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Iâm not going to lie, weve used AirBnB a lot. Weve found it to be an excellent way to find accommodation all around the world in lodgings that range from quirky to palatial, from budget to princely. But that doesnt mean we dont also keep the various AirBnB alternatives in mind when travelling and booking accommodation, and in this post were going share our favourite alternatives with you.

If youâre new to the world of peer to peer accommodation, take a look at Jessâs guide to using AirBnB, which will answer all your questions about both AirBnB, and the majority of other peer to peer accommodation sites like AirBnB.

So why would you want an alternative to AirBnB? Well, the thing is, AirBnB has become somewhat a victim of its own success. Thereâs plenty of choice, but prices have definitely started to increase since we started to use the platform in 2012. In fact, often AirBnB works out more expensive than getting a reasonable hotel. In addition, at busy times, properties can book out a long time in advance.

In some cases, itâs also become quite the industry, losing the personal touch as landlords cash in, meaning the only human interaction you get is when you get your keys at the beginning of your stay, often from an apartment concierge rather than the actual host or owner.

Is There A Cost For Rental Property Sites

Most often, landlords are able to list their properties on these sites for free. In a few cases, listing more than one property costs around $10 per week. Most of the expenses, however, are allocated to the applicants.

Renters browse rental listing sites at no charge, but they often pay to apply online or to order their background screening checks. These costs range from $25 to $60 depending on price breaks for bundled services.

What Does The Marketing Mix For Luxury Rentals Look Like

A Channel Manager is certainly a technology tool that provides a great deal of help to guarantee an up-to-date calendar and reduce time spent on lower added value interactions with each sales distributor used.

Paola Gheis

In order to maximise occupancy and bookings for owners, fast-growing luxury vacation rental websites are using a tech-based approach to connect property managers with a discerning clientele.

Mainstream OTAs are not meeting the needs of these travellers, which presents an opportunity for niche vacation rental websites that curate lists of rigorously vetted, exclusive properties.

While the units listed on these platforms must meet some unusually high standards, their average booking value is also much higher than that of less exclusive properties. All the more reason why property managers who manage such high-end units need to find the right place to advertise them.

The selection process of niche agencies specialised in luxury and the distribution agreement with them can be time-consuming, says Paola. Its a mutual selection process between owner and distributor. Well-known luxury agencies select and inspect the properties before adding them to their inventory, she adds.

Once a property passes the listing sites test, what comes next is an often tedious bureaucratic process involving detailed contracts and long lists of amenities, services and rates. But the good news is, there is a way to speed it up.

According to Paola:

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Vacation Rental Brands & Management Companies

Sometimes you dont want to gamble on a vacation rental – it could be great, but it could be a disaster. Vacation rental brands and management companies provide consistency and peace of mind for travelers who want a high-quality experience.

  • Interhome: The worlds biggest vacation rental management company, Interhome, manages over 50,000 homes, primarily in European destinations, and even has brick-and-mortar offices which offer guest service in person.

  • Sonder: As one of the largest vacation rental brands, Sonder has over 12,000 units in its portfolio, all of which embody the companys passion for design and technology.

  • Domio: This brand aims to deliver a vacation rental-style experience with the consistency of a hotel, and guests can earn and redeem loyalty perks through the Domio Rewards program.

  • Kasa: With properties in urban and suburban markets throughout the United States, Kasa provides a modern, comfortable experience for not only vacationers, but also corporate travelers and groups.

  • Vacasa: Focusing on vacation destinations like Hilton Head, Orlando, and Galveston, Vacasas massive portfolio includes individually owned homes, apartments, condos, and villas that are professionally managed by the Vacasa team.

  • RedAwning: Offering management and booking services for vacation rentals across the United States, RedAwnings website features over 100,000 listings and gives special discounts and perks to RedAwning members.

  • No Instant Bookings: The Importance Of Trust In The Luxury World

    Virginia Beach house with 8 bedrooms

    We have to look for channels that allow us to work upon request and have better communication with the guest.

    Moriya Rockman

    What makes it difficult for luxury property managers to work with OTAs is that the luxury segment is not designed for instant bookings. Theres a lot that goes into booking such high-value stays. Its a commitment from both sides. Owners often have lots of questions and guests have very specific requests when booking luxury holidays.

    As Moriya Rockman, Co-Founder and CMO at Smiling House Luxury, a property management company with 1,500 luxury rentals told us:

    This is a global problem of the luxury segment. We cannot take instant bookings, we cannot just take the credit card even if the person has the amount of money that were requesting to take. We have to look for channels that allow us to work upon request and have better communication with the guest.

    Trust is a huge factor when it comes to renting out luxury homes. Owners and managers of high-end properties want to have a more personal connection with the guest.

    And it works the other way around, too. As Paola says: Luxury travellers want to speak with the owner. They need more attention and care.

    Niche websites specialising in luxury rentals can provide that sense of trust for both parties. Lets take a look at which ones you should consider working with.

