Top Vacation Rental Websites for a Unique Personal Holiday

Vacation rentals have become increasingly popular as favourable travel solutions owing to its economical and private features. While Airbnb has remained the golden standard for many vacation rental websites, there are alternative online services offering incredible options to make the most of your holiday experience. We look at the ways you can find the top vacation rental websites to plan your next incredible getaway.

The Problem with Vacation Rental Websites

Although a vacation rental website makes it easier to book your accommodation, it is also subject to exorbitant booking fees owing to service terms. The key to success is to find a website that is relevant, offers incredible options for your holiday stay and maintains affordable and fair service costs.

Top Vacation Rental Websites to Create Memorable Travel

From apartments to single rooms with air conditioning and a mansion of a property, your trusted travel website offers the latest details on rentals in travel areas you can trust.

Airbnb

Although widely recognized and highly publicized, we cannot do a top vacation rental website without mentioning the popular resource. Airbnb offers detailed property listings including 200 000 lists in 25 000 towns and an impressive 192 countries across the world. The secure service including the holding period of payment for 24 hours before it is received by the host is an enhanced layer of guest protection.

FlipKey

FlipKey was released by the well-recognized TripAdvisor. It boasts a total of 150 000 rentals in an expansive 7000 cities in popular global travel destinations.

HomeAway

If you are looking for a traditional, fully furnished house to rent, then HomeAway can help you find what you are looking for. It includes 315 000 listings with 183 500 properties covering Europe.

Couchsurfing

Affordable listings covering 90 000 city areas, find free accommodation for single travellers or host accommodations willing to put you up on the couch.

How to avoid these problems

Find out about fire safety. Ask the host ahead of time about smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, and make sure you know how to get out in case of an emergency.

Vet and verify the host. Individuals with verified profiles have shared their Facebook account or provided government-issued identification. Host reviews can reveal a lot about the person you’ll be staying with or renting from. Airbnb says it checks all U.S. hosts and guests for felony convictions or sex-offender registrations. “Trust your instincts if something doesn’t look quite right from the pictures or sound quite right from the host’s responses,” Walker says.

Inquire about insurance-yours and theirs. In the case of theft, you may be covered by your own policy. But if you trip on the stairs of the rental, the homeowner may not have adequate liability coverage to compensate you. HomeAway sells an insurance policy that hosts can purchase, but it’s not required. Airbnb provides host-protection insurance that offers additional liability coverage free in 16 countries, but limitations and exclusions apply. Always read the fine print.

Communicate securely. Texting or calling a host might be efficient, but it could leave you unprotected if a problem arises later. Stay within the site’s secure messaging system.

Never book offline. Always complete the booking through the site’s secure payment processing system. Never agree to a host’s request to transfer money to his or her bank or to pay in cash when you arrive, even if he offers a discount or other compelling reason. Using the site’s payment platform also confers some protection. For example, HomeAway’s Book With Confidence Guarantee fully covers your payment if the listing is fraudulent or if the property is significantly misrepresented or inaccessible.

Understand your rights-or lack thereof. When you accept the terms and conditions of a vacation rental, you may be consenting to a background check and forced arbitration, among other terms. You’re also agreeing to the host’s cancellation policy and how you might be rebooked or refunded if something goes wrong. Be sure to know what you’re agreeing to before booking.

Remember that looks aren’t everything. In certain destinations, the security of the building and neighbourhood safety matter just as much as-if not more than—the appearance and even the cost of the rental. 

Choose a trusted and well reviewed vacation rental website and find the ideal holiday stay apartment, condo or home away from home.