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23 Airbnb alternatives for perfect holiday homes

Settle into a home away from home with the help of these sites similar to Airbnb offering alternate accommodation.

Living like a local has never been easier. There are all kinds of sites like Airbnb out there offering you the chance to stay in local homes, quirky places and other unconventional sleeping quarters – all much more exciting than a hotel.

Here are just a few places where you can find your dream accommodation, be it a hilltop villa in Italy, a chic New York City apartment, a traditional ryokan in Japan or a cosy chalet in Whistler.

Alternate sites like Airbnb

  • Wimdu
  • AURA
  • Camplify
  • HolidayLettings
  • Vacasa
  • Kid and Coe
  • Couchsurfing

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1. Stayz

Choose from more than 40,000 properties in 2,000 locations across Australia with the country's largest holiday rental site.

  • Filter searches by attractions or themes, ranging from cheap to executive and honeymoons to family holidays
  • Receive free property features protection insurance
  • No additional booking fees
Go to Stayz

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2. Homestay

Experience what it's like to live in another location with Homestay. The Ireland-based site ensures your hosts aren't just leaving you the keys to their place and instead provide an authentic homestay experience.

  • Find accommodation in more than 150 countries
  • Hosts are always present during your stay
  • Meet your host and book your stay with video calls
Go to Homestay

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couch white

3. Wotif

Offering more than hotels, you can book everything from apartments and private holiday rentals to cabins and holiday parks. There are millions to choose from across the world.

  • 24/7 support
  • Wotif's price promise states that if you find it cheaper before you stay, it will refund the difference
  • Credits and coupons can be used toward your stay
Go to Wotif

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Part of the HomeAway family, VRBO, or Vacation Rentals by Owner, boasts more than a million vacation rental options worldwide.

  • See transport and attraction maps on your search to help you better choose your stay
  • Read reviews from past guests
  • More than 25,000 dog-friendly properties available
Go to VRBO

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white room


Part of the Expedia Group, is a powerhouse that lets you book everything from hotels to alternate forms of accommodation. Want to be inspired? Explore the B&Bs, castles, farmstays, ryokans, chalets and tree houses available through the site.

  • Book last minute – even as early as tonight
  •'s Price Pledge means if you find the same deal for less it will refund the difference
  • Book accommodation, car hire, flights, packages and activities in one place
Go to

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booking apartments


More than hotels, is a base for all manner of rentals, including apartment homestays.'s extensive offering of stays, apartments and home rentals provides you with an alternative to the hotel stay while providing you with all of the benefits of the site, including user reviews and price matching.

  • Uncover apartment and holiday rentals all across the world
  • Features reviews and recommendations from previous visitors
  • Most reservations are partially refundable
Go to

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7. TripAdvisor

While it's best known for user reviews and advice forums for hotels and resorts, TripAdvisor also offers a huge selection of holiday rentals that can be booked right on the site. In fact, there are 630,000 of them.

  • Compare holiday homes to hotels in one place
  • Feel secure with the "Peace of Mind" payment protection for online payments
  • Choose from a range of accommodation options including homes, condos, cottages and rural retreats
Go to TripAdvisor

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8. HotelsCombined

In traditional HotelsCombined fashion, the accommodation aggregator compares different homestay and alternate accommodation sites for the best rate.

  • Easily compare the prices of hotel rooms and homestays in one list
  • Awarded the "World's Leading Hotel Comparison Website" at the 2015 World Travel Awards
  • Guaranteed to offer you the lowest accommodation rate
Go to HotelsCombined

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Excelsior apartment

9. Agoda Homes

Agoda is a comparison site for hotels and alternative accommodations like apartments and holiday homes. It allows users to compare and reserve a range of options worldwide.

  • Option to pay later
  • Search for more than 750,000 hotels worldwide
  • Features reviews from previous visitors
  • Free cancellation on most hotel reservations, unless otherwise specified
Go to Agoda Homes

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island stay

10. Hamilton Island Holiday Homes

Dedicated to holiday homes on the paradise-like island of Hamilton Island, you can book everything from self-contained studios to 4-bedroom homes.

  • Search by feature homes or property style
  • Filter by location, type of home, property features and type of traveller
  • Exclusive inclusions when you book through the site, including the use of non-motorised watersports equipment and golf buggies
Go to Hamilton Island Holiday Homes

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11. One Fine Stay

Designed to provide the ultimate homestay experience, One Fine Stay provides "unhotels" – homes in London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York.

