Best Airbnb Alternatives for Vacation Rentals
Last week, comedian Caleb Hearon took to Twitter to express his displeasure with Airbnb bluntly, stating , “I’m done with Airbnb because these bastards now have curfews, quiet hours and household to-do lists. I will be at the HOTEL. The tweet generated a lot of buzz (33,000 retweets and typed), with actress Toni Newsom chiming in, saying , “The last [Airbnb] I stayed at, the owner turned down my delivery man, citing their ‘no guests’ policy.” . I’m still not feeling well,” and writer Casey St. Onge recounted how her Airbnb host asked her to catch a runaway cat for her.
Systemic criticism of Airbnb (and its impact on local real estate markets ) is nothing new, but increasingly, hidden booking fees, unreasonable rules, and cleaning requirements are making the service less rewarding for renters than it used to be, and the same is true. for its main competitors such as Vrbo, which has the same high costs. But despite their ubiquity, Airbnb and its ilk are not the only game in town. Here are three booking options to consider the next time you’re planning a trip.
Booking a direct holiday rental . Booking Direct Vacation Rentals is a third-party provider that connects travelers with vacation rental property owners so they can book directly with them. The idea is that both parties benefit financially by eliminating middlemen. CNBC writes , “Direct booking websites offer hosts the ability to rent out their properties to guests at a lower rate while earning higher returns than with an intermediary like Airbnb.” Most Airbnb guests pay around a 14% service fee per booking, while hosts typically earn 3%. By dealing directly with property owners, you can also negotiate rates and arrange logistics in ways Airbnb can’t. It is important to read the rental agreement with your property owner carefully before signing, as each home will have its own cancellation and occupancy policies.
Hopper. If you’re old enough to remember before Airbnb existed, travelers used to stay in these crazy buildings called “hotels.” If you’re frustrated with Airbnb’s fees and cleaning policies, it might be time to consider going retro. If you choose a hotel, try Hopper, an app that allows travelers to find discounted rooms.
According to a lot of Reddit users, it’s actually best not to use Hopper to book through the app itself, but to use it to see which hotels offer discounts and then call those hotels to book directly. This way you can ensure competitive rates without having to contact Hopper’s customer service (which is usually not as reliable as what the hotel itself offers) if there is a problem. Biggest benefit: Hotels generally have better cancellation policies than Airbnbs. You’ll save money on bills and have someone make your bed every morning.
Homestay. If you want to save money and experience the local culture in a foreign country, you are the perfect homestay client that connects you with families abroad who are interested in hosting travelers. If that doesn’t sound like your speed, consider staying with a local will give you access to someone who knows the ins and outs of the community you’re visiting and can recommend the best restaurants and tips on what tourist traps to avoid. Homestay makes sure that all their hosts are checked by local partners to ensure that the profile provided matches the description. You can also read host reviews to see what past guests have said. Plus, there are dozens of booking options in places like Barcelona , Sydney , and other major overseas cities for under $50 a night—a price you rarely see on Airbnb. Every booking includes a 15% commission, but given how much lower the rates are, this usually ends up being a bit cheaper than the flat fee you incur with Airbnb.