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Sick of Airbnb? Here Are 11 Alternative Rental Platforms You Should Try Instead

From farm stays to glamping, we explore all the other rental platforms on the market.

Done with Airbnb? You’re not alone. Horror stories are surfacing all over the world, and many are darn right ugly. There are the mounting little annoyances, too: unreasonably high cleaning fees, inaccurate room descriptions, and guests having to do the job of a host, like taking out the trash and changing the bed linens. It’s no wonder users are seeking alternatives.

In the rental world, competition’s fierce. Travelers are in a marketplace that has something for literally everyone, from budget to luxury, and lots of these platforms offer significantly sweeter deals than the monopoly hogs at Airbnb. So, without further ado, here are the 11 best alternatives to try on your next vacation booking.

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Glamping Hub

Glamping has changed the game for travelers keen to explore the great outdoors and sleep under the stars without compromising on home comforts. Specializing in unique rentals, Glamping Hub offers them means to do so via yurts, safari tents, treehouses, tiny cabins, and more, equipped with luxuries that span bathrooms, kitchens, and pools. Launched in 2013, the company has over 17,000 hosts in 115 countries, many with a focus on sustainability.

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Farm Stay

If waking up to the sound of grazing animals in the English countryside—à la Jeremy Clarkson on Amazon Prime—is your idea of a vacation, have a plow through Farm Stay. The platform is a non-profit, farmer-owned partnership designed to bring countryside rentals to travelers seeking something off the beaten track. There is no commission charged on their listings, and you’re actually encouraged to book directly with the farmers for the best rates. Available only in the U.K.

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Plum Guide

When splashing out on a rental, you want it to be vetted first. Plum Guide is a five-star booking platform whereby a local expert has actually visited every listing in person. Homes are therefore guaranteed to meet their users’ discerning standards, and customer care upon booking is exceptional. For example, in the rare event that a host cancels, the Plum Guide team quickly works to find you an alternative at a similar value. Rated ”Excellent” on TrustPilot.

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A top choice for backpackers looking to make local friends, Couchsurfing members can open up their homes to strangers, and likewise, stay in other members’ homes when they travel. Overnights are free, and thus, there’s a good chance you’ll be crashing on a sofa, but some luck out with their own room and dinner to boot. Started in 2004, Couchsurfing has 12 million members, with the goal of social activity and cultural exchange on the travel agenda.

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Another popular backpacker option, Hostelworld, is your portal for hostel booking. This type of accommodation is typically low-cost thanks to shared dormitories, communal bathrooms, and living spaces, however, these days the options are wider. Travelers wanting daytime camaraderie but nighttime solitude can opt for private rooms at a slightly higher price. Eighty percent of Hostelworld’s customers are under 35 and most travel solo meaning they favor hostels over hotels for the social aspect. The app also allows them to join a hostel’s chat group, make friends before arriving, and RSVP to link-up events.

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Families, bach parties, and gatherings turn to Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner) for large stand-alone homes designed to keep the crew together. Cabins, condos, and beach houses are just some of the two million options available worldwide, and more often than not, they feature a yard or swimming pool. The style of booking is very similar to that of Airbnb, but what we like about Vrbo is the transparency: cleaning fees automatically show up in the hotel while you search.

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Animal lovers can take care of someone’s beloved pet and, in return, get to stay in their home for free. TrustedHousesitters lists homestays in 130 countries around the world, along with pet profiles for verified sitters to shower a fur baby with TLC. You’ll feed, clean, and walk animals while keeping their owners up to date—it’s a win-win for both sitter and pet parents. An annual membership is required, and that covers a free direct line to a dedicated team of veterinary nurses to help you quickly clear up any pet queries.

However, be careful using this site internationally, as some countries view housesitting as working, rather than a vacation, and may be a violation of your visa.

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Home Exchange

Alternatively, do the visit without a furry friend. For anyone who’s seen The Holiday, you’ll know how this works. Home Exchange allows guests to list their homes for possible exchange with 270,000 others. Simply sign up and pay an annual $220 membership fee for verification and access, and browse everything from Californian mansions with sexy pools to quaint English countryside cottages (basically, are you a Cameron or a Kate?). It’s not just for singles ready to mingle, though: members can search homes for families, couples, and pets, too.

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If you’re an avid traveler, there’s a high chance you’ve already used The platform has been going strong since 1996, and today is one of the largest travel marketplaces for accommodation options (approx 28 million!), travel experiences, and transportation. Whatever stay you dream of, the wizards at can make come true. Think Japanese ryokans, Costa Rican treehouses, Thai villas, and Swiss chalets. Plus of course all your standard hotels. More stays mean more rewards if you sign up for the Genius loyalty program. The interface is easy to use, and most stays have flexible cancellation policies.

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Eat, Pray, Love your way through Asia, and let Agoda be your guide. The platform blends travel experience and transportation alongside a vast array of accommodation offerings. It has an especially big presence in Southeast Asia, where it was founded and headquartered, so fans of jungle and beach villas are in for a treat, but the app also operates worldwide. What’s great about Agonda is its partnership with local airlines and rideshare services for seamless booking and sweet deals.

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Getaway House

These tiny houses with massive floor-to-ceiling nature views have been a social media hit in recent years, and ironically, they’re all about disconnecting from digital devices (each cabin comes with a lock box to stash your phone in). Situated within a two-hour drive of major US cities such as Atlanta, NYC, LA, Chicago, Dallas, and Seattle, you’ll check in for a staycation with a far-away feeling. Easy to book, affordable, and with no hidden extras, Getaway is a great alternative to hotels and Airbnb.