Although Airbnb has become the worldwide reference vacation home rentals and home sharing, it is not the only one. In fact, there are many websites that offer all types of accommodation in private homes and apartments. If you are more of an adventurer or prefer to stay with full comfort, in this article we tell you what are the best alternatives to Airbnb to have the best stay at the best price.
Holidu is a particular platform: it is a meta-search engine that compares rental housing from more than two hundred different portals, including Airbnb, Booking or Housetrip, and not only tells you what are the cheapest options for different accommodations, but finds the same houses advertised on different websites and shows you where can you find the cheapest offer. Holidu compares both large websites and lesser-known local offers. According to its creators, you can save up to 55% on the same rental and travel dates. You can check it out here
HomeAway has become Airbnb's biggest rival. It began with home vacation rentals and it has grown exponentially in recent years, almost to surpass its competitor. The main difference is; they do not have the option of renting a sole room, instead, you rent the whole house. The advantage is that it has millions of housing ads in nearly 200 countries and it offers ranges from normal and ordinary apartments to super-luxury mansions or even eco-homes built in trees.
Also, unlike Airbnb, whose accommodations are mainly located in cities and resorts, HomeAway focuses more in remote and quiet areas for relaxing vacations. They go under the name of Vrbo in some countries, you can see how it works here.
Couchsurfing is undoubtedly the preferred option for backpackers and alternative travelers around the world since it allows you to stay for free in local homes when you travel to any country. This platform is based on the philosophy of sharing experiences and learning from the culture of the place you travel to. Until recently it was totally free, but due to financial problems the web now requires an annual subscription. However, it only costs $40 per year and only to community members from developed countries.
In addition, Couchsurfing also allows you to stay and do activities with travelers and locals, so it is one of the best options for cultural immersion when you want to know the world. Here you have the link to their website.
Those who have a pet will know: thinking about what to do with the furry family member when holidays come around becomes a headache every year. If you don't want to (or can't) give up your pet during your holidays, HotDogHolidays is your platform: it's a portal where you'll only find accommodations which accept pets. It has a considerably wide range of more than 275,000 hotels, aparthotels, rural houses and apartments in several European countries and countries such as Morocco or Cuba. If you sign up for their newsletter, they’ll also send you a guide to pet-friendly beaches and activities. You can book here
Flipkey, owned by the giant Trip Advisor, is another platform with thousands of options for hosting, with a presence in more than 180 countries. Its website includes accurate and extensive information about the properties they offer, including an advanced search filter to find exactly the type of accommodation you're looking for; whether you're interested in a luxury apartment, one with a sea view or in which area of the city you want it to be. In addition, it has apartments verified by the staff of Flipkey and have a strict Payment Protection, if it's a scam or the house is not what it was promised, they will give you a full refund of your stay. You can check it out here
Homestay, which many compare to Airbnb in its early days, is another booming platform. It focuses on offering rooms in the homes of the hosts and enhances the exchange between the traveler and the host; for example, breakfast is usually included in the reservation, which also facilitates interactions with the owners of the home. In addition, Homestay puts a lot of effort in the customer service section to offer an optimal experience to its users, an aspect that has been greatly affected at Airbnb due to its excessive growth.
In that sense, it allows transactions outside the platform between the host and guest, unlike the giant of home sharing, which imposes very strict rules on the payment of services. You can book your stay here
Although Booking was originally a hotel booking website and does not include private homes, it is worth mentioning for its huge offer of apartments and homes, with unbeatable prices thanks to the large amount of discounts and promotions it offers. In addition, this site does not charge you for the reservations made in advance, so you can cancel at any time, and does not make you pay management fees, cleaning and other extras that Airbnb does include, so if you are looking for a place to stay and forget about everything, Booking is one of the most practical and economical options for the most comfortable travelers. For promotions and bookings go here