  • Get a £20 discount on your first stay
  • Committed to choosing the finest homes to rent out
  • Enjoy boutique toiletries, quality linens and 24/7 customer support by phone or text
Go to One Fine Stay Homes


12. HomeAway

Acquired in 2015 by travel-giant Expedia, HomeAway offers secure bookings on holiday rentals all around the world.

  • Travellers don't pay any booking fees
  • Make bookings using the mobile app
  • Choose from more than one million listings in 190 countries

hotel nature

13. Plum Guide

There's no running out of options when booking your dream holiday with Plum Guide.

The site offers more than 5,000,000 rental homes across Europe, the UK and the USA. Each destination boasts a collection of luxury residences, villas and fully-furnished accommodations with access to an indoor pool, overlooking views and more.

  • Easy search filters
  • Full refund available when you cancel up until 30 days before check-in
  • Reviews available


14. FlipKey

Part of TripAdvisor Rentals, FlipKey boasts a massive 830,000 properties in 190 countries.

  • Filter searches by property type and useful extras like whether it's wheelchair accessible, pet-friendly and allows smoking
  • Features certificates of excellence on top properties, just like TripAdvisor does with hotels



Save time and money comparing over 10 million properties around the world.

  • Use the filter to customise the search
  • Save on the price of hotels and accommodation
  • Choose from more than 150,000 destinations


16. Home Exchange

Working a bit differently to Airbnb, but still offering you the chance to stay in a local's home, Home Exchange opens you up to an entire world of house swaps. Just pay a joining fee and then start exchanging your home – there's no limit to your swaps!

  • Gain access to more than 65,000 homes in 150 countries around the world
  • Save on the price of hotels and accommodation
  • Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

17. Wimdu

Explore Europe and beyond with over 350,000 apartments at your fingertips.

  • One of Europe's biggest portals for holiday apartments and homes
  • Trustpilot score of 8.9 out of 10
  • Hosts can list their apartments for free

Aura Sites Like Airbnb

18. AURA

One of the largest Australian-owned holiday rental websites, AURA offers a range of holiday homes, apartments and short-term rentals.

  • Easily search for properties that offer facilities for pets, wheelchairs and parking
  • Guarantees the best price on its accommodations online
  • Properties available right across Australia, from Melbourne CBD apartments to cosy cottages in rural Tasmania to remote beaches on WA's Coral Coast

19. Camplify

Don't like sitting still on a holiday? Hire someone's RV, campervan or trailer when they're not using it with Camplify.

  • Caravan, campervan, motorhome and trailer hires start at just $40 per night
  • Stay in unique destinations across the country like remote outback campsites and near quiet beaches
  • Select campervans/RVs can be relocated to suit your travel needs, which is ideal for events and festivals


20. HolidayLettings

Get all the comforts at home with HolidayLettings' carefully vetted properties in 20,000 destinations around the world.

  • Read reviews from actual guests before making your booking
  • Join the HouseTrip+ rewards program
  • Choose from more than 300,000 properties

21. Vacasa

Discover over 7,000 vacation rentals across the US, South America and Central America.

Vacasa's point of difference is that it not only manages your whole homestay experience but is responsible for marketing, maintenance and housekeeping, making the process easier for both hosts and guests. It's available in numerous countries around the world, though not in Australia yet.

  • All bookings managed through Vacasa direct
  • Homes can be booked for up to 29 days
  • Changes are permitted up to 30 days prior to the reservation

22. Kid and Coe

The ultimate platform to discover kid-friendly accommodation throughout the world.

Whether you're a family of 3 or a brood of many, Kid and Coe is a supportive network for families who love to travel offering suitable accommodation and services while on holiday.

  • Provides with concierge services, baby equipment rentals and itineraries suitable for families
  • All properties are personally reviewed to ensure their suitability for families
  • Stay, host or exchange your home for the holidays

23. Couchsurfing

A homestay that will very likely change you for the better.

Before Airbnb was even conceived, there was couch surfing. It's a homestay of a very different kind that works on a cultural exchange rather than a monetary one and allows you to stay in someone's extra space, whether it be a couch, a spare room or an attic. More often than not, your host will be present throughout your stay and generally it's expected you save time to get to know them. From this, you'll receive insight into how they live and their personal recommendations of their city. And, sometimes, you may even come out of it with a long-lasting friendship.

  • Community of over 4 million surfers and 400,000 hosts to date
  • It's free to stay, host and attend traveller events
  • Message verification and reviews build trust and safety into the community

What should I know about Airbnb and other homestay sites?