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    Which Is The Best Vacation Rental Booking Site

    Theres no one agency or platform that shines above others for families, but we can provide some conclusions based on our vacation rental site reviews and years of using these booking platforms.

    • If youre looking for budget alternatives to conventional hotels, start with one of the giant booking platformsthats where youll find the bulk of the low-priced options. Go to a regional specialist platform if you want more options.
    • For rentals in the U.S., do a local search in addition to checking the larger vacation rental booking platforms.
    • Cast a wide net. Check with as many different sources as you have time and patience for. And keep in mind that many rentals will list with more than one booking platform, but a few stick to one or two. Prices are almost always the same.
    • Avoid booking vacation rentals through Craigslist or eBay. Although both list vacation rentals, they provide almost no consumer protections.

    Best For Screening Prospective Tenants: Avail


    Avails tenant screening process goes above and beyond criminal background checks and credit history, which of course it also does. Avail includes prospective tenants eviction history, and advanced criminal checks such as whether the applicant is on a terror list or sex offender list, to name a few.

    • More screening reports than other listing sites

    • Tenant pays for the screening reports

    • For landlords on the Unlimited Plus Plan, there are no fees when tenants pay from a bank account

    • Allows landlords to collect rent easily

    • Transparent system for tracking property repairs, tenant expenses, and rent credits

    • Tenants pay fees on each payment when landlord is on the free plan

    • Small listing inventory

    • Short list of search filters

    Founded in 2012, Avail has created a rental management platform that serves every state in the U.S. and is our pick as best for screening prospective tenants.

    Landlords create their listing with Avail, and Avail then syndicates it to Zillow, Trulia, Hotpads, Zumper, Padmapper, Walkscore,,, Abodo,, and ApartmentList.

    In addition to syndication to other listing platforms, Avail also makes it easy for landlords to share their listing out to social media channels and use a custom marketing and portfolio site that includes a tenant portal. Avail enables the landlord to communicate with applicants from all 10 of the syndicated sites from the Avail platform.

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    Tips For Finding The Best Vacation Rental

    How do you go about finding the best vacation rental for your needs? Weve got some expert tips to keep your vacation on track.

    1. Nail down what kind of accommodation and amenities you want

    Its easy to focus too much on the location and not enough on the rental itself. Forgetting about the accommodation details leaves way too much to chance.

    How many bedrooms does the rental have? How many bathrooms? Is there a communal space? What about other amenities, like a hot tub? If youre cooking, is there a stove, oven and cookware?

    Some amenities like a large living room may be found more commonly in a single family house. But if you dont need them, an apartment or a condo could be a better fit.

    Have a big family? Make sure everyone wants to stay in one house. If not, consider reserving a couple of rentals near each other and shuttling folks between the two. Or, if youre at a resort, ask about adjoining rooms.

    Visiting an extremely hot or cold area? Make sure theres an air conditioner or heater thats sufficient for your needs. Youd be surprised what some properties dont include.

    2. Gut Check

    With millions of vacation rental listings worldwide, there are bound to be some fakes out there. While spotting a scam is getting more difficult, there are some red flags.

    Does the host want to conduct rental business outside of the rental platform? Is the landlord asking for an unusual payment method? Does something seem off about the rental?

    3. Where is Management?

    Tripadvisor And Its Family Of Sites

    Victim scammed for thousands using popular vacation rental website

    While many users may be familiar with TripAdvisor for its hotel and attraction reviews, not many know of its entire family of websites. Many of them are vacation rental sites, including FlipKey, HolidayLettings and HouseTrip.

    Collectively, TripAdvisor Rentals includes 830,000 properties in 190 countries and averages 390 million unique monthly visitors, according to the website.

    You could access the main TripAdvisor rental website, but lets take a deeper dive into its specialty sites.

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    How To Book A Vacation Rental

    How you book a vacation rental will differ slightly from platform to platform, but they all follow the same general format. You’ll want to input your desired location, dates, and number of guests. On many booking sites, including Airbnb and Vrbo, you can then refine your search criteria further to search by rating, price, amenities, and more.

    On Airbnb, you can also filter for stays listed by Superhosts, Airbnb Plus listings, and even unique listings such as tree houses or tiny homes.

    In popular locations, the options can feel seemingly endless. To help narrow your search, be sure to read up on recent reviews, check the overall rating, look for standout amenities, and check the map to make sure the home is in a desirable area close to the attractions you’re eager to visit. On Airbnb, you’ll also want to make sure you’ve checked the box for “Entire home” so you don’t end up with a room in a shared space.

    If you have questions about a listing, you can usually contact the host or company ahead of booking. Additionally, be sure to factor in extra fees to the price, since rentals typically have hefty cleaning fees tacked on.

    Once you’re booked, the host or company will typically reach out via email with additional check-in details and any house rules that need to be followed.

