Airbnb is one of the most popular ways for travelers to experience a new city. Travelers can rent a variety of Airbnb properties around the world allowing them to feel a destination more thoroughly.
Research has found that on any given night, there are 2 million people staying in Airbnb properties across the globe. The company’s popularity has made it a go-to marketplace for travelers.
Airbnb’s declining popularity offering great competitor alternatives
But Airbnb does have its drawbacks. Rising accommodation costs, added fees, and other issues have turned some travelers away from the brand.
Luckily, Airbnb is not the only company that organizes lodging, homestays, and vacation experiences.
There are several Airbnb alternatives that travelers seek out for a variety of reasons. Whether it is for an extended trip or a short stay, these 15 competitor alternatives to Airbnb are worth checking out before your next holiday.
Here’s our recommended list of alternatives, leading up to our #1 choice
VacayHero is an easy name to remember when it comes to accommodation rentals. The company has over 13,000 properties located in the United States. It is easy to book a high-quality property in a desirable location using the website.
Formerly known as Zaranga – who were the ad wizards behind that one – VacayHero takes payments through its website. It also takes the cleaning and service fees when the reservation is taken.
These add-on fees are one thing that drive travelers crazy when staying with Airbnb and other likeminded brands. VacayHero works hard to make your trip hassle-free. With its main properties in the states of Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming, you can land great accommodation in a cool city.
Ten years ago, before the rise of Airbnb and other accommodation companies, Couchsurfing was all the rage. Travelers could simply book a homeowner’s couch, or extra bed, and stay in their home while traversing the globe.
CouchSurfing is an incredibly cost-effective way to see the world. It provides travelers with a place to sleep for a low price while visiting amazing landmarks on dream holidays. In some cases, the homeowner you stay with can be your personal tour guide.
Experts and experienced couch surfers claim you can see the world on a small accommodation budget by using the Couchsurfing website. It is hard to argue with their claims, especially if you don’t mind sleeping on someone’s sofa.
Outdoorsy connects travelers with RV and campervan owners. It isn’t your typically peer-to-peer accommodation rental company; but if you are looking for something a bit different, then it may be perfect for you.
You can think of Outdoorsy as an Airbnb for RV and campervans. If driving your rental property around to various campsites and cooking for yourself sounds fun, then you should give Outdoorsy a try. Regular users rave about the easy to use mobile app that makes booking RVs and campervans a breeze.
Wimdu has worked hard to develop the European market for property rentals. This has led to the company securing over 300,000 properties and locations in many of the 50 European countries.
In all, Wimdu claims to have properties in 100 countries worldwide, making it possible to find short-term accommodation wherever you roam.
The company works very much like Airbnb when booking and connecting with the property host. Wimdu holds payments in escrow until the stay is complete.
It has been noted on customer review websites that Wimdu can be hit and miss with the properties and the items listed within the accommodation.
As the name suggests, OneFineStay offers some gorgeous properties to travelers. If CouchSurfing is the low end of accommodation, then OneFineStay is the high end.
The company provides travelers with luxury venues to live in while on vacation. Many of the properties go for $1,000 or more a night.
OneFineStay operates in five cities currently: London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and Rome. So, if you want a travel experience to showoff via Instagram, book a property with OneFineStay and live it up in luxury.
10. Luxury Retreats
If you want to feel like a celebrity that has jet off to an exclusive vacation destination, then Luxury Retreats is your brand. Started in 1999 in Montreal, Canada, Luxury Retreats has grown from one property to more than 4,000.
Whether it is a beach holiday or trip to a famous city, you can find breathtaking accommodation through the Luxury Retreats’ website.
Not only can you get an unbelievable property, but you also receive 24/7 personal concierge service and full-service guest support.
The company’s properties are in ideal travel locations including the Caribbean, Central America, South Africa, New Zealand, North America, Europe, and southeast Asia.
9. Go With Oh
Go With Oh is a smaller peer-to-peer rental company with properties in only 24 cities in Europe. The company’s small number of properties means it can manage them far better than larger brands working within the industry.
The company claims that each property receives a visit from a Go With Oh representative. This gives the company a first-hand experience with the property that Airbnb and others do not. It is an element of quality control many peer-to-peer services lacks.
Go With Oh offers a low-price guarantee to attract customers. It also does not charge commissions or booking fees, which can turn off travelers from booking with Airbnb competitor websites.
