they offer them up to people to stay in, usually entirely for free. In return the tenant will for look after the property, tending the garden, and generally keeping things in in order.
Some people have pets that they want looking after – putting a pet into a pet can be expensive, so house sitting is a win-win situation.
You can rent properties for any length of time, from a few days to weeks or even months.
There are several house sitting websites – one of the biggest and most popular communities to join is TrustedHousesitters. There is a fee to join, but once you’ve paid the fee, you’ll have a world of choice when it comes to free accommodation worldwide!
For property owners, there’s an annual subscription required to list your home. Yo also have to be a member of the TrustedHouseSitter community. Sign up as an owner using this link.
CouchSurfing.com has been around since 2004. Unlike Airbnb, couchsurfing travelers don't pay to stay in someone's home. Hosts are not allowed to charge for lodging. Couchsurfers also organize regular events in 200,000 cities around the world.
BeWelcome is a not-for-profit couchsurfing alternative, which is great if you’re bootstrapping, but it’s also just as unpredictable as Couchsurfing.com in that anyone can sign up, and profiles are not matched by an algorithm.
Great for hitchikers
Trustroots started in 2014 and sells itself as a hospitality website for hitchhikers. This is probably very ideal for digital nomads and expats who are completely willing to go with the flow, and have a nice passive income or some money in the bank.
Tripping.com - 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.
Misterb&b - 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.
Read more about misterbnb and gay friendly vacation rentals here
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.
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.
Yo 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.
The European alternative to Airbnb
Tags: Airbnb alternatives, Vacation rental websites, alternatives to Airbnb, other sites like Airbnb