With 150 million active users, Airbnb is one of the most popular accommodation platforms. Finding a place to stay is easy as you have various filters that accustom your search, considering your budget, preferences, and needs. However, despite the benefits, when you’re a digital nomad, Airbnb can be a pricey option and, frankly, in some cases, not the best. When traveling on a budget or when seeking to immerse into a country’s culture, Airbnb alternatives can give you the best experience. Let’s check them out!
15 Airbnb Alternatives to Find Affordable Accommodation
When looking for accommodation, we’ve all googled “Cheap Airbnb” with the hope of finding a place that has everything we need at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. But, other apps like Airbnb offer great housing for even half the price.
Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is a solid Airbnb alternative, especially for big groups traveling for vacations. If you´re looking for a workcation experience where you can work while still feeling as if you´re on vacation, Vrbo is a great option to find a higher standard rental.
Similar to Airbnb, you have different filtering options to help you find your perfect stay. The platform is considered an Airbnb older brother, as it has been operating since 1996. Its model differs as the platform specializes in renting vacation properties for people looking for a longer stay.
When it comes to finding the best hotel at the best price, Booking.com is one of the best platforms. You can compare different prices, finding the one suitable for your budget. But, what many don’t know, is that Booking now allows you to book apartments and vacation rentals the same way you book hotels, with its user-friendly interface.
Their filtering system allows you to find great options, especially when you’re looking to book places for longer stays. Additionally, what makes Booking great is its wide international catalog of options from big cities to apartments in small towns.
3. The Plum Guide
One thing that makes Airbnb great is that quality and safety are guaranteed. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, as you can get catfished with beautiful pictures of apartments and face the harsh reality that in pictures, they usually look cleaner and bigger.
But, similar to Airbnb in terms of variety is The Plum Guide. This platform accepts less than 5% of the properties that apply, and they personally vet every single one of them over 150 criteria. Everything is tested from Wi-Fi to water pressure to ensure guests have the best experience possible.
The downside is that the options are fewer, but the quality is reassured.
While vacation luxury homes are always a pleasure, sometimes we want to find a place to crash the night that’s affordable and clean. If you’re on a budget and you want to get to know locals, Couchsurfing is the way to go.
Couchsurfing is one of the cheap alternatives to Airbnb. It consists of a social network and hospitality service where users request homestays and interact with people interested in travel. You pay a monthly membership, and when traveling, you get in touch with locals who are happy to welcome you into their houses.
The platform now has over 200,000 cities and 14 million users!
For many, Selina is considered to be the hotel chain of excellence for digital nomads. It has rooms with 8 beds or more, but it also has private rooms that offer a similar experience to a hotel for a much more reasonable price.
What makes Selina a unique option is the experiences it offers. You have prices for every budget, wellness programs, adventure, music festivals, and more. The purpose of the accommodation chain is to help travelers connect.
Selina is operating in 52 locations, mainly in Latin America and Europe.
Hit the road, Jack!
If you want to experience working and traveling in an RV through the country, Outdoorsy is the platform you need. Consider it the Airbnb of the motorhome world.
With over 14 million RV rentals, you can choose from a wide variety of options that range from vintage airstrips to luxury campers. The platform has a built-in review system so you can check previous reviews and make the best choice.
Plus, in some cases, it has helped digital nomads decide whether they want to buy an RV or not and transform it into their permanent house. Instead of buying it directly, they can rent it from Outdoorsy, live the RV experience, and decide if that’s what they want or if they rather like it more on a vacation basis.
As their motto says, Homestay focuses on helping you “experience a home away from home.” The platform offers over 33,000 homestays in over 176 countries.
What makes Homestay different than the other platforms? In this case, it’s suitable for digital nomads looking to book a room instead of an entire apartment. For example, if you’re solo traveling and you’re looking to find connections and build friendships, booking a room at a home makes it easier. Or, on the other hand, if you don’t want to spend much money, you’ll see how cheap it is to book a single room in beautiful homes across the globe.
