What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is an online service that allows people to share their homes with guests for a fee.
Users on the platform can then choose homes to stay in, searching specifically for area, price, and additional filters.
Airbnb also has additional features including Airbnb Experiences where users can pay for unique experiences, and Airbnb Adventures where users can join a group for a special and unique intrepid travel experience.
The Top Airbnb Competitors + How They Compare
Airbnb is a highly trusted platform used largely worldwide, with approximately 2 million stays in homes around the world every night.
Therefore, it’s many people’s go-to when booking accommodation for a trip! However, it’s always worthwhile taking a look at what else is out there. Let’s dive in for a closer look:
- TripAdvisor Rentals
- Plum Guide
- Marriott Homes and Villas
1. Vrbo (previously HomeAway)
Vrbo is a platform designed specifically for finding family-friendly spaces.
Similarly to Airbnb, Vrbo offers a range of different accommodation types from cottages and beach houses to luxury villas. Vrbo also has pet-friendly homes available and aims to be inclusive in embracing diversity in its guests.
The major point of difference between Vrbo and Airbnb is that Vrbo is geared only towards renting entire homes, while Airbnb allows the rental of rooms in a shared home (as well as additional travel experiences).
If you’re looking for a family space or a pet-friendly one, then Vrbo may be a great option for you!
Hopper is a travel platform that focuses on great deals. Hopper alerts its customers to the best deals currently available for hotel bookings and also brings customers special deals through their exclusive travel partnerships.
In comparison to Airbnb, Hopper offers both homes and hotels to book, alongside flights and rental cars. It’s the number one downloaded travel agency app in the US!
Therefore, unlike Airbnb, Hopper actively lets users know when the best deals are and accurately predicts future prices for customers.
Additional features on the platform are the ability to freeze prices for a specified amount of time, as well as to easily cancel and change bookings.
Agoda is a large online platform that focuses largely on hotels but also offers searches for stays in private homes (as well as flight deals and other travel activities).
Therefore, it offers a large range of services in line with Airbnb – only with a larger focus on hotel stays over home stays.
A large benefit of using Agoda is that it allows you to compare the prices of hotels across different platforms.
For travelers whose main goal is to find the best deal possible, Agoda is definitely a great place to start!
Similar to Agoda, Booking.com offers a range of travel services on its platform, including home stays, hotels, flights, car rentals, and other travel experiences.
Booking.com is also more prevalent in the US than Agoda, which has a larger presence in Asia. As such, Booking.com may be the best deal finder for US travelers.
Booking.com also offers a good range of both hotels and home stays, but if you’re looking for a longer-term stay, then Airbnb will likely be more suitable for you.
It’s also worth pointing out that in comparison to Airbnb, Booking.com offers less flexibility in cancellation policies.
5. TripAdvisor Rentals
TripAdvisor Rentals is a specific division of TripAdvisor that focuses on vacation rentals or longer-term stays. Therefore, it does not differ hugely from Airbnb in the type of accommodation offered.
One of the benefits of using this platform from TripAdvisor is the large amount of user reviews that are accumulated for rentals, although Airbnb also allows reviews of their properties!
Expedia is another travel platform that offers a multitude of different services including hotels, flights, rental cars, travel packages, and other travel activities. The platform also allows for listing and renting out private homes. T
here are a host of other additional benefits to Expedia, including saving money when you book flights and hotels together, and VIP access to certain hotels.
Therefore, in comparison to Airbnb, Expedia is aimed more towards being a one-stop shop to book everything for your trip at the lowest possible price!
FlipKey is an online travel platform very similar to Airbnb. It offers vacation rentals and is powered by TripAdvisor.
The primary benefit of using FlipKey is that you can then book the other components of your trip through TripAdvisor.
Vacasa is a platform that also focuses specifically on home stays.
However, where Vacasa differs is in its focus on managing the rental properties in place of the owners.
Management may include responsibilities such as cleaning the properties, customer service responsibilities, and even assistance in buying properties that have the best chances of renting success.
Therefore, if you are someone who wants to rent out your home to guests with the minimal amount of work possible, then Vacasa may be a great option for you to take the responsibility out of your hands!
What about a more unique approach to accommodation, with a more personalized experience?
This is the focus of Homestay, an online platform that aims to provide homestays with local families for a truly unique experience.
Unlike Airbnb where you are merely staying in someone else’s home, with Homestay you are able to interact with the homeowners for a more immersive experience.
The benefit of this is also that locals are more likely to be able to guide you to the best spots in the area!
How about Wimdu? Wimdu is another platform that offers stays in homes. However, Wimdu focuses specifically on apartments as opposed to offering a range of different types of accommodation or experiences.
Therefore, if you are someone who has a preference for staying in apartment-style accommodation, using Wimdu might be your best bet as it will have exactly what you are looking for.
11. Plum Guide
Plum Guide is for the most luxurious of travelers. Plum Guide offers a range of high-end extravagant homes to stay in and boasts excellent reviews from Trustpilot.
If you’re someone who wants something special on your next holiday or are planning a large group getaway, be sure to check out Plum Guide. Just be prepared to pay a bit extra as well!
9flats is similar to Airbnb in the way that it offers a range of accommodation rental homes from apartments to guesthouses.
However, 9flats does not offer additional travel experiences like Airbnb. In addition, the company is based in Europe in contrast to Airbnb’s US base, and has a smaller number of homes available.
13. Marriott Homes and Villas
You may be familiar with Marriot’s Hotels and Resorts, but did you know that they also run a platform called Homes and Villas?
Marriott Homes and Villas aims to offer a highly curated range of high-end rental homes ranging from cabins to penthouses.
This is another great option for those looking for a higher-end, more luxurious travel experience!
When planning your trip away, it’s important to remember that Airbnb isn’t the only option out there!
Being aware of the best platform to use for your specific needs is vital.
There are many options out there, and the choices can be overwhelming. Hopefully, this guide has helped you in your travel planning. Happy holidays!
The sources we reviewed to write this article.