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Airbnb alternatives for renting a vacation home

Settle into a unique home away from home, wherever you go.

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Living like a local has never been easier. There are all kinds of sites like Airbnb out there offering you the chance to stay in local homes, quirky places and other unconventional sleeping quarters — all much more exciting than a hotel.

Here are just a few places where you can find your dream accommodation, be it a hilltop villa in Italy, a chic New York City apartment, a traditional ryokan in Japan or a cozy chalet in Whistler.

Airbnb alternatives to check out before booking your next trip.

Vrbo

Vacation Rentals by Owner boasts more than 1 million vacation rentals worldwide.

  • Transportation and attraction maps to better choose your stay.
  • More than 25,000 dog-friendly properties available.
  • See the exact square footage of most rentals.
FlipKey

FlipKey

Part of TripAdvisor Rentals, offers a collection of 300,000 rentals in 11,000 cities.

  • Filter searches by property type and extras, like whether it’s wheelchair accessible, pet-friendly or available to smokers.
  • Top properties feature certificates of excellence.
  • Only private spaces for rent.
FlipKey

Vacasa

Private vacation rentals worldwide, managed by a central team.

  • Every property is professionally cleaned before you arrive.
  • Take a 3D virtual tours before booking to get a sense of the space.
  • Smaller, more curated collection than Airbnb.

Homestay

Live in another culture with a more authentic overnight experience through welcoming hosts.

  • More than 30,000 rooms across 160+ countries.
  • Average prices start at about $30 a room.
  • Get to know your host and make your reservation via video call.
  • Suitable for long-term rentals.

Agoda

AgodaHomes is a collection of apartments, houses, condos and other homey spaces.

  • It uses a 5-star rating system, just like hotels.
  • Get discounts that are exclusive to Agoda.
  • See the distance to popular attractions nearby.

Expedia

After searching by location, filter by Private vacation home to see options similar to Airbnb.

  • Discounted rates for Expedia members.
  • Free cancellation available.
  • See the walking and driving times to popular attractions nearby.
Booking.com

Booking.com

Homes, apartments, lofts and more — up for rent by the owner.

  • Sign up to save 10% on bookings after completing two stays in two years.
  • Read ratings and reviews before you rent.
  • Book rooms, flights, car rentals and transportation.

Home Exchange

Trade spaces in 187 countries with no limit to your swaps!

  • Gain access to more than 400,000 homes.
  • Earn GuestPoints by renting your home for savings on future stays.
  • Choose from a yearly or nightly plan.

Innclusive

A site that emphasizes diversity and inclusivity.

  • Reward system lets you earn money through referrals.
  • Available in 130+ countries.
  • Attend networking events to meet like-minded travelers.

Kid and Coe

The ultimate platform for kid-friendly accommodations throughout the world.

  • Partners with concierge services and baby equipment rental companies to ensure you’ve got what you need.
  • Personally reviewed properties ensure suitability for families.
  • Host or exchange your own home to earn discounts on future stays.

One Fine Stay

Curated abodes with luxurious amenities and a personal greeting on arrival.

  • Exclusive properties that meet high standards.
  • No booking fees at checkout.
  • Enjoy boutique toiletries, quality linens and 24/7 customer support by phone or text.

TripAdvisor Rentals

This user review and advice forum offers thousands of vacation rentals right on its site.

  • Compare vacation homes and hotels in one place.
  • Full refunds on misrepresented properties.
  • Homes, condos, cottages, rural retreats and more.

Tripping

Compare 10 million properties worldwide to save time and money.

  • Save on hotels and other accommodations.
  • Choose from more than 150,000 destinations

Are sites like Airbnb safe?

Yes, sites like Airbnbs are generally safe — as long as you stay with hosts that have a track record of happy guests. Also be sure to use basic street smarts, keeping your wits about you and looking for red flags like a host that doesn’t respond. Most Airbnb alternatives have a verification system so you can be sure that the person you’re staying with has been vetted by the site.

Just like hotels, listings on sites like Airbnb get reviewed by previous guests, which are usually clearly displayed on each listing. For example, on this listing on Homestay, the host has an average of 5/5 based on 39 reviews. The green badge on the upper right corner means the host is verified by the company. When looking for a place to stay, find a host that has a higher number of reviews – it will also likely mean they’re a more experienced host.

HomestayListingExample

Similar to the green badge used by Homestay, Airbnb has “super hosts”, who have received five stars from at least 80% of their guests.

It’s also recommended to check the area that you’re staying in. Check online to see how far the stay is from the attractions you’d like to visit and check out Google Maps’ street view function to get a feel for what the local area is like.

Are vacation rentals safe during COVID-19?

Vacation rentals are generally safe to stay in during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as you’re following CDC social distancing guidelines. For extra precaution, look for rentals that offer self check-in, to avoid physical interaction with the host.

Vrbo is one of the best options for safe vacation rentals during COVID-19, because it provides hosts with a guide for enhanced cleaning protocols, including step-by-step instructions for sanitizing between guests.

If you’re worried about the safety of a vacation rental during COVID-19, check the policies posted online by each provider to understand exactly how they’re responding to the pandemic.

How do I pay?

Most sites act as a middleman between the guest and host and allow you to pay for your stay through their platform. This is also the safest way to pay, as it will offer a secure payment system and you’ll get a confirmation screen or email stating you’ve paid.

Like hotels, some prefer you pay upfront when you make the booking, while others you’ll pay for closer to your stay date.

When you pay upfront, it may take a day or two to process your booking as the host needs to accept your request to stay before your card is charged.

Planning a trip? Check out these deals from Airbnb alternatives

VrboVrbo

US vacation rentals starting under $50 per night

Last verified

TurnKeyTurnKey

10% off MidWeek stays

T&Cs apply

Last verified

Coupon code ends

TurnKeyTurnKey

10% off on stays of 7+ nights

Stays must be booked and completed 9/8/20 - 12/21/201/2020.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Bottom line

Each site like Airbnb has its own distinct flavor, whether you’re looking for entire vacation homes or just a room to borrow. After securing a spot to rest your head, find the cheapest deals on flights.

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