Websites Like Airbnb

Websites like Airbnb: Airbnb has changed the way we travel as much as few companies. But the market leader is far from the only provider of (private) short-term rental and holiday apartments. Maybe these alternatives to Airbnb will better suit your needs. The idea behind the Airbnb model is simple and sympathetic: instead of spending the night in faceless hotels, you are accommodated by private individuals. This is not only cheaper for you, but also a much more personal experience.

websites like airbnb

This also has advantages for the landlord: You can easily rent empty rooms to tourists and thus earn a little something with little effort. Although Airbnb is on everyone’s lips, it is far from the only provider of holiday and short-term apartments. Since its foundation, many competitors have emerged. Some just offer an alternative, others focus on specific audiences or regions.

Are you looking for a private apartment? Are you traveling to China soon or do you need a wheelchair-accessible short-term apartment? In the following list, you will find some suggestions. Further information I like to receive in the comments.

Short term apartment rentals

In recent years, I have rented several times during my travels for a few days in an apartment. Short term apartments have some advantages over hotels and hostels:

Hosts: While large hotels are often anonymous building blocks, the apartments offered at Airbnb and Co. are mostly operated by cosmopolitan individuals. This results in exciting encounters. In Pula, for example, our hostess grilled regularly with the guests and talked about their life in Istria.

Location: While hotels often focus on specific neighborhoods, private accommodations are better distributed. Where locals live, you usually have cheap shopping and local restaurants and cafes. However, you sometimes buy this advantage with longer ways to the sights.

private accommodations

The price: Especially if you are traveling with children or with several friends, private apartment rental sites offer great savings potential. If you still have a kitchen and occasionally cook yourself, you can also save another restaurant visit.

The Internet: For some inexplicable reasons, many hotels are not willing to offer their guests a fast and well-functioning Internet. How many times have I been angry about idiotic login masks? For private apartments, I had hardly any problems so far.

Other sites like Airbnb

When I search for vacation rentals by owner in a city, Airbnb is part of the research routine. By its own account, the website lists over 4 million listings in over 190 countries listings. No competitor has such a large offer.

Nevertheless, my relationship with Airbnb is somewhat clouded. On the one hand, because websites like airbnb is important to me and I basically like to avoid the top dog. On the other hand, because in the past I have had mixed experience with customer service. What I generally less like about Airbnb:

Registration Process: To rent a choose as a guest, you must complete a complicated registration process by uploading a copy of the ID card and providing your social media accounts. Since Airbnb wants to force me to re-register, I have not used the service anymore.

Application procedure: If you have found a suitable apartments for you, you have to apply. Lots of time is lost because the hosts can give up to 24 hours to answer. Hosts can also refuse you because they do not like your nose (even though a toothless anti-discrimination policy claims otherwise).

sites like airbnb

Advance payment: Once a host accepts you, you must pay the full amount. For a short-term booking sites, I do not care, but I have no desire, months in advance to pay for my lease.

Cancellation Policy: While you can usually cancel hotels at short notice for free, some Airbnb hosts have strict cancellation policies. If you have to cancel at short notice, you may never see your money again. However, even if your host allows cancellations, you will definitely be able to rely on the high brokerage fees.

Airbnb competitors

There are a number of companies that are so similar to Airbnb‘s offer that evil tongues call them clones. They all operate worldwide and may offer bargains that you do not find in the competition. The former German company works very similar to Airbnb. Even though the selection of currently 125,000-holiday apartment in 104 countries is not quite as big, the company received the best marks in a survey conducted by Stiftung Warentest 2015. Another competitor that you can watch. The main advantage of Housetrip is that you only have to make a deposit when booking.

In principle, however, it should be noted that competitors face similar challenges and face the same problems. That’s why I recommend testing the competitors especially if they meet your needs better or you find nothing at Airbnb.

Important regional providers

The big brokers of private residences act almost without exception globally. But there is also a small provider that is particularly strong regional. I want to introduce the most important ones to you here. This Chinese provider arranges vacation homes rental company in the Middle Kingdom. However, you have to expect that some hosts do not want / cannot accept foreigners. If you are planning a trip through France, this provider could offer the right apartment. The range also includes luxurious villas and castles. A beachfront villa or a hut in the outback – as long as you restrict yourself to Australia, you’ll find it here. Focuses on stylish and exceptional apartments in London. A good address for anyone looking for something special in the British capital.

