7 Best Airbnb Competitors to Turn to When Airbnb is Booked

Airbnb Competitors & Alternatives 2020

I’m a longtime fan of Airbnb, and still sometimes book with them. But with Airbnb’s frequent unwillingness to provide decent customer service and their recent hidden camera problems, I always take a look at all of my options before booking!

In addition, as Airbnb’s popularity has exploded in the past couple of years, the best rentals are often booked up.. Turns out there’s quite a few alternatives to Airbnb, from luxury vacation rental sites, to budget friendly options like housesitting. Stay away from the scammy rental sites out there, and book your next vacation with one of these:

Best Airbnb Competitors Quick Comparison Chart:

Airbnb AlternativeBest ForPrice Range 

Flipkey
Families, couples, singles, business travelers $ - $$$

Homeaway/ VRBO
Families, couples, singles, business travelers$ - $$$

Booking.com
All travelers!$ - $$$

Love Home Swap
Families, Couples$

Kid & Coe
Families$$ - $$$

Housesitting
Couples, flexible travelers$

Flipkey

Flipkey Airbnb Competitor

Flipkey is TripAdvisor’s vacation rental site, so in addition to details and reviews of each property, they’ve integrated their lists and reviews of tourist attractions. Each property listing includes a list of the attractions that the rental is close to! You’ll find a good variety of rentals worldwide, from budget conscious to high end. Compared to Airbnb, they’re a little lighter in their selection of rentals in less touristy areas, but worth checking out unless you’re headed somewhere truly obscure.

Homeaway & VRBO

Homeaway and VRBO vacation rentals

Homeaway and VRBO are sister websites, and very similar, but you may find slightly different rental listings on each. They’re both similar to Flipkey, with a nice selection of rentals around the world, and some surprisingly reasonable prices (less than $200 a night for an apartment in Paris? yes please!). If you’re a fan of renting private homes and apartments on Airbnb, you should definitely consider this Airbnb competitor.

Booking.com

So you’re probably familiar with Booking.com as a hotel booking site, but did you know they offer vacation rentals as well? If you’re on the fence, you can choose to see results for both in your search, making it easier to find the best deal. A quick search for last minute Tokyo stays showed some sky high hotel prices, but a number of reasonably priced apartments still available. The variety and ability to compare with hotels makes Booking.com one of my go-to Airbnb competitors.

Love Home Swap

Love Home Swap offers up an interesting twist among Airbnb alternatives: join a community willing to “swap” homes for vacation. You stay at their home or apartment, and they stay at yours. Granted, you’ll probably need to be in a desirable area to make this work, but the perks are huge, given how much you’d pay to rent a home. If you can’t get your vacation planning to line up, you can also swap for points, meaning that you let a family stay at your home (and maybe head to the in-laws for a week), accruing points that can be used towards a future stay at someone’s home.

Kid & Coe

Kid & Coe, as the name implies, caters specifically to travelers with children. It’s a higher end vacation rental site, with a curated selection of homes that already have the necessities that parents might stress over when traveling. Think high chairs, cribs, and safe, kid friendly neighborhoods. The selection is on the pricey side, but if you’ve got the funds, it’s a fantastic Airbnb alternative for parents.

Housesitting

Housesitting requires some flexibility, along with responsibility, as many homeowners are looking for someone to care for their pets. But it’s an awesome way to stay in home and areas that you could never afford to otherwise. Trusted Housesitters is one of the major reputable housesitting sites. You’ll pay a yearly membership fee, and can apply to as many housesits around the world as you’d like! Just keep in mind that the timing of your vacation/housesit revolves around the homeowner, and you’ll have to be quick to snag the best housesits.

Hotels!

Yeah, yeah, I get it. Airbnbs and hotels are often very different experiences. But I more frequently find myself reconsidering vacation rentals lately for a number of reasons.

Oftentimes hotels are simply a better deal. Now that cities are aggressively taxing vacation rentals, taxes plus the platform and cleaning fees can tack on an additional 25%+ a night. A nice hotel is often actually cheaper than a comparable rental.

There’s also some legitimate ethical and legal concerns with short term rentals. Even if you don’t have reason to believe the rental is negatively affecting the local housing market or creating frustrations for neighbors, many rental sites don’t do a great job of policing legal rentals. Finding out halfway through your vacation that your rental is illegal isn’t exactly a formula for a stress-free vacation.

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