HomeAway has a large catalogue of rental properties to select from. Its plethora of choice makes it easy to find a great looking apartment in the city you travel to. The company’s website has several small apartments in its database making it perfect for single or couple travelers.
HomeAway is the parent company of a few Airbnb rivals – including one we will get to later on.
The company regularly ranks near the top for vacation rental websites. HomeAway has a variety of properties from luxury locations to simple apartments in major cities.
The company boasts over 1 million properties in 190 countries around the world.
But unlike Airbnb, HomeAway’s figures are culled from the various accommodation rental brands it owns. Still, HomeAway offers travelers a great alternative to Airbnb.
One of the biggest problems when it comes to vacation rental websites is accountability. Some brands pop up, take your money, and are absent once problems occur.
FlipKey doesn’t have that issue, or at least, it shouldn’t. FlipKey is owned by TripAdvisor giving it a solid backing.
FlipKey has 300,000 rental properties around the world in 11,000 cities.
When looking for a property on the Flipkey website, you can set
Have you ever heard of VRBO? No, well neither had I until researching this article. VRBO has been around since 1996. It was founded more than a decade before Airbnb, but for most travelers, it isn’t the first name they think of in travel accommodation.
The company is owned by HomeAway, but it has enough of its own quirks that it is different. VRBO specializes in longer stays and is perfect for families. It is also a good option for groups of friends traveling together.
Travelers can select from the more than 1 million properties around the world through the VRBO website.
One of the drawbacks to VRBO is the booking fee it charges guests. The added booking fee can turn some guests off and influence them to select another rental option.
VRBO has been around for a long time but it isn’t as popular as Airbnb. Although it does some things right, it just cannot get over the hump and be on par with its rival.
Still, VRBO is worth searching for a great property you won’t find on other competitor’s websites.
HomeToGo simply integrates many vacation rental companies into its own easy to use search platform. Many of the companies on this list have properties featured on the platform, making it the largest search database in the world.
How big is HomeToGo?
You will find over 15 million properties in 200 countries through the platform. While HomeToGo just aggregates properties and doesn’t own them, it is still a great vehicle to use when searching for low priced accommodation.
Formed in 2009 by experienced start-up executives in San Francisco, Tripping is an Airbnb alternative that culls together properties through its search engine. Unlike HomeToGo, Tripping allows users an on-site booking feature to quickly snatch a property.
Tripping has partnered with Booking.com and several other top Airbnb alternatives.
Thanks to the cooperation it has with Airbnb competitor brands, Tripping claims to give users 8 million vacation rental properties to choose from.
HouseTrip is said to be the “Airbnb of Europe” and people traveling the continent are using the website for all their accommodation rental needs.
It has properties in some vacation locations Airbnb is not located due to strict tourism rules. Due to this, HouseTrip gives travelers great accommodation in must-visit locales.
Their tight quality control and overseeing of properties makes certain that each rental is in top shape. HouseTrip is relatively new, but it has made a name for itself with European travelers already.
Booking.com is great for searching vacation properties as you can search for hotels or apartments quickly.
You are not stuck with selecting from just one type of accommodation, and for that reason, Booking.com is high on this list.
Not only does Booking.com have a great selection of properties, but the prices are competitive. It isn’t difficult to find a low price on a great place to stay.
The hugely popular Homestay provides travelers with a real
Homestay has properties in over 150 countries and visitors can see the world while staying with real locals.
Despite properties being all over the world, they are not as prevalent in certain cities. Homestay accommodation is exclusive as hosts welcome travelers into their homes.
You are not just paying for a place to stay, but you are booking a unique experience that other travelers miss out on.
One of the best parts about Homestay is the free breakfast included in bookings. This not only saves you serious cash as eating out adds up, but it gives you a chance to sample local foods.
Homestay offers travelers a trip they won’t forget. Not because of the sites they will see or activities they will do, but due to the local flavor of staying with a host on vacation.
What’s YOUR opinion?
We all tend to get so involved in becoming loyal to a brand we are familiar with. But my advice is to look out for YOUR best interest first. Some brands started out great, such as Airbnb.
But once some of these corporations become really big, customer service starts slipping in the process. The company simply becomes too big for its own self!
As customers, we get to a point where we are no longer persons. Instead, we become a number in a big system, that only translates to profit potential for a company.
I would say that today’s Homestay is where Airbnb was when they first started. Hopefully, Homestay will continue to operate that way.
Please share your opinion below!