Airbnb is one of the most popular and cheap lodging options for people all around the world. Founded in 2009 by three young designers, the company has come a long way from helping 21,000 guests find lodging in their first year to now offering a place to stay for more than 6 million people every year.
However, what started as a cheap alternative to traditional hotels, isn’t exactly as affordable as it used to be. Moreover, during the holiday season alongwith hotels, most Airbnb properties are fully booked much in advance, and this can be quite a bummer.
So yes, it’s not perfect, and when any idea becomes successful, competition always comes in knocking. That’s why we’ve rounded up the seven best Airbnb alternatives you should check out before planning that next vacation.
Vrbo stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner, and it is one of the longest-running vacation rental services currently available. Founded in 1996, a full 12 years before Airbnb, it was bought by HomeAway Corporation in 2006. Its list of properties includes over 1 million homes in over 190 countries, which gives you a variety of choices.
However, all Vrbo properties are unhosted, which means they’re better suited for families or groups of people looking to stay for a longer duration. There are properties available for couples as well. However, if you’re looking for solo options, then you’re better off with Airbnb and the likes.
You can visit Vrbo here.
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If you want to enjoy the authentic local experience of your holiday destination, then Homestay is for you. It offers a complete and genuinely hosted rental, which means you get to live with the locals in their homes and get the opportunity to have the most authentic experience.
Although there are fewer properties to choose from compared to Airbnb, Homestay gives you a much more real and value for money experience, while allowing you to meet new people as well. You can choose from various durations of your stay, and all Homestay properties offer a complimentary breakfast, which is a rather nice touch.
You can visit HomeStay here.
Here you can choose from a variety of apartment listings — in the same way, you’d book a hotel room — and you can get some great deals. Also worth mentioning is that Booking.com can help you book everything from your flight ticket, taxi fare, restaurants and vacation rentals all in one place, making travel planning a simple affair.
You can visit Booking.com here.
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FlipKey is another up and coming vacation rental service, owned by the well-known hotel listing site, TripAdvisor. This means the site has access to TripAdvisor’s already extensive database of genuine hotel reviews, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Unlike Airbnb, FlipKey doesn’t offer any shared rooms, and only private or whole property rentals are available. That said, FlipKey allows you to choose properties suited to your taste or criteria such as pet-friendly properties, properties with a waterfront or a mountain view and that is pretty sweet.
You can visit FlipKey here.
HomeAway is the largest competitor to Airbnb, with over 2 million homes in over 190 countries. It is also parent to other popular vacation rental sites Vrbo, which means many of their listings overlap.
However, unlike Vrbo, HomeAway also has smaller apartments on offer if you’re travelling solo and features a wide variety from lakeside cabins to beautiful studio apartments. It has been listed as one of the most trustworthy companies by Forbes.
You can visit HomeAway here.
The site shows you different levels of quality checks so you can have a good idea of what your money’s getting you, and it is one of Airbnb’s fiercest competitors, especially in Europe.
You can visit Wimdu here.
Kid & Coe
Travelling with kids or entire families can be a challenging task, and these are precisely the kind of customers that Kid & Coe tap. With over 1000 properties that have been tailored to meet the needs of families, Kid & Coe offers a unique and useful alternative to Airbnb.
Its properties feature playrooms, backyards, highchairs, books and toys galore to keep kids entertained for hours, and also provides sitter recommendations if needed. These properties may be small in number, but they sure are a boon for families when it comes to comfortable stress-free vacation rentals.
You can visit Kid & Coe here.
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