Free accommodation in exchange for work

Not every accommodation you have to pay with money. Some also accept your time as a currency by helping a few hours at work, teaching your language, or just socializing. Airbnb competitors.

Couchsurfing: Travelers provide each other with free accommodation. Usually strong social contact, but often less comfortable accommodation. The French vacation rental company arranges accommodation listing not for money but against language lessons. A slightly different way to travel. With this veteran of social traveling you can live and eat for free on an organic farm. The annual fee is due.

exchange for work

HomeExchange For an annual fee, you will learn from other travelers who want to exchange their homes with someone in another destination.

Despite the benefits, many popular travel destinations such as New York, Amsterdam or Berlin have created laws in recent years that prohibit Airbnb and vacation rental company in whole or in part. What is the problem? While offers at the beginning were often limited to air mattresses and breakfasts, much of the offerings have since become professional. Airbnb australia can be seen for example in the data analysis ” airbnb in Australia from the beginning of 2015.”

It came to the conclusion that about one-third of the then 12,000 housing advertisements listing came from providers who offered several apartments – ie tend to be commercial providers.

Since it is more lucrative, especially at year-round popular destinations, to rent an apartment rental to tourists more expensive than to locals, so the market apartment are withdrawn.

However, housing would also be withdrawn from the market if new hotels were built because of an increasing number of visitors. That’s why I have the feeling that the legitimate criticism also resonates with a hefty pinch of populism and lobbying by the traditional hotel industry.

Private property to rent

For me, private apartments are a great thing. Especially if I stay longer in one place or travel with several friends together, I find it very pleasant to rent myself in an luxury apartment.

In the beginning, I only used the top dogs. In the meantime, I am considering more and more alternatives to Airbnb. However, I have not yet tested all the companies myself, which I listed here. About experience reports, I would be very happy.

But it did not stay with the air mattress. Each host usually has at least one room with a bed or a sofa bed. Sometimes they also rent entire apartments or houses. Often it does not stay overnight, but many guests stay several days, weeks or even months. There is not always close personal contact between the host and the guest. You often see yourself only to the key handover and sometimes not even that.

property to rent

I’ve traveled with AirBnB and websites like airbnb many times. My first experiences came in 2012 in San Francisco. Since then, I have been choosing AirBnB more and more frequently. When I travel to a city, I do not look first for hotels, but AirBnB apartments or rooms. In the meantime, I have used the platform in different countries: USA, South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, Turkey, Estonia, and Germany. I do not only book apartment, but also beautiful bungalows, cabins, and small houses. I have described my experiences in this article.

In addition to Airbnb, there are now several alternative platforms that provide the same or similar services. Staying in private accommodations.

Disadvantages of Airbnb

Airbnb is the worldwide largest platform for the rental of private rooms and luxury apartments. The original idea was simple and sympathetic at the same time: Instead of going to a hotel, travelers should stay overnight with private individuals, sleep on an air mattress and maybe even get breakfast.

(Tip: As a new customer you will receive 25 euros discount on your first booking).

I am very satisfied with AirBnB and currently, do not use any alternatives. I like to stick to something that works well for me. But I know that not everyone is happy with Airbnb. The platform has a few disadvantages:

The registration process is relatively expensive. As a guest and host, you must verify yourself through a Facebook or Google account and / or upload a copy of your ID card. For Airbnb, the identity of its customers is important because the rental of private property is based on trust.

At the time of booking, you will have to pay the full amount even if your trip is still many months in the future. This one is not used as a hotel guest. But that’s just the. For some guests, this is not acceptable.

If you cancel your lease promptly (the cancellation policy depends on the host), you will be reimbursed for the cost of the accommodation – not the Airbn fees. This too is usually different from hotel bookings.

Some guests complain about the customer service they have to try when something is not going to work. Company support is not the best, because you often get stoned with standard answers.

Less expensive than AirBnB

Websites like airbnb, there are accommodations that Airbnb does not have. Sometimes you can find even better bargains or more beautiful apartment that are located outside the big cities.

