10 Awesome Airbnb Alternatives
If you've only heard of one Airbnb competitor, it's probably Vrbo. It's been around longer than Airbnb, offering vacation homes since 1995. And got a big boost by joining forces with Expedia in 2015. Vrbo differs from Airbnb in that there are no hosting experiences—no renting of rooms in someone's home. Vrbo's nearly two million listings all across the globe are strictly for renting the entire place for yourself. And so Vrbo's properties are often bigger and better suited for groups or families.
You might only think of Booking.com for finding hotels. That's how the site began, and it's still a great resource for hotel stays, but they've branched out into apartment and home rentals. And rather than dealing with the host directly as you do with Airbnb, Booking.com Apartments has more hotel-like reservation and check-in systems, as many of the properties listed are run by management companies.
Agoda Homes is similar to Airbnb in that homeowners list the properties, and you contact them to make arrangements. But different in that Agoda only offers entire homes or apartments. And Agoda has discounts for solo travelers. The site has more than a million properties across the globe, with lots of higher-end homes such as villas and exclusive bungalows to choose from.
The Plum Guide
Points if you guessed that the "plum" part of the Plum Guide doesn't refer to the fruit but the adjective meaning "highly desired." This site only accepts about 5% of homes that potential hosts submit. The properties that make the cut are highly vetted. So, for example, the internet speed, linens, shower pressure, and overall cleanliness are all exactly as listed. And Plum isn’t just for high-end homes; there are lots of budget offerings as well.
Long gone are the days when TripAdvisor was just about advising on trips. Over 800,000 properties located in countries around the world are listed on the site. In terms of booking a property, TripAdvisor shares more similarities with Booking.com Apartments than Airbnb. Though TripAdvisor Rentals can get slightly confusing as the rentals are managed by their subsidiary Flipkey and are found on a few different websites.
Kid and Coe
It's right there in the name—Kid and Coe caters to family travel. So, you'll find lots of properties that are set up to receive families with children; toys, cribs, highchairs, strollers, and children's books are common features found at properties. Plus, options like hiring nannies and babysitters during your stay. The site offers property rentals, hotels, and even home swaps.
Unlike Airbnb, Sonder doesn't allow homeowners to list properties; Sonder owns all of the properties it lists. So, renting a home or an apartment is much closer to a hotel experience, with hotel-level standards for things like bedding, towels, WiFi, coffee, and more. Most of Sonder's properties are in major U.S. cities, with some expansion to international destinations including Rome, Dublin, London, and Toronto.
Homestay is much closer to the original idea of Airbnb: you rent out a room in someone's home (recall that the "Air" in Airbnb references an air mattress). So, every listing on the Homestay site is a true hosted experience. If you're into that, it's a great way to immerse yourself in local culture. And often a cheaper option than most. If you want your own space, you'll probably steer clear of this one.
It's not hard to figure out what Home Exchange is for. It's mostly for reciprocal "you come to my home and I go to yours" exchanges. But you can also just book a property as you would with most other rental sites. Though you do pay for the privilege of connecting with people who want to swap homes—there's an annual fee of $150 to become a member on the site.
Owned by AccorHotels, OneFineStay caters to upscale travelers looking for luxury vacation rentals. They've got around 10,000 properties all around the world, mostly in international cities including New York, Los Angeles, London, Rome, and Paris. Plus, you can also find them in enviable vacation destinations such as the Caribbean and on Pacific islands from Hawaii to Bali. While many of OneFineStay’s rentals are costly, there are also accommodations for budget travelers.
Didn’t know there are so many sites like Airbnb? While Airbnb is awesome, maybe the next time you’re looking for a vacation home rental you’ll consider that you have lots of other options.
Written by William McCleary for Knockaround.