Has it ever happened to you to book an Airbnb, and the place was beyond disappointing when you arrived? Weird smells or pictures of people you have no idea who they are. The worst is when it looks as if they made the place as if it was a deposit with billions of things that are not really necessary.
While Airbnb can have a home-like environment, it’s not always the case. A great alternative to Airbnb is Sonder which blends the easy-to-use interface of Airbnb with outstanding apartment rentals similar to hotels.
You get the same services and amenities you would in a hotel, in some cases even elevators exclusively for Sonder guests, with an easy and straightforward check-in process.
The platform has over 9,000 rental apartments, mostly in the US.
For those digital nomads seeking outdoor experiences, Hipcamp is the way to go. Here you can find a list of campsites, RV spaces, cabins, cottages, and much more.
Plus, if you want to experience a more luxurious camping experience, you can also book glamping rooms! Users can discover and book rooms and places based on location, amenities, and activities offered.
Keep in mind that Hipcamp only works with US locations. Currently, it covers 14 states: California, Michigan, Utah, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Maine, Wyoming, Washington, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Vacasa is an international vacation rental management company that helps travelers book their perfect vacation home. If you want to stay at a breathtaking location that will enable you to rest and enjoy relaxing days, Vacasa is a great option.
Similar to Airbnb, the platform has an easy-to-use interface. It provides property management services for over 35,000 vacation rentals in North America, Belize, and Costa Rica.
11. Trusted House Sitters
If you want to travel and always make sure you have a place to go, consider house sitting!
What exactly is house sitting? When a person travels and leaves their apartment or house for a while, they often need someone to take care of it. Instead of paying someone to take care of chores like watering plants, taking care of their pets, and so on, platforms like Trusted House Sitters connect digital nomads and travelers with these property owners. So the deal is that house sitters will take care of their home while they are away from home. It’s an easy and extremely affordable way to travel.
You only pay a yearly membership and have access to many different houses in many parts of the world!
Like Airbnb, 9flats is an online marketplace allowing users to rent short-term accommodations. The company works as a broker receiving commissions from both guests and hosts.
When traveling, hostels are often the cheapest option, especially for longer stays. However, they sometimes tend to be more insecure and don’t provide enough privacy. For these cases, options like 9flats are great as they have a variety of apartments that digital nomads can rent for longer stays.
Traveling sites have the tricks and algorithms you can find. When you look out for flights or hotel rooms, they tend to make you believe that if you don’t take their “Offer,” you’ll not be able to find something better. In many cases, we spend a lot more money booking hotel rooms and flights.
Hopper prevents this from happening. This app provides travelers with real-time information and prices on the best hotel deals they can find. It compares rates, provides key insights such as the cheapest seasons to travel, and more. It can help you save up to 40% of expenses when booking accommodations.
While in this case, Hopper works with hotels, you can still book a room at a reasonable price and enjoy all its benefits!
Anyplace focuses on matching travelers with accommodations that have:
- Ultra-high-speed internet
- Fully equipped workspace
- No lease required – you can stay for more than 30 days!
What makes it an even better option than Airbnb is that you’ll have everything (and more) of that you need while working anywhere. Every location in the platform has home office equipment, which guarantees that the Wi-Fi connection is stable.
15. Nomad Stays
Nomad Stays is a platform that exclusively targets digital nomads offering remote work-friendly accommodation.
Travelers can find properties with great Wifi, space to work, and even nearby co-working spaces. Additionally, there are options where you can find Co-living spaces, pet-friendly apartments, motorcycle-friendly, village life, and much more!
Travel the World on a Budget
Being a digital nomad has many benefits. You can take your work anywhere, meet vibrant cultures, and expand your network. And while a few years ago, traveling involved making a significant investment, nowadays, finding Airbnb alternatives and overall affordable accommodation is easier than ever. From luxurious cabins to simple rooms, traveling is just one click away!