Some guests are also dissatisfied with the increasing professionalism of competitors. Many accommodations are no longer private apartment with personal contact to the host but like a (pretty) apartment. Also, the prices continue to rise, so that an AirBnB apartment in popular cities is no longer cheaper than a hotel room.

cheap hotels near

These criticisms I find all valid, however, I believe that there are the same problems also with the competitors AirBnBs or in the future will give. Ultimately, they are all global companies that handle thousands of bookings every day. As it is clear that the customer service is suffering from the mass of customers and also the increasing professionalization is not over the Airbnb alternatives.

Alternative airbnb

If you still want to resort to an websites like airbnb, for which I have put together the main providers:


Fewo-Direkt is not a direct competitor of Airbnb & Co., as you can rent only complete apartments here, which are also offered professionally. Fewo-Direkt belongs to the American HomeAway vrbo Network. With this, I had good experiences during a trip to the USA when I lived in a cabin in the forest in Homeaway California. Worldwide HomeAway vrbo

Fewo-Direkt attaches great importance to the fact that you are protected as a guest. By paying with the payment methods Credit Card, Paypal, Prepayment or Direct Debit, you automatically benefit from the “With Confidence Book Guarantee”. If you care about security, you can take out additional insurance for a small additional charge, for example, a travel cancellation insurance, travel liability insurance, etc. For me that’s nothing, but certainly well suited for families.

The reviews at Trustpilot are unfortunately very bad, and it is mainly the landlords who complain there. These find the conditions often unfavorable. For guests, however, this can be an advantage. I think, as a traveler with Fewo-Direkt predominantly good experience.

Booking cheap accommodation

Websites like Airbnb; First and foremost, is known as the worldwide largest portal for hotel bookings. In addition to airbnb alternatives competitors, this is my most used website to book my accommodations. However, Booking offers much more than just hotels. In recent years, apartments or apartments have increasingly been included in the offer. There are more than 5,000 apartment in Rome alone, more 4,000 in London and just under 3,000 in Tokyo. All over the world, you will find alternatives to the hotel.

Websites like Airbnb

I have often booked accommodation at, which would be similar in style to AirBnB, for example, holiday homes in Germany, apartment in Majorca and rustic huts in Tuscany. Some of these domiciles are even offered in parallel on both platforms, so it is worth a price comparison. What does not exist here are individual rooms in private apartments – exactly what AirBnB has become known for. At you will find above all professionally managed.

In case of doubt, the cancellation conditions of Booking are better than on other platforms and the payment conditions are also very good.

Nature holidays

Naturhaeuschen company is particularly suitable for nature-loving people, because the platform only lists local holiday homes that lie in nature – that is, in a forest, on the water, in a field or small villas. Accommodation in cities and holiday parks you will not find among the “nature cottage“.

The Dutch company lists more than 8,500-holiday homes worldwide. Many of them in the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, where the platform is particularly well-positioned. But in Germany, there are already more than 500 houses (as of January 2019). Spain and Italy are also well represented. Most regions are suitable for hiking, cycling or fishing. If the weather does not play along, the accommodations are comfortable enough to spend one, two quiet days as a couple or with the family in the house.

forest travel

A remarkable bonus of is that for each booked night a tree is planted. The company cooperates with a charitable organization in Madagascar for this purpose. Because traveling is often not ecologically correct, it can help reduce its footprint a bit. The operators of the platform want to contribute to preserving nature. “Because without nature there would be no natural houses,” they say.

Despite this extra power, the offers can compete loosely with, competitors and websites like airbnb. In my opinion, the “nature houses” are even a bit cheaper than comparable offers at AirBnB.

Online portals for holiday rentals


9flats was one of the first portals to launch the Airbnb business model in Germany. In the meantime, 9flats is no longer a German company. Since the German legislation is not very friendly to the model, the company was sold to Singapore.