    More on how to book:

    Tips For Booking And Paying For Vacation Rentals

    Protect yourself during the booking process with these reservation tips:

    • Review the total cost before you click. There may be hidden fees in the rentals fine print that arent advertised in the main search.
    • Pay directly through the app whenever possible. Using the services system provides information protection.
    • Read the contract. You should have a clear understanding of cancellation policies, occupation limits, and damage waivers before booking.

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    Luxury Vacation Rental Sites

    Looking to splurge on a five-star villa or vacation home? These sites are known for their service-oriented and stylish listings.

  • Plum Guide: This uber-selective site chooses to list only the most unique and luxurious homes in destinations like Palm Springs, the Hamptons, and the Cotswolds.

  • Luxury Retreats: Now a subsidiary of Airbnb, Luxury Retreats offers 24/7 concierge service and a collection of 4,000+ homes and villas that meet its 240-point quality assessment.

  • Villaway: This site provides dedicated concierge service, airport pick-ups, and tour bookings along with luxury homes and villas in destinations like St. Barths and Maui.

  • Villas of Distinction: Find your ideal villa – whether it has a tennis court or a home theater – in destinations throughout the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and the United States.

  • All Luxury Apartments: This booking site focuses on high-end apartments in urban destinations like Paris, New York City, and Barcelona, with a few in resort destinations too.

  • Olivers Travels: Vacation homes on this site must pass a rigorous evaluation in order to be listed, so you can avoid any unexpected surprises upon check-in – plus you can check if the home is baby- or kid-friendly.

  • Stay One Degree: Like a vacation rental country club, this members-only program lets you book an exclusive selection of homes and meet fellow travelers.

  • Alternatives To Airbnb For Vacation Rentals

    10 Best Beach House Rentals in Florida

    HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.


    Whether youre planning a trip to one of the worlds best beaches or one of the worlds best cities for foodies, youre probably looking for some killer digs to boot.

    Though travel is a bit limited these days with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that hasnt stopped many folks from seeking out long-term Airbnbs rentals for month-long says, nearby getaways to you and long-term vacation rentals so they can get away while staying away from others.

    Though youd be hard-pressed to find someone these days who hasnt used vacation rental marketplace Airbnb as an alternative to hotels, there are lots of reasons people avoid using the site.

    Whether youre looking for a treehouse in Asheville, NC., or a California home with an infinity pool, these Airbnb alternatives have hundreds of thousands of listings for every vacation style, budget and occasion.

    Get inspired for your next getaway with these 10 alternatives to Airbnb:

    A post shared by on Jul 2, 2020 at 6:15am PDT

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    Vacation Rental WordPress Themes Faq

    Is it easy to create a vacation rental website?

    What is a vacation rental WordPress theme?

    What should an average rental website template include?

    Secondly, an online reservation system. This is basically the point that makes your website a real rental site. With the help of a management system, you can control all bookings from the backend dashboard, create custom rules and set variable prices, synchronize reservations with OTAs , confirm reservations via email, and conduct more necessary operations for a full-value online rental business.

    Do all hotel themes support iCal synchronization?


    Holiday Lettings United Kingdom

    Holiday Lettings was the UKs largest independent vacation rental website when it was acquired by TripAdvisor in 2010. They maintain their focus on very English-esque stays like tudor-style homes and old manors tucked away in the countryside. Today, Holiday Lettings advertises 600,000 cottages, villas and apartments in over 150 countries worldwide, including nearly 55,000 in the UK.

    Holiday Lettings Fees

    Host fees Listing fees
    Travelers are charged a booking fee, which typically varies from 8% to 14.5% depending on the rental rate. Hosts pay a 3% fee on confirmed bookings, deducted from the guests booking total. There are no listing fees for Holiday Lettings

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    Homes And Villas By Marriott International

    Marriott are one of the more well known international hotel brands, with properties all around the world. They also operate their own vacation rental platform, Homes and Villas by Marriott International, which has private properties available for rent in over 45 countries worldwide.

    All the homes which are listed are managed by a premium property management company. The homes all come with fast WiFi, professional cleaning, 24/7 support for any issues and premium linens and amenities. Another benefit is that if you are a Marriott Bonvoy member you can earn and redeem Marriott points on stays at their vacation rental properties.

    So if you were looking for a vacation rental where you can earn reward points, this is a great option!

    For property owners, in order to be listed on the Homes and Villas site you need to be registered with one of the home management companies Marriott works with. You can contact Marriott to find the appropriate company for your area.

    The 50 Best Vacation Rental Websites For Travelers In 2021

    List your vacation home for rent on a top 10 Google indexed website

    Adrienne Fors

    Searching for that perfect vacation rental? Or maybe youre looking for sites to list your own property? Finding the best vacation rental websites for your needs isnt always easy. In this article, well introduce you to over 50 unique vacation rental websites, including global, regional, and niche sites. By the end of this article, youll probably have bookmarked a few sites you want to visit again and again.

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