When accommodations are scarce, Vrbo should be your backup option. Vrbo isn’t the cool, trendy option, but it works. Vrbo, or Vacation Rentals by Owner, was founded in 1995 and is now owned and operated by Expedia. Expedia recently merged multiple “vacation rental” sites including Vrbo, HomeAway, and Vacation Rentals all under the Vrbo brand.
Vrbo works well if you’re traveling as a group or want an entire place to yourself. Unlike Airbnb, Vrbo doesn’t have “private room” or “shared room” options.
After Airbnb took off, companies launched dozens of copycats and country-specific alternatives. Later, big travel brands like Priceline, Expedia, and TripAdvisor bought up these smaller sites and consolidated them to compete with Airbnb.
Whether you want to rent a house in a small town or a luxury apartment in a high-rise building, you have plenty of places to search. Below, we’ll highlight some of the most unique sites.
But which is better, Airbnb or VRBO?
With the ultra-competitive travel landscape continually changing and alternatives to VRBO and Airbnb trying to take a market share as well instead of trying to decide which is better to use both!
Airbnb might be the best vacation rental website this week, and VRBO might be the best next week. Airbnb might be the best for one destination and VRBO the best for another. Families might prefer one, and couples might prefer another. You get the picture.
More Airbnb Alternatives
Booking.com has 800,000+ hotels, apartments, and villas available to rent. Free cancellation on most reservations. 24/7 customer service in English and 41 other languages. Owned by Priceline.
Couchsurfing is your cheapest option: it’s free. The downside, of course, is that you only get a couch.
Kid & Coe has family-focused rentals to make traveling with kids easier. Rentals have amenities like playrooms, backyards, highchairs, toys, and sitter recommendations. The property descriptions show the closest playgrounds and family attractions.
One Fine Stay lists high-end options hand-picked by the site’s staff. You can choose from the City Collection
Vacasa manages its own properties—in contrast to Airbnb’s peer-to-peer model—in North America, Europe, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Vacasa also owns Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which has a similar model but for US properties only.