In Australia, renting out your home on platforms like Airbnb is generally legal. However, if you live in an apartment complex or are a tenant rather than an owner, the landlord or building management may not allow you to rent your unit out.

The laws are constantly being changed and it's important to double-check with your local council if you have any doubts.

If you're looking to book a stay in an Airbnb, it's also good to know what the laws are where you are, especially if you're booking a stay overseas. Laws differ from destination to destination, so it's important to check whether renting out someone's home for profit is legal for them to do without a licence. If you're contacted by the host and they tell you anything that raises a red flag (like for you to pretend to be their relative and not a paid guest), tell Airbnb and try to get your reservation cancelled and refunded.

Some cities where it's recommended to double-check local laws are Barcelona and New York City (Manhattan, specifically). Other destinations, like Santa Monica (Los Angeles) and Berlin restrict Airbnb-style listings to only offer a room in someone's home rather than an entire home.

Are sites like Airbnb safe?

Just like hotels, listings on homestay sites get reviewed by previous guests, which are usually clearly displayed on each listing. The rating (usually out of 5 or 10) and the number of reviews are clearly listed.

For example, on this listing on Homestay, the host has an average of 5 out of 5 based on 39 reviews. The green badge on the upper right corner means the host is verified by the company. When looking for a place to stay, find a host that has a higher number of reviews – it will also likely mean they're a more experienced host.


Similar to the green badge used by Homestay, Airbnb has "superhosts", who have received 5 stars from at least 80% of their guests.

It's also recommended to check the area that you're staying in. Check online to see how far the stay is from the attractions you'd like to visit and check out Google Maps' street-view function to get a feel for what the local area is like.

How do you pay for your stay?

Most sites act as a middleman between the guest and host and allow you to pay for your stay through their platform. This is also the safest way to pay, as it will offer a secure payment system and you'll get a confirmation screen or email stating you've paid.

Like hotels, some prefer you pay upfront when you make the booking, while others you'll pay for closer to your stay date.

When you pay upfront, it may take a couple of days to process your booking as the host needs to accept your request to stay before your card is charged.

What additional fees do these sites charge?

ProviderAdditional feesWhere to book?
VRBOVaries, but averages at 5%VRBO
HomestayBooking fee of up to 15%Homestay ApartmentsExternal fees, services or housekeeping charges may
TripAdvisorNo additional feesTripAdvisor
HotelsCombinedExternal fees may applyHotelsCombined
Stayz2% service feeStayz
Airbnb6–14% guest service fee + variable cleaning fees and 3% per reservationAirbnb
WotifNo additional feesWotif additional
Hamilton Island Holiday HomesNo additional feesHamilton Island Holiday Homes
Home ExchangeAnnual fee of $175 (Unlimited exchanges)Home Exchange
FlipKeyBooking fee of 8–14% and a processing fee of 3%FlipKey
Rentals CombinedNo additional feesRentals Combined
Tripping.comNo additional feesTripping
AURANo additional feesAURA
Wimdu15% booking fee and service fee includedWimdu
Camplify13–15% booking fee, some hires require a service feeCamplify
HolidayLettingsBooking fee: 16–18% of the total cost

Owner fee: Varies

Vacasa10–16% booking fee, some hires require cleaning, pet and hot tub feesVacasa
Kid and Coe10–15% booking fee and 2.9% processing feeKid and Coe
CouchsurfingMembership fee of $2.39 per monthCouchsurfing

Want to book a stay at these sites like Airbnb? Use one of our coupons:

Deal exclusive

10% off on all tours, tickets and activities with code FINDER

Use the code and get 10% off on all tours, tickets, activities, and things to do at TripAdvisor. Limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Australia stays from $20 per night

Available on select travel dates across Sydney, Adelaide, Cairns, Brisbane, Perth and more. Sample rate is for a stay in Melbourne. T&Cs apply.

Australia beach holidays from $76 per night

Available on select stay dates in Adelaide, Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more. Sample stay is for a studio apartment in Mornington Peninsula. T&Cs apply.

Sydney stays from $40 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Bondi Beach. T&Cs apply.

Darwin stays from $60 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Woodroffe. T&Cs apply.

Brisbane stays from $60 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Bellbowrie. T&Cs apply.

Canberra stays from $20 per night

Available on select travel dates. Sample stay is for a room with an ensuite near Canberra centre. Destinations include the east, west and Canberra Airport.

