The family vacation planning responsibilities have fallen into your lap.
Now it’s up to you to figure out where you’re going, where you’ll be staying, and what you’ll do when you get there.
You may have a general idea of your destination, but now you need to decide on a vacation rental home that’s in your price range and fits what you’re looking for.
The first stop for many is Airbnb.
As a leader in the vacation rental space, why wouldn’t you?
But what happens if you can’t find something that fits your needs on Airbnb?
Do you just call it quits and opt for a hotel?
We’re happy to say that this doesn’t need to be the case.
There are plenty of Airbnb competitors that offer similar home and apartment rental options.
In this article, we’ll give you an extensive list of Airbnb alternatives that you can use to rent a house.
HomeAway and VRBO
Competing for the top vacation rental platform in the world is HomeAway — the vacation rental booking site that lets you reserve beach houses, condos, cabins, and entire homes all around the world.
So why do we have HomeAway and VRBO — Vacation Rentals By Owner — under the same section?
Both of these short-term rental platforms are now owned by Expedia, therefore every single rental you’ll see on one platform will also be shown on the other.
Additionally, there are several other rental platforms that are part of the HomeAway family of companies.
Most of the rental inventory crosses over, but it’s worth taking a look to see what you can find.
Unlike Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO only offer entire home rentals.
You won’t come across any rentals that are shared spaces with homeowners or other guests.
HomeAway is incredibly reputable and would definitely be our second choice if you’re unable to rent a house on Airbnb.
Make sure to download the HomeAway mobile app and start searching based on filters like the number of bedrooms, additional amenities, pet-friendly homes, or rental price.
Like HomeAway and VRBO, FlipKey started as its own vacation rental platform but was then bought out by TripAdvisor.
FlipKey is a popular option all across North America and around the world.
You’ll be able to find beach getaways in Miami Beach, Florida, villas in Italy, or studios right in the city-center of bustling towns like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Chicago.
FlipKey features homes and other private accommodations.
So again, you can rent a house with no shared living spaces on this platform.
OneFineStay is the cream of the crop when it comes to vacation rentals.
You’ll find carefully vetted luxurious homes in some of the most sought-after destinations in the world.
Some of the more popular destinations on OneFineStay include New York City, Turks and Caicos, Rome, London, and Paris where you can find a premium selection of villas and townhouses.
If you’re looking to splurge on your next vacation, then this deluxe home rental site is the way to go.
While Booking.com may seem like the place to be for finding hotels, you can also find other private accommodations, like apartments, cabins, beach houses, and villas.
Booking has an expansive collection of properties all around the world.
The nice part is that you can see all of your options in one place, whether that’s a resort, houseboats, bed and breakfasts, private rooms, hostels, or hotel rooms.
Booking is an excellent source for finding cheap and affordable accommodation that won’t disappoint.
Luxury Retreats is another high-end option for those who’d like to rent a house and treat themselves.
If you’re trying to pinch pennies, then we wouldn’t even bother searching through its rental inventory.
But if you’re looking for an opulent dream vacation, this one is worth a peek.
It should be noted that Luxury Retreats is an Airbnb company.
So our guess is that many of the rental properties are listed here and on Airbnb Plus.
Aluguest is similar to Airbnb, however, it primarily focuses on South American options.
Based out of Uruguay, this rental platform features plenty of Spanish and Portuguese, so if you’re not fluent tread lightly during your search.
The platform’s interface is also a little wonky, but this shouldn’t stop you from using it as a source for finding a perfect vacation rental.
This wouldn’t be our first choice, but you can surely use it if you’re looking for something in Santiago, Buenos Aires, or Rio de Janeiro.
SleepOut is your ticket to a one-of-a-kind African vacation. Founded in Kenya in 2012, SleepOut was made to help homeowners within Africa, the Indian Ocean islands, and the Middle East find renters for their vacant properties and rooms.
With nearly 800 destinations across Africa, the surrounding islands, and the Middle East, you can find shared accommodations as well as private homes.
You’ll be able to find anything from beach huts to tented camps to mud castles to tree houses.
If you’re planning on heading somewhere in Africa, then you should keep this platform at the top of your list.
If Airbnb and HomeAway are the big dogs of the vacation rental world, then RentAvilla is like the mom and pop rental company that keeps chugging along.
RentAvilla has a very limited inventory that spans from Mexico to the Caribbean to Europe to Asia.
The search functionality is also limited, but you may want to still check the platform’s availability if you weren’t able to find options with other rental sites.
Interhome was founded in Switzerland in 1965, so it’s safe to say they are a trusted source for your search for a vacation home.
Interhome’s inventory spans 32 countries, most of which are in Europe.
You’ll be able to find European cottages, Swiss ski chalets, and city-center apartments, so there’s plenty of variety for you to browse through.
If you’re planning a European adventure and haven’t been able to rent a house on Airbnb, make sure to check this one out.
TurnKey is a vacation rental platform that brings the luxuries of staying at a hotel or a resort directly to a private home rental.
This means that you can expect the same level of cleanliness, excellent customer service, and reliable quality that will surely not disappoint.
Before every stay, each home is professionally cleaned and serviced.
You can also expect hotel quality linens, toiletries, and secure keyless entry.
TurnKey offers a range of properties that span from affordable homes for small get-togethers to premium and luxurious options when you want to go the extra mile.
More Travel Search Engines to Rent a House
There are also several more rental websites that all fall into their own category — travel search engines.
These sites are slightly different than the other rental property platforms on this list, but they still warrant a look if you’re running out of options.
Travel search engines are an aggregate search of other rental platforms, many of which are on this list.
Instead of hosting rental properties of their own on their websites, they pull the results from other travel sites.
For example, if we do a quick search for New Zealand on any of the sites mentioned below, we may find results from HomeAway, Expedia, and other rental platforms.
Here is a list of some travel search engines you can use to scan vacation properties across multiple rental platforms.
These search engines may also offer much more than only vacation rental homes.
You can also find a huge selection of hotels, hostels, and other shared accommodations from across the web.
Whichever One Does the Trick
At the end of the day, one of the major aspects of your decision is whether or not you can find adequate rental inventory on each platform.
Once you think you’ve narrowed down your choices to a few different platforms, then you can start factoring in additional criteria, like the number of service fees charged, booking fees that are tacked on, or whether or not they have concierge service.
When you think you’ve found the perfect fit, the only thing left to do is book the property, pack your bags, and enjoy your time on vacation with your family and friends.
If you’re a property owner, property manager, or real estate agent and are interested in making money off your property to short-term renters, then make sure to check out our guides to making money on Airbnb and HomeAway.