Airbnb may be the undisputed king of vacation rentals, but it’s certainly not the only one. Not only was Airbnb the first service to make renting and listing short-term vacation rentals user-friendly and intuitive, but they also had the booking process down to an art.
Over time, the service has become somewhat a victim of its own success. The site is becoming quite mainstream making it a hassle to book a rental. Also, Airbnb often works out more expensive because the rates are higher than they were before. At busy times, you may not find your ideal property as they can book out a long time in advance.
If you can’t find the perfect vacation rental, here are some Airbnb alternatives that will make your next getaway memorable.
Vrbo is a vacation homes platform dating back to 1995, long before there was Airbnb. The significant difference between Vrbo and Airbnb is that Vrbo exclusively lists entire properties like houses and larger apartments.
If you need a little extra space for large families, reunions or celebrations, Vrbo is the ideal site for you to find your next vacation rental. Plus, you never have to share a space with hosts or other guests.
You can browse properties according to type, which includes condos, villas, cabins, houses and small properties too. Alternatively, you can search for a specific property ID or destination.
You will be asked for the number of adults and kids, your dates of stay, and whether you’re bringing pets along. From here, you can filter the search results based on your budget, specific amenities, number of bedrooms, and more.
An interactive map is included that shows where each property is located in relation to other listings. If you want to find out more about the property before booking, you can always contact the owner or read through reviews left by other guests.
For instant bookings, you can use the Instant Confirmation feature so that you don’t have to wait for the owner’s approval. Vrbo also offers a Book with Confidence Guarantee with access to a team of re-booking specialists in case the owner cancels at the last minute, and payment protection against fraudulent listings.
If you’re looking for some travel inspiration, FlipKey is one of the sites similar to Airbnb that provides you with domestic and international offerings.
Each property profile on FlipKey details everything from descriptions of the space to the number of beds/bathrooms, amenities, management information and weekly availability.
You can easily browse listings based on parameters such as luxury, family-friendliness, cost, or even by the type of trip you want to embark on.
The platform lists properties in locations across the world, which you’ll see as you search through the listings on the homepage. A TripAdvisor rating is included along with the average owner response time, making it easier for you to decide on a destination.
You can browse featured and trending destinations or look through its Trip Ideas page with themes like National Park Trips, Honeymoon Destinations or Girlfriend Getaways.
While FlipKey isn’t as popular as Airbnb and Vrbo, it’s got a growing inventory with exposure to more than 160 countries. Plus, you can score a good deal on your travels if you’ll carry your pet along and want to find pet-friendly accommodations.
However, FlipKey doesn’t provide dormitories, so if you’re looking for hostels or communes, you won’t find them on this site.
OneFineStay is ideal for travelers seeking a five-star experience and amenities while enjoying the flexibility and space of a vacation rental.
The London-based company displays over 10,000 luxury vacation rental homes but doesn’t own the properties. Instead, they manage the entire booking process and guest stay.
The luxury properties are located in resort destinations and major cities across the world. However, what makes OneFineStay different from Airbnb is its hospitality and 24/7 concierge service, which ensures you will be well taken care of during your holiday.
OneFineStay has high standards for what qualifies as a suitable place, which is why it prides itself on offering unparalleled luxury and guest experiences. However, you can expect to pay significantly more for the extra luxuries and services.
If you don’t mind splurging a little for the perfect vacation rental, try what OneFineStay has to offer.
4. Kid & Coe
Any parent or caretaker knows that if you’re traveling with young children, you can’t have a relaxing holiday if they’re not happy.
Kid & Coe aims to make children and their parents enjoy their vacation by offering private homes, hotel listings and home swaps geared thoughtfully towards families.
The selection of properties on their site is comfortable and stylish with kid-friendly items such as cribs, books, strollers, beach gear, toys, swing sets and highchairs. You can search for specific amenities such as bed rails, a bathtub, stair gates, and pool gates that cater to different ages of people in your travel group.
With each residence, you’ll find detailed notes to guide your choice. Extra perks include nanny services, an optional babysitter or personal chef services on request. Most hosts also list out child-friendly restaurants, stores, and activities near the property.
If you’re struggling to find a place that’s suitable for kids, you can’t miss one at Kid & Coe. Plus, you can swap your property with someone else and travel unlimited to countryside cabins, city townhouses, and beachfront cabanas.
While house exchanges are a family-friendly option, there are a few drawbacks like breakages and the costs involved in getting your home “exchange ready”. It’s also not easy to find the right family to swap within similar house categories at the right time.
5. Simply Owners
Simply Owners is a UK-based site that allows you to book a property directly with its owner without any hidden costs or booking fees. All owners are verified and payment protection is added to all bookings to prevent fraud.
The site specializes in holiday vacation rentals in idyllic locations in England, across Europe and some in the Caribbean too.
If you already know what you’re looking for, you can enter your preferred check-in and check-out dates on the site and search based on property ID or your destination.
Once you pick out a location, you’ll be taken to a destination page with a brief description, an interactive map and detailed overview of local attractions. You can filter your search further to winnow down the results based on property type, price range, specific amenities, and capacity.
Simply Owners also provides wheelchair-friendly options so that you (or a loved one) can have a wonderful holiday that you might otherwise not be able to take.
You can also message the owner directly, access their contact information, and read reviews to know more about other travelers’ experiences at your chosen destination.
Unlike other Airbnb alternatives listed here, Outdoorsy’s business model is the most intriguing. Instead of renting out short-term vacation rentals and properties, the site lists out caravans and RVs.
For budget travelers, Outdoorsy offers an all-in-one price that allows you to travel in your selected RV and stay in it. Plus, the caravans are pretty spacious and the listings are available worldwide.
There are no hidden fees or middlemen on Outdoorsy as the property listings belong to actual owners who rent them out when they’re not in use.
Whether you’re going on a cross-country road trip or you just want to discover different places, Outdoorsy is the perfect choice for you. The app also offers 24/7 support and insurance so you can rent a vehicle that’s big enough for your family.
If you have a pet, filter for pet-friendly rentals in your search so you can find the perfect vehicle to hop between campsites.
Get Inspired for Your Next Getaway
Whether you’re planning a trip to one of the world’s best beaches or looking for a home with an infinity pool, these Airbnb alternatives will help you find your ideal vacation rental.
Check out our guide on the best smartphone accessories for traveling that’ll ensure you capture all the memorable moments during your vacation. If you plan to travel by flight, turn to our guide on how to use Google Flights for insights into the best flight prices.
Make sure you’re aware of the latest COVID-19 travel guidelines, rules and restrictions in your chosen destination.