Adelaide stays from $41 per night

Available on select travel dates. Sample fare is for a stay near Adelaide Centre. Destinations include Adelaide Hills, Port Adelaide and North Adelaide. T&Cs apply.

Tasmania stays from $63 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is for pet-friendly accommodation in Brighton Council. Destinations include Launceston and Hobart. T&Cs apply.

Busselton holiday rentals from $190 per night

Available on stays until December 2023. Sample stay is for a 3-bedroom Driftwood Cottage.

Sydney homestays from $24 per night

Available on select stay dates until December 2023. Sample stay is in Wollongong.

Brisbane homestays from $18 per night

Available on select stay dates until December 2023. Sample stay is in Loganlea. T&Cs apply.

Gold Coast homestays from $25 per night

Available on select stay dates from 2023 – 2024. Sample stay in near Robina town centre.

New Zealand stays from $28 per night

Available on select stay dates in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and more. Sample stay is in Waihi Beach Village. T&Cs apply.

Sunshine Coast stays from $72 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Palmview. Destinations include Sunshine Beach, hinterland, waterfront and Noosa . T&Cs apply.

Melbourne stays from $20 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Preston South. Destinations include Melbourne Airport and Melbourne Cricket Ground. T&Cs apply.

Falls Creek stays from $130 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is at Mount Beauty, Victoria. T&Cs apply.

Hobart stays from $54 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is for a pet-friendly room near Hobart centre. T&Cs apply.

Australia homestays from $4 per night

Available on select stay dates in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Melbourne and more.

Japan homestay from $24 per night

Available on select stay dates in Tokyo. Sample stay is for an apartment. T&Cs apply.

Melbourne homestays from $4 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is near Melbourne central.

Cairns stays from $35 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Caravonica. T&Cs apply.

Perth stays from $45 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Perth centre. T&Cs apply.

Noosa stays from $75 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast. T&Cs apply.

Gold Coast stays from $39 per night

Available on select stay dates. Sample stay is in Merrimac. T&Cs apply.

Popular TripAdvisor coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
21 Jun 2023 10% off on all tours, tickets and activities with code FINDER ********
11 Nov 2023 Australia stays from $20 per night ********
30 Mar 2022 Australia beach holidays from $76 per night ********
15 Mar 2023 Sydney stays from $40 per night ********
15 Mar 2023 Darwin stays from $60 per night ********

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8 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    BellaMay 7, 2017

    Hi, I cannot book Airbnb for conference travel funded by my university because they do not supply a tax invoice. Long shot, but are you able to tell me whether any of these websites provide a proper tax invoice so I can use them in an up and coming trip?

    Many thanks

      Default Gravatar
      LiezlMay 8, 2017

      Hi Bella,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Airbnb provides VAT invoices whenever VAT is assessed on Airbnb service fees. An invoice is finalized and issued when a reservation is accepted and includes your information (name, address, etc) as you entered it into your Airbnb account.

      As a guest, you can access the VAT invoice for your reservation following these steps:

      1. Go to Your Trips on
      2. Under the trip, click View Invoices
      3. Select Guest Invoice

      Although some hosts are required by their local regulations to charge a tax, it would be best to communicate with your host before booking to see if they are able to assist you if you need additional documentation, such as a tax invoice, for travel.

      I hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    MichaelJanuary 8, 2017

    your article quotes airbnb charging a fee of 6-12% however their web site quotes 3% (and free to list). Stayz in your article quotes “no fees” however I checked their website – they charge 7%

      StephanieJanuary 18, 2017Finder

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your contact.

      The fees referred to in our article are guest service fees that are charged to the guest for making bookings through the accommodation website.

      Hosts are charged different rates for placing listings and welcoming guests. These are the rates you are referring to.

      Hope that helps,


    Default Gravatar
    TinouNovember 2, 2016

    As a host how do I get in touch with Airbnb management team in Australia. This is in case of an issue.

      HaroldNovember 2, 2016Finder

      Hello Tinou,

      Please note that you have contacted and not Airbnb. To provide you the proper guidance regarding who to contact with a certain issues. It would be more appropriate to reach out for Airbnb customer support because they are the ones who has the direct knowledge on how to address any issues that are related to their website.

      I hope that helps.


    Default Gravatar
    lynnSeptember 23, 2016


      StephanieSeptember 23, 2016Finder

      Hi Lynn,

      Please be advised that you have contacted Finder and not Airbnb.

      If you are trying to login in to Airbnb please sign in through the Airbnb official website.

      There is a “forgot password” option for you if you have lost your password to your account.

      I hope that helps!


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