In comparison to Airbnb competitors, 9flats stands out above all for its variety of payment methods. Here you can pay for your accommodation with a credit card, Paypal, Sofortüberweisung, direct debit, and even Bitcoins. So many alternatives are rare! For some local accommodations, you will see a “book now – pay later” icon. With these, you only have to pay a small deposit and pay the rest when you start your journey. That’s an advantage

The reviews are impressive. In 2015, 9flats became the winner of Stiftung Warentest. You can also find a detailed test at However, the most meaningful opinions come from the 9flats users who rate the Trustpilots platform very well. For all these reasons, 9flats is a good AirBnB alternative.


For holiday apartment and holiday homes in Germany BestFewo is one of the best platforms. In Germany alone, there are more than 90,000 apartments. BestFewo accommodations are considered to be relatively high quality as the hosts are better audited than on some other platforms.

You can not only book online here but also over the phone via the booking hotline. That’s not so often. You can always pay by bank transfer, direct debit or credit card – but this depends on the individual case of the provider of the accommodation.

I have not had any experience with BestFewo, but the platform has been running down my path for years. Incidentally, the Trusted Shop ratings are very good, so I would trust the provider.

European accommodation


Housetrip company is a Swiss company that has been part of the Tripadvisor travel portal for some time. With more than 300,000 accommodations, Housetrip is one of the largest portals for the provision of private accommodation and holiday apartment.

Websites Like Airbnb

The payment methods good, but worse than 9flats. You can pay here only with Paypal and credit card. However, you only have to pay 20% of the total amount when booking. The remainder will only be due at the start of the journey. That should be nice for many guests.

If you would like to read more about Housetrip, I would like to refer you to the test in Ontario and the excellent customer reviews at Trustpilot.

Way to stay

Way to stay is a good alternative to Airbnb & Co. but strictly speaking not a direct competitor. Because Way to stay rents out only professional holiday luxury apartment – partly also from private permanent tenants – that is, you can not only reserve a room here and live with a local. Also, Way to stay specializes in major European cities. For small cities or even the province, you will not find any offers. Most Way to stay apartments can be found in Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Prague, Amsterdam, London, etc.

An advantage over is that you can book all luxury accommodation immediately. That means you do not have to get in touch with the host first. You can pay for your accommodation by credit card, Paypal, Sofortüberweisung, and Giropay.

Several years ago I booked an luxury apartment in Barcelona through Way to stay and was completely satisfied with the experience. The customer reviews at Trustpilot are also extremely good.

Type of accommodation


When talking about private accommodation, Couchsurfing should not be missed, even if it is not a airbnb alternatives. Couchsurfing is based on the ideal value that guests and hosts find in a non-commercial way.

That’s why I do not like couch surfing that much. I do not always want to be available to my host during a trip, but this is expected of me. I could not retreat at any time without offending my host. However, if you do not mind, Couchsurfing might be a good alternative.

As the competition for free nights is of course high. Also, is no longer an ideal project, but a commercial company that has to make a profit. Therefore fall for the


Use partly fees as for the optional verification. There are also concerns about the privacy, security of guests. Sometimes it’s better to pay for your accommodation.

These are the common AirBnB alternatives that I either had touchpoints with myself or that I’ve been watching for a while. As long as I have good experiences with Airbnb, I will remain true to the platform. Finally, I have already built a profile there with positive reviews for me as a guest. That’s why it’s not worth changing the platform all the time. But if I became dissatisfied or needed more accommodation, I would choose the alternatives above. Which one that depends on the type of accommodation you want.

Houses and apartments for rent

People can rent a single room, a couch or an entire apartment on the rental sites. The host lists his place online, publishes photos, writes a description, clicks on “Publish” and also earns extra money with the unused space.

The booking process is like any other type of accommodation. You search online, find a place you like, a booking. If the property owner agrees, you will receive a confirmation. (See below for how to find the perfect location.) Also, owners can put their place on many websites with an instant booking option, so you do not even have to wait for the owner’s response. You are immediately booked in your place!

alternatives to Airbnb

As an added bonus, non – luxury most apartments are typically located away from overpriced tourist areas where hotels call at homestay (there are maps on rental locations that let you see where your space is in relation to everything), giving you a feeling get for the everyday rhythm of life and food in restaurants that are not just geared towards tourists.

