Top 14 Airbnb Alternatives That Are Incredibly Unique

Airbnb is the original sharing-economies company, but there are plenty of competitors out there that may be a better match for your business.

That s right, there are actually many websites that do exactly what AirBnB does and a lot better. It s true! I knew you would be on the edge of your seats – so let’s check out some of my top alternatives to Airbnb!

If you’re looking for a place to stay during the holidays, Airbnb might be your best bet. But there are other options out there if you want something different than a hotel room.

It can take some searching to find an alternative to Airbnb, but once you’ve found one, it’s worth checking out.

Airbnb Alternatives

Airbnb Alternatives

When it comes to sharing accommodations, Airbnb has cornered the marketplace. But even though Airbnb has brand recognition, it isn’t the only option for travelers looking for short-term lodging.

We’re happy to assist you if you can’t find what you want on Airbnb. Here are some options:


VRBO is one the only platforms that can compete with Airbnb in terms of name recognition. With a solid reputation for quality service, it has amassed over 2 million listings to this day. It also has property listings in nearly 200 countries.

While Airbnb offers both rental and shared space options, VRBO focuses solely on vacation rentals. Guests can enjoy the full use of an entire house or apartment, which makes it a good option for families looking for accommodations during their holiday season.

Some other key differences between VRBO and Airbnb are:

  • Guests will pay between $6-$12 per night for their stay at VRBOs, compared to $14 per night at Airbnbs.
  • Maturity means older clients – VRBO attracts more family members, whereas Airbnb appeals to younger travelers who want an adventure.
  • More cancellations policies – VRBO has five different cancela­tion poli­cies, while AirBnB only has three.


Sonder Hotel Group is a disruptor in the hospitality industry as they head into 2022.

While its stay feels like an Airbnb stay, the Sonder rental is licensed as a traditional bed & breakfast. When you book a Sonder, you’re renting a room from a private landlord. Unlike Airbnb, the company owns the property and takes care of everything — including cleaning your room before you arrive. That means you can sleep soundly knowing that the place is being taken care of. And because Sonder rents out only one room per house, guests aren’t sharing living spaces with strangers.

There are some other differences between Sonder and other hotels that guests have noticed including:

  • Concierge Check-In – Sonder utilizes a concierge who checks the identity of the tenant and grants them access to their apartment/home. Airbnb requires a lot of back-end processing before granting access to an apartment.
  • It’s less awkward for guests to know they will be staying in someone else’s house when using Sonder than when using Airbnb. However, it can still be a bit uncomfortable making yourself at home in another person’s space when using Sonder.
  • Airbnb hosts usually clean their listings but might not be able to remove all stains or funky smells. If you’re looking for something cleaner than an Airbnb rental, consider renting from Sonder.

Plum Guide

Launched in 2016 by a team of developers from London, UK, Plum Guide is a fairly new vacation rental marketplace. It has over 12,000 listings across the world.

Like Airbnb, PlumGuide is a peer-to-peer vacation rental platform. This means that the owner themselves list their properties on Plumb Guide and guests can reserve the stay. Plum Guide makes its mark through exclusiveness. It does not list just any properties. On average, its rental is much more luxurious than an average Airbnb listing.

Here are some of the ways we’re making our mark at Airbnb:

  • Anyone can list their property on Airbnb. Only a few percent of listings pass an evaluation before they’re listed.
  • A property inspector checks whether the house meets certain criteria. The inspector will look at things like the size of the rooms, the condition of the furniture, and the overall cleanliness of the place.
  • A more complete review – visitors get a better selection of info when they read about our properties’ amenities, room types, location, etc.

Sabbatical Homes

Sabbatical Homes is an online network where academics, scholars, and creatives share their homes. It’s not just a home-sharing service; it’s a space for like-minded people to meet.

One of the neat things about the site is that it is not just a place for people who rent out rooms. You can also meet others and exchange homes with them. Get inspired by academic communities in other cities and countries.

There is also a “house-sitter” feature on the platform. Maybe you’re on a modest college stipend. You can use the house-sitter feature to pay for your room and board.

Agoda Homes

Agoda Homes is one of the biggest players in the Asian vacation rental market. It helps millions of travelers every year.

Like Airbnb, HomeAway only offers whole properties. This means that you’ll be living alone in your own space without any roommates or housemates. HomeAway has over 1 million listings worldwide. It serves 45+ markets.

There are some key differences between Airbnb and Agoda including:

  • Hosts – although each platform may charge around 10 percent for its service fee, the host-induced cleaning charges on Airbnb makes it more expensive than other platforms.
  • Payments – Both sites accept all major credit card payments, however, most people prefer using PayPal on Agoda because they don’t require any extra steps for payment. On Airbnb, you can pay via PayPal, but it usually requires extensive verifications.
  • Value – Agoda offers good value for short stays. It’s a great choice for people who need a last-minute hotel room.


Hosts like the convenience of listing their properties on Airbnb. However, managing the properties themselves can be a full-fledged business venture.

Guests often feel pressure from host expectations. For example, they might arrive at an Airbnb expecting their room to be clean, but instead, find garbage strewn across the floor. They might expect rooms to look exactly like the photos posted online, but instead, find rooms that aren’t quite as nice as they expected them to be.

Enter Vacasa.

Vacasa is a leading provider of vacation rentals. It offers a wide range of services including property listings, customer service, and marketing. Over 30,000 properties are listed on their platform, making them one of the largest providers globally. They offer a variety of packages for both hosts and guests.

