With 60 million users, 600,000 hosts, and 2 million properties to choose from, Airbnb really is incredible. But it’s not perfect, either. Sometimes all the properties in your budget will be booked up. Other times, you may not find exactly what you’re looking for.
In these cases, rather than reverting back to a characterless hotel, try one of these Airbnb alternatives. These alternatives range from direct competitors, to smaller sites catering to a tiny niche. Between these, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.
As a word of caution, when using most of these sites, the onus is on you to communicate with the host. Before making a booking, read the reviews for the accommodation carefully, and ensure you are completely clear what to expect when you arrive. If the accommodation doesn’t have any reviews, proceed with care. But if it does have good reviews, chances are you’ll have an amazing time!
Tripping.com will save you hours of time by displaying results from several Airbnb alternatives at once. You’re able to search millions of listings on sites like 9Flats, HomeAway, Roomorama, TravelKeys, and many more, and view matching properties on a single page.
Unfortunately, Airbnb listings aren’t displayed on Tripping.com, as there’s no public API available yet, but that may change soon. When you click on a listing you like, Tripping.com will direct you to the correct site, where you can find more information, read reviews, and make a booking.
Homestay is essentially what Airbnb was when it started out. Instead of offering rooms and apartments, HomeStay offers you the experience of staying with a local, in their own home. You can even get to know your host before arriving via video chats and instant messaging. It’s the perfect way to turn a normal vacation into an adventure.
Not only does this offer amazing value for money, but you can also experience an entirely different side to a location that you wouldn’t normally see, while making friends in the process.
With around 1000 properties, Kid&Coe is scarcely a replacement for Airbnb, but it does deserve a special mention. Each of these beautiful properties has been hand-picked to ensure it’s absolutely perfect for families. There will be books and toys galore, highchairs, cribs, gardens. The works.
Having a selection of kid-ready houses in many of the worlds most visited cities will be a godsend to many families. Especially those with 4+ people to please. In essence, Kid&Coe is a shortcut to spending far less time sifting through hundreds of property listings, only to realize none of them are suitable for kids.
This European alternative to Airbnb offers half a million listings, with two advantages over Airbnb. First, the price displayed is the price you pay. There are no hidden fees and services charges.
Second, you have the chance to pay in cash on arrival (provided that option has been activated by the host) after paying a small deposit on the site. Although the catalogue of properties is smaller than Airbnb’s, the quality of listings, and number of reviews make 9Flats a great choice for finding your next vacation rental.
With over a million listings in 190 countries, HomeAway is probably Airbnb’s biggest competitor, offering a wide range of property rentals. Like Airbnb, the onus is on you to communicate with the property owner. With this in mind, only make bookings with listings that have positive reviews, and keep in mind what HomeAway offers as part of its guarantee. The site does differ in a couple of ways, though.
First, HomeAway does not offer single rooms to rent. Hosts are only allowed to rent out their entire house, condo, bungalow, mansion, or villa. Second, the service fee charged by HomeAway is around 6%, whereas Airbnb charges anywhere between 6–12%.
FlipKey is a vacation rental site owned by TripAdvisor. With 300,000 rentals across 1100 cities, there’s plenty of choice. These can all be filtered with a range of search parameters. Plus, a very good number of listings have high quality, detailed reviews making it even easier for you to find the perfect vacation rental.
What’s more, FlipKey vets all of its hosts to make sure no one has any dishonest intensions. Although those kind of cases are rare, the limited vetting procedures on some sites can put some people off.
Behomm is an exclusive global exchange site for creatives who love to travel. “You stay at my home for free while I stay at yours”. If your host is up for it, you can also stay at their home for free while they’re there, too.
There’s a catch, though. To join this 2400 member community, you not only need to be invited, but you also need to have an absolutely stunning house to exchange. If you are lucky enough to be invited, you get to try out the service for free for the first year. After that, it’s €95 per year. To try to get invited by one of the founders, complete this form.
Roomorama has been in business since 2009, and now has hundreds of thousands of properties available for short-term and long-term lets around the world.
Like FlipKey, Roomorama puts emphasis on safety and security, verifying its hosts by requesting ID, etc. All bookings made through the site are processed through Roomorama’s secure fraud-prevention system.
Another (primarily) European alternative to Airbnb, Wimdu was started in 2011, and has continued to grow since. With 300,000 properties across 2000 cities, it’s definitely worth browsing.
The site offers different levels of quality checks, so you can have confidence that you’re getting what you pay for. Thousands of these listings have even been checked in person. For extra piece of mind, there’s also 24/7 support on hand in case you need any assistance, as well as free insurance policies (unavailable in North America).
Part of the HomeAway family of websites, VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is another quality Airbnb alternative. With around 250,000 listings, and average floor space of 1850 sq. feet, this is a great site for anyone looking for a larger property (especially in the US).
Around 10% of VRBO’s listings are also dog-friendly, with plenty of choice if you’re looking for a listing that’s equipped with amenities for babies and families.
Although TravelMob lists properties from all over the world, it’s best if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Asia. In fact, it’s probably the best site bar none for finding somewhere in Asia, whatever your budget.
Offering both short and long-term lets, TravelMob allows you to search either for entire homes and apartments, or private rooms within a shared property. As with all the other sites though, speak with the host first, and only book properties with positive reviews.
Each property (limited to London, LA, New York, Paris, and Rome) listed on OneFineStay is hand-picked, described, and photographed by one of the company’s trained staff members. If you have any questions, there is always someone on hand to provide an answer.
The criteria to be included on OneFineStay is quite simple. The property must be extraordinary. Naturally, this is a site aimed at those with a healthy budget looking for something a bit more exclusive. This means the service is that much better, with OneFineStay greeting you on arrival, lending you an iPhone with local sim and data, and ensuring your bathroom is kept stocked up.
For other upmarket alternatives to Airbnb, check out Oasis Collections and Luxury Retreats.
Where Will You be Staying?
If Airbnb just isn’t coming up trumps, or if you just want to try a new site, this list should have you covered, no matter how tight your travel budget.
Whether you want to stay in a beautiful mansion, or share a hut with locals in a remote village, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for with a little time spent on these sites.
That’ll leave you with tons more time to plan your trip, and book the best value flights. Enjoy!
Which of these Airbnb alternatives are you most tempted to try first?