Who doesn’t love to travel? Unexplored terrain. Unexpected adventures. Fabulous cuisine. And, of course, above all else, the possibility of finding a new home in a new land, even if that’s only for a few days/weeks! Usually, we decide on what this new home away from home should look like many weeks (sometimes months) before we travel, mainly through online searches. While many of you might swear by AirBnB, travel planning is important and it is always good to keep other options in mind. So, let’s take a look at five equally competent alternatives to AirBnB.
Booking.com has had a long-term reputation for making online hotel bookings simple. It is a protected site, with has an easy-to-use interface and it offers plenty of options. The great news is apartments and vacation rentals (the main forte of AirBnB) have are also available on this site, so you can get an apartment/place to yourself, minus the interaction with the host, but with the check-in process of a hotel. They really have a brilliant filtering system in place, so you can save valuable time.
We recommend it because – you get better properties at better prices.
HomeAway’s forte lies in the VR (vacation rental) domain. They are known for giving away whole houses on rentals for big groups – all you need to do is sign a rental agreement. There’s a lot of range in terms of the houses HomeAway can provide. Most popularly, this site is known to have done a great job renting out cabins, condos, villas, barns, farmhouses and even castles. HomeAway would be a good option if you’re looking to plan a getaway in the US, UK, Europe, Singapore, New Zealand or Australia. The interface is similar to that of AirBnB’s in that you can speak directly to owners and manage all your bookings in one interface.
We recommend it because – their offerings can fit pretty much any kind of destination, occasion or budget.
Much like HomeAway, Flipkey calls itself a “vacation rental marketplace” that houses over 300,000 properties on its site. Owned by TripAdvisor, Flipkey is one of AirBnB’s main competitors because it is actually similar to Airbnb in utility, but offers the useful feature of verified guest reviews and property owners (verified by FlipKey staff). Flipkey also offers payment protection, so you should ideally communicate and transact with owners only through your rental Inbox, to avoid mishaps in payment. The property profiles on this site are extensively detailed (just like AirBnB) – you can find out the number of bed/bathrooms and amenities available, and go through detailed descriptions of the space along with photographs and check weekly availability. You can filter the listings based on parameters such as low-cost, family-friendly, luxury and even by the type of trip you’re hoping to embark on.
We recommend it because – you get the perks of AirBnB and can also stay well-informed through traveler reviews that are verified.
If you’re a luxurious traveller, then you will find the perfect home for yourself through Third Home because they specialize in high-end property rentals – penthouses, mansions and luxury villas! If budget isn’t an issue and you simply want to find a place that sparks tons of joy, then you’re bound to find really classy properties with very high standards on this platform. And, if you think you’ll only find exorbitant listings on the site, think again! The prices are far more reasonable than you might expect, with some glamorous rentals listed at just $200 per person per night.
We recommend it because – once you’re on Third Home, you know you will only find the best of the best, and at a desirable location!
Popularly recognized as the European competitor to AirBnB, 9flats lets people lease or rent vacation rentals, apartment rentals, home stays, hostel beds and hotel rooms. Its forte is its vast collection of whole apartments on rent. When you go through 9flats, you will rarely find an option to rent just a room in someone’s apartment. So, if you are planning a group getaway, this site is very helpful! Every apartment header tells you right away how many people can fit into the accommodation and what the requirement is for minimum number of nights. You can tell which listings are appropriate for you from a quick glance. This site has approximately 200,000 listings to choose from and does not charge booking fees. Locations, however, can be a bit limited, at times.
We recommend it because – really good website design, and they have a section for “all-star hosts” who come with high recommendations from renters.