Hostel or hotel

Apartment rental properties represent the space between hotels program. If you travel for business and want the comforts of home, you probably will not stay in a hostel. But luxury hotels can be too expensive or too impersonal for you. A rented apartment is a perfect compromise

If you want to travel the world, but are not in the hostel scene and no hotels can afford, this is the perfect compromise. A rental sites will be much quieter and more relaxing than a hostel. You can also prepare your food and reduce the costs on your long journey.

With a large group or a family? This is the option for you. Forcing a few people into these apartments is much cheaper per person than a room in a hostel or hotel. You also have space to spread and relax. Dorms and cramped hotels do not give you much time for me.

Airbnb reservation

I was lucky. I have never had a bad host on these websites. There was only one room in London that was a bit smaller than advertised, but that’s a small thing. I avoided some bad hosts because I use the same criteria for websites like Airbnb as for Couchsurfing. This allows me to sort out bad listings. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a host:

Is your calendar updated? – While lists are only displayed in a search when they are available, hosts do not always update their calendars. Follow: If someone has not updated their calendar within 30 days, I usually skip it. There is nothing worse than booking a place, just to say something and say agree, “Oops, I’m sorry, it’s not available!”

airbnb experiences

Do you often answer? – You do not want your request to go unanswered. These online sites display the percentage of messages that hosts respond to. The higher the better.

Are you an active user? – Active users are good users. So check when you last logged in. If it’s been a while, your request may go unanswered.

How to register airbnb

Are you verified? – Confirmed accounts are less likely to be of suspicious quality, as the listing site has at least some background information on it.

Do you have good photos? – Any listing that does not contain any photos of the place probably lies about its quality.

Did you check the photos? – Verified photos mean someone has been there, seen the place, and vouched for actually looking like his photos.

Do you have reviews? – If other people stayed there, a good time and found the apartment, you probably will.

Have you ever been the guest of another? – If they were somebody’s guest and that went well, they probably would not be crazy.

Do you have several listings? – This is important as many people use these websites as property owner. They rent a few apartments and then rent them again at Airbnb. I try to avoid these places because they are usually not as nice as other apartments and the personal touch that comes when hosts rent their apartments.

These nine rules are helpful guidelines, but at the end of the day, you have to go with your stomach. I do not need a listing to fulfill all nine points. I once had a host who only achieved a few of these points, and she turned out to be my favorite landlady! And sometimes, in places without many hosts, you have to be a little relaxed with this list.

Airbnb rent a room

But the more points a place reaches, the safer I feel.

As a guest, I have never had bad experiences with these rules.

A note about gentrification / legal issues

Over the years, home rental websites have dramatically increased rental rates and displaced the locals you want to contact, as people have begun to buy multiple properties to rent out to tourists. That is a big problem. In many places, such as Lisbon and Venice, most locals can no longer afford the rent. There have been violent protests in Barcelona. Japan has recently banned Airbnb. NYC has strict laws against it.

rent a room

I think the government can not tell you what to do with your apartment – but I do not think these sites have done enough to make sure that they are rented by real people and not by property owners who buy multiple apartments and expelled the locals.

For this reason, I strongly recommend that you only use Airbnb if you rent a room in another house. It is too difficult to determine whether the entire house to be rented is, in fact, a private residence or a rental properties owned by a giant firm. If it’s a room, you know it’s the place of a local. If you want to rent a whole apartment, make sure it’s a real apartment – not a business. Help to finish upper tourism. You have the power. Do not crowd out the people you want to visit!

Are home rental sites like Airbnb safe?

Websites like Airbnb trusted. Worldwide all of these companies are trying to inspect both buyers and sellers to make sure no one robs anyone, but sometimes you hear reports of sex parties, robberies or scary hosts

However, home rental companies provide a window where you can get your money back if you find a place that is not advertising. Just call their 24-hour online and they’ll set you up somewhere else. You also keep your money in a trust account so that you can get your money back if the place does not match the tender. They never give it directly to the host.

All sorts of accommodations are risky (maids steal from hotel rooms, roommates dress to hostels, Couchsurfing hosts are scary), so these rules are important. I do not think home rental properties are less secure than your other options, and the benefits far outweigh the perceived danger.

Read the Best Ways to Find Cheap Flights in this article:

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