Can’t Find a Place on Airbnb? Here are 20 Alternatives
Experienced tourists know that the best way to feel the real “undecorated” city (not a “beautiful” tourist version) is to rent a house from locals. But what if you do not have friends or acquaintances in a place where you’re going to go? Airbnb seems to be the answer.
Although I’m almost sure you know the rules, let’s recall the key points once more:
- Many people have a free room, a kitchen, a sofa or an extra house that they’re willing to rent, as well as desire to get acquainted with foreigners. That’s how Airbnb works.
But what to do if you have come round too late and all sweet places are already rented? What if there are no reasonable options at the moment?
Well, you can’t change the date for your vacation, but you can search for options on the best alternative for Airbnb. Do not panic and explore the following alternatives:
#1–3 CouchSurfing and the Analogs
The idea of СouchSurfing is quite similar to Airbnb. You can also search for profiles by interests, and then rent the apartments, receiving communication as a special gift.
However, there a great difference between Airbnb and СouchSurfing – on the latter, all is done on a voluntary basis! Yes, all these people are ready to host guests without asking anything in return!
Why? They’re just enthusiasts who love interact with people from different countries and ready to guide foreigners along the native city.
How to use?
Go to the site and start searching by choosing your city. You’ll see a lot of profiles with brief information (a few words about oneself, age, occupation, language, life purposes, etc.), including the possibility to host at the moment. Next, click on the desired profile and get the full information about the host. Be sure to check the advanced options that may include the desire to host for smokers, travelers with pets, children and so on.
Well, I guess the main question is the security issue. Is it safe to stay in the apartments of a stranger? Of course, you’ll need a certain degree of adventurism to decide on such a step, but a huge number of rave reviews about the project led to believe that it’s worth it. In addition, there are some tools you can use to protect yourself:
- At first, play attention to the profile. The style and the level of detail say a lot about the host. As well as the communication tone.
- Secondly, read the reviews. If the profile marked green, it means the host is trusted. At least, such renter has a credit card number verified.
- Thirdly, the system provides sureties who can vouch for hosts. Such profiles are difficult to find, but you can try.
The website also has a section where travels are looking for like-minded people to organize tours to museums, festivals or just to gather for a cup of coffee. That’s a great idea not only for travel but also for spending a good time in your hometown.
#4–7 HomeExchange and the Analogs
Those who watched the wonderful movie “The Holiday,” with Jude Law and Kate Winslet, already know what I’m going to tell now.
Let’s assume you have a favorite home, but you do want to go on a vacation abroad. And there’s the person with the same idea in mind at the other end of the world. Why not exchange apartments and have a mutually beneficial rest? As for the security issues, everything is built on mutual trust. As a rule, people treat someone else’s housing as would like others treat their own.
Homeaway is one of the world’s largest sites where property owners can look for renters for a short term. In fact, this is a big board where you establish an eye-to-eye contact with the owner and then send him the money for accommodation. In all other aspects, Homeaway is similar to Airbnb.
Are you seeking for a freaky way of rest? Then UnusualHotelsoftheWorld is just what you need! Here you can find hotels inbuilt in trains and much more fascinating opportunities like apartments in planes, observatories, caves and even prisons. “Sleep with a story” – a motto of the service that accurately describes the available rest options. If you’re looking for a great story to tell your grandchildren, that the right place for you, my freaky traveler!
#10 Uniq Hotels
I can’t say this website provides too many options of unusual hotels, but the search system is very convenient. All hotels are organized by type, so you can easily choose the one you new with just a few clicks. An underwater hotel, a castle hotel, a plane hotel and many others are at your disposal!
Relais & Chateaux Group manages the finest hotels and restaurants of the world, so it is worth coming for a really luxurious place. Even if your budget is much more modest than the price for a night in these hotels, go to the website just to inspire and see how the powers that be live. Here you’ll find a hotel in the vineyard, a hotel lost in the middle of the forest, a castle hotel with a restaurant and so on.
In essence, the site is very similar to Relais & Chateaux. “Get Inspired” section is of particular note.
That’s a service from the Conde Nast publishing house. Who knows more about the luxury hotels than the editors of Vogue, Glamour, Tatler, and GQ? But please don’t visit the website until you’re looking for an expensive and luxurious hotel with a spa. The website is full of sweet pictures and provides an easy search. Moreover, it annually awards hotels and checks whether they meet high standards.
Without exaggeration, Booking can be called one of the most popular Internet services for independent search and reservation of hotel accommodation worldwide. I bet you’ve used or at least know about this resource with amazing statistics: about 300 thousand booked nights per day, or 3 nights per second!
I must say, the reasons for that popularity are quite justified:
- More than 200,000 hotels in 164 countries around the world, from Italy, France and Turkey to Cook Islands, Angola and Palestinian territories.
- Best price for accommodation. The service returns the difference if the client finds a better option (there is, of course, a number of restrictions).
- Daily updates and special offers.
- Loyal payment policy. To begin with, you don’t have to pay until you arrive at the hotel. Why enter credit card number? Well, the hotel reserves the right to charge the first night if you do not arrive or refuse too late.
- A lot of reasonable feedback and reviews of each hotel by users from around the world, a lot of pictures of the hotels and the surrounding area and an exact distance to the nearby attractions.
That’s a very useful search engine that lets you compare the cost of one and the same number in different booking systems. Still thinking that Booking is the best service? Believe me, there are exceptions sometimes.
It’s a service similar to the previous one. Hotellook is a great option for those who have a limited budget. As for me, it’s better than Hotelscombined as it has more options and lower prices.
Don’t miss to try Agoda if you’re going to visit Asia. That’s one of the best search systems for the lovers of East culture. Book the apartments using Agoda and spend a great time in China somewhere on the ocean.
If you are looking for a hostel or interested in the most budget option, then this site is just for you! It provides a lot of unique “penny” options unavailable in other search systems. Another advantage is that the reservation could be made without the full payment.
TravelPony is a relatively young and not very popular site, but it has some advantages, the main of which is a discount on the first book. Another plus is a great number of discounts. Thus, the first book option + promo code can save the significant part of your budget! Note that the service is mainly oriented on the high-class hotels.
The last one is not a booking service but a generator of discounts. However, with it, you can get very good options for rental housing. Especially, if you are not tied to any particular direction. As a rule, the website provides a lot of special offers, so don’t miss the chance to get a good option at a reasonable price!
As you see, accommodation booking is a real art! But even if you have absolutely no money, don’t immure yourself! Try those options and get the best rest for almost totally free!