While Airbnb quickly became the travel rental leader for the modern sharing economy, it’s certainly not the only option. Airbnb is great for easily hunting down accommodations virtually anywhere on Earth. However, with its massive growth over the past several years it can be a little difficult to sift through the overwhelming list of properties—especially if you have something specific in mind.
Whether you are staunchly anti-Airbnb or simply looking to weigh your options, here are five Airbnb alternatives that offer a similar vibe and better cater to niche demographics.
Where you have to hunt for interesting outdoor accommodations on Airbnb, Glamping Hub was built for just that. Glamping Hub bridges the chasm between roughing it and splurging, which is exactly the vibe behind “glamping” in the first place. This is perfect for folks who are looking for a taste of nature without the backcountry wilderness aspect of camping. Through Glamping Hub, you and your friends can rent yurts, tents, tiny houses, treehouses, tipis and cabins all over the world.
I used Glamping Hub to book a treehouse in Granada, Nicaragua. The treehouse itself is actually on a private island, so it was an ideal place for me and my friends to enjoy some relaxing time together swimming and kayaking. I liked my time there so much that I’m constantly looking for any excuse to head back to Granada… and Glamping Hub.
Offering a similar vibe to Glamping Hub, Hipcamp represents a repository of campsites for rent that are located on privately-owned land. These campsites range from tent sites to RVs to glamping cabins and they can be located on beaches, in orchards, on farms or in the woods. Some listings also have the option to add a bundle of firewood for a small fee.
With Hipcamp you can pack your tent and book a site deep in the forest, or take advantage of campsites located close to several U.S. national parks. I appreciate that Hipcamp allows landowners to share their land with campers, which generates income for land maintenance. And though there is nothing wrong with public campgrounds, Hipcamp grants accessibility to travelers who are looking to connect with nature in a more intimate way.
Hopping between campsites is one thing, but what if you don’t have your own set of wheels to get you there? Enter Outdoorsy, a company committed to getting you going on your cross-country road trip. Outdoorsy focuses on that RV life, offering RV rentals as well as 24/7 support, included insurance, and even hookup help in case you’re not sure how to deal with the rig yourself.
Through Outdoorsy, you can rent an Airtop vehicle, a sprinter, a vintage motorhome or something big enough for the entire family. This is another convenient, affordable way to discover the U.S. national parks, but Outdoorsy RV listings are also available worldwide. And don’t worry about leaving your pet at home—you can filter for Fluffy-friendly rentals and bring your best friend along.
Let’s swing to the other end of the spectrum and highlight this opulent option for travelers who are looking for luxury, without a specific brand identity. OneFineStay is a home-sharing network that caters to travelers looking for one of two types of homes: a charming stay in one of the world’s major urban centers, or an idyllic and relaxing holiday villa.
No matter your travel style, OneFineStay offers professional hospitality service that caters to you. Stay in a classic townhouse in New York City, a Haussmannian flat in Paris, a private ski lodge in Aspen, or a sunny beachfront villa in Turks and Caicos. As per the description, it’s no surprise that OneFineStay is not particularly directed towards budget travelers; however, it’s not impossible to rent a villa through this platform and slash the per person price by splitting it with a few of your closest friends!
Of all of the vacation rentals we’ve discussed so far, FlipKey is probably the closest to Airbnb. In essence, it’s the “Bing” to Airbnb’s “Google” in the sense that it’s basically the same thing, but not exactly. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor subsidiary which gives it serious legitimacy, especially in terms of property reviews. If there is one thing at which TripAdvisor excels, it’s reviews. And when we’re talking vacation rentals, reviews should make or break your decision to rent a property.
FlipKey hosts international properties but it’s deeply rooted in the United States. Its featured properties somehow all have a down-home, traditional American vacation feeling—whatever that means. Several years back, I used FlipKey to rent a gorgeous backwoods cabin in North Carolina for a fun girls getaway. This isn’t an option now, but back then, it was possible to pay for the property with a check (I know) and the homeowner could mail the keys to me (literal insanity). Thankfully, things have modernized quite a bit since then. FlipKey is a great option that’s close enough to Airbnb, without actually being Airbnb.
No matter your budget and travel needs, there are home-sharing and glamping platforms available to you other than Airbnb. While Airbnb is a great resource, it’s nice to have more options. These Airbnb alternatives are smaller than Airbnb, but are typically more specialized. That means if you’re looking for a treehouse, yurt, campsite or luxury home, you won’t have to spend as much time sifting through your options.