Among the benefits of renting from Vacasa includes:

  • Hosts may not always be able to answer guests’ questions immediately. If you need help, contact us right away. We’re here to assist you!
  • Local teams – Vacasa doesn’t simply hand out jobs to people who don’t know anything about them. We train our local managers to ensure every property they manage meets Vacasa’s high standards.
  • Regular maintenance ensures that guests have a comfortable stay at their vacation rental property.


Unlike Airbnb and Agoda, which offer only fully furnished apartments, Homestay offers home-sharing experiences. This means that guests share living space with hosts, making it a good option for people looking for authentic travel experiences.

Compared to Airbnb, which has about 100,000 worldwide, Homestay only offers about 33,000 choices. However, unlike Airbnb, Homestay offers some benefits:

  • Lower Priced Listings – Homestay is an Immersive Traveler’s Network. Hosting generally prioritizes welcoming travelers rather than making money. While there may be similar host profiles on Airbnb, the chances of finding a great rate on HomeStay are greater.
  • Fees – Hosts may charge guests for their stay, which could be anywhere from $0 (no fees) to $12 per night. For example, hosts might charge $1 per night for a single room, $2 for a double room, $3 for a triple room, and so on. Guests usually don’t pay any additional fees.
  • Student features – Homestay has a specific web page for students. This means it’s an excellent option for those who study abroad.

Boutique Homes

If you’re an artist who has a flair for the eccentric, boutique homes may be the perfect platform.

Boutique Homes focuses exclusively on properties that have some kind of defining feature. Whether it’s a tiny house, a beachfront home, or a rental that has some unique architectural features, they’re all part of our portfolio.

While these types of property listings are on Airbnb, you won’t need to filter nearly as much for them on Boutique Homes. It also has a “for sale” section, which distinguishes it from Airbnb.


TripAdvisor is a popular travel site with over 400 million monthly visitors. It has been called “the most trusted place for travelers to research their trips.”

With respect to costs, functionalities, and services, Airbnb and FlipKey offer almost identical options for guests.

On average, Airbnb has more properties listed than FlipKey. However, FlipKey has a larger number of properties listed overall.

FlipKey doesn’t allow listings for public spaces (like hotels) but allows listing for private spaces (such as homes).

House Sitter

If you’re in a tight financial situation, might be an excellent choice. Housesitting is basically renting out someone else’s property in exchange for your time and services.

However, this can lead to free stays but has its downsides too.

  • You’ll need to interview several landlords before finding one who will rent to you. Depending on the type of property you’re looking at, the process could be quite competitive.
  • Time restrictions – unlike typical vacations, your time is not really yours when house-siting. You may be required by law to be at the residence during specific times of the day.
  • Not optimized for smartphones – this website doesn’t include an app. All interactions will be done through the browser.

As far as I know, there isn’t any way to directly contact potential clients through the app itself. However, if you really want to be able to reach people who own properties, this could be a good option.

Homes and Villas by Marriott International

If you’re looking for high-quality accommodations, then check out Homes and Villas by Marriot.

Like Plum Guide, Home and Villas by Marriott offers a curated list of homes and villas for rent. This means that each property has been reviewed by professional staff at Marriott to guarantee standard quality.

You get hotel-like experiences for your vacation rentals by accumulating Marriott rewards with every stay. These benefits include free nights and other perks.

The downside is that Airbnb is one of the most expensive vacation rental options available. It doesn’t allow for sharing accommodations either.

Oliver’s Travels

Oliver’s Travels is an exclusive vacation rental company that reviews over 100,000 properties every year. Only the top 2 percent get listed.

This is a leading website for travelers seeking an international holiday getaway from a medieval castle to a secluded private island.

Because of the high prices, it is ideal for larger groups who want to rent a private residence, but if you have the money you can get additional services such as in-house chefs and personal tours.


Airbnb and Innexclusive are two travel apps to watch out for in 2022. Neither currently has a functional website where guests can make reservations, but the mission has a good shot at being game-changing and impactful. Both Airbnb and Innclusive aim to provide a welcoming stay for minorities. They’re designed to celebrate diversity and welcome everyone from every walk of life.

Some hosts may discriminate against guests who appear to be from certain countries or ethnic backgrounds.

With the growing demand for equal access to travel, watch out for these two platforms.


HomeAway has had a rocky road since its founding in 2004. It started out as an online marketplace for vacation rentals but has struggled to keep up with Airbnb.

As of the summer of 2020, HomeAway has been acquired by VRBO. All searches for HomeAway are now directed to the VRBO server.

Despite its early start, HomeAway continues to be among the top results for “vacation rentals”. However, because they’re basically the same thing, the same features that distinguish them from VRBO still stand out.

Conclusion: Airbnb Alternatives

There are plenty of alternative websites for renting rooms through Airbnb, including ones that provide more specific types of accommodations. All of them want to take advantage of the success that Airbnb has had by offering their own version of an Airbnb alternative site.

You can see that there is a lot of competitive pressure in this space and it will take a long time for Airbnb to retain its relevance on a global scale. But we think with their funding and resourcefulness (and not to mention their famous name), they should be able to hold onto some of the global market shares.

This isn’t an exhaustive guide, but hopefully, it gives you enough information to start looking into them for yourself.

There are plenty of Airbnb alternatives out there, but you can always use them to find an affordable place to stay. And because they’re online platforms, users can easily find reviews and choose the best option for their needs.

Well, there you go! That’s a pretty comprehensive list of Airbnb alternatives. I hope this list helped you find one that fits your needs. If you have any questions or comments, please drop them below. We would love to hear from you!

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About Robby Khattak