Our guide to vacation rental websites: Airbnb, Vrbo and more

While we love a good hotel, vacation rentals have a lot of appeal. For families with children, vacation homes offer the much-needed space and privacy to spread out and get a little dirty; for groups of friends, they offer social and common spaces and can reduce costs; and for curious travelers, they can give a more authentic and local feel to a particular town or city. When it comes to rental reservation services, Airbnb dominates, but it’s far from your only option. Depending on your specific needs, there may be a better suited service for your next trip. Below, we’ve rounded up the best vacation rental websites to consider when booking your next vacation, along with a few of our everyone’s favorite homes.

For more than 7 million options: Airbnb

Well-designed and intuitive, Airbnb is popular for a reason. For users looking to browse the most options in a given destination, with dozens of filters available, from pet-friendly stays to homes with a pool, Airbnb can’t be beat. We find the map feature exceptionally useful when searching. It allows you to select the neighborhood or part of the city you want to stay in or explore freely if you are not tied to a destination. We also like the quality accolades: Superhosts, which refers to hosts with a rating of 4.8 or higher and a cancellation rate of one percent or less; Airbnb Plus, which offers added peace of mind, as properties are verified in person against a 100-point checklist; and Airbnb Luxe, a selection of premium stays with luxury amenities and a trip planner to act as a concierge before your stay.

Blevio, Italy

Could the backdrop for the dining table of this house in Italy be more dreamy? Overlooking Lake Como and the lemon groves, and accessible by ancient stone stairs dotted with flowers, this place is like stepping back in time.

Uzès, France

This one bedroom cottage is one of the most charming ways to experience the south of France. Critics rave about host Elisabeth, who sometimes treats guests with fresh bread or croissants in the morning.

Find out more on airbnb.com.

For reliability and safety: Vrbo

Vrbo stands for ‘vacation rentals by owner’ which is a testament to its history: it started out as a subscription model for homeowners, where users paid annually to list their homes online, after it was launched in the United States. 90s. (It also predates Airbnb by over a decade.) The service was acquired by Expedia in 2015 and now offers more than 2 million vacation rentals. You can find pet-friendly condos, apartments for city breaks, homes with waterfront views, and rentals with hot tubs. Vrbo’s Book With Confidence Guarantee makes any trip a bit safer: Vrbo performs background checks on all hosts and will move guests to alternative accommodation if something is wrong on arrival, such as not being able to check in. enter a property or if this is significantly distorted. Vrbo also only offers entire houses on its platform.

Image may contain: Apartment, Building, Interior, Loft, Furniture, Living Room, Room, Floor and Sofa

Banner Elk, North Carolina

Featured in our guide to cabin rentals at Blue Ridge Mountain, this treehouse-inspired glass house is a marvel. Windows on all sides of the hexagonal structure let the exterior in, while the elegant and comfortable Scandinavian decor adds elevated style to the entire property.

Dennisport, Massachusetts

A Cape Cod cottage directly on the water is hard to find. With plenty of tall and wide windows overlooking the pond in the back yard, this two bedroom home takes you straight into nature. Ospreys and swans fly overhead and hover at eye level and the rope hammock, grill, and patio are perfect for outdoor evenings.

Find out more at vrbo.com.

For chic apartment experiences: Probe

Not quite a hotel or a home rental, but with aspects of both, Sonder offers a new way to stay in your favorite cities. The innovative platform offers private units in apartment complexes in 30 cities internationally, including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and New Orleans. Whether you’re looking for a luxury studio near the Champs-Élysées in Paris or a stylish two-bedroom apartment in Notting Hill, chances are you’ll find it on Sonder. You can also book unlimited stays (ideal for remote workers) and will have access to an app-based concierge service, contactless check-in, and tidy spaces no matter how long your stay. stay.

Mexico City, Mexico

These pretty studios in the heart of the Roma district are housed in a building that is almost 150 years old. The exterior is a sight to behold, serving up original looks in the Art Nouveau architectural style.

Savannah, Georgia

Located in the historic part of town, Sonder has several units in the Broughton building, above local bars, cafes, and small shops. Studios, one bedroom and one two bedroom are offered, all featuring warm wood floors, textured exposed brickwork, and in-unit laundry facilities.

Find out more at sonder.com.

For point hackers: Homes & Villas by Marriott International

Usually known for its hotel accommodations, Marriott is also in the vacation rental game, offering stays around the world under its Trustmark. Plus, it’s another opportunity to earn and redeem those valuable Marriott Bonvoy points. Homes & Villas by Marriott International differentiates itself further from other booking sites by working exclusively with professional property management companies, meaning you won’t be staying in anyone’s personal home. The highly curated selection of rentals are also verified in person or digitally before being listed on the site. The smaller selection of homes makes them a great option for those new to the online home rental scene or overwhelmed by too many choices.

Tahoma, California

This wooded, hidden home offers epic, panoramic views of Lake Tahoe from its front porch. All three bedrooms have vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, hot tubs, and beach and pool access.

Lisbon, Portugal

This modern two-bedroom apartment in Lisbon is a short walk from Jardim da Estrela, one of the city’s most beautiful public parks. Its terrace overlooks the nearby pink, yellow and orange houses and has a table that seats four, ideal for alfresco dining.

Find out more at homes-and-villas.marriott.com.

For aesthetics: Welcome Beyond

Founded by two Berlin-based brothers, one with a background in design and the other in finance, Welcome Beyond is a service that selects boutique hotels and upscale rentals that are unique and memorable in their architecture and design. inside. Currently, they have properties available in 38 countries around the world including Tanzania, Indonesia and Sweden. From private islands and a jungle treehouse to a hotel in an ancient cave in an Italian village, the interesting and unique finds here are plentiful.

Image may contain: Furniture, Chair, Wood, Interior, Building and Housing

Tivoli, New York

This rustic short term rental in the upstate was built in the 19th century as a two story barn with a loft. Today, it retains all of its charm with luxuries and extra amenities, like Wi-Fi, hair dryer, grill and fire pit. It’s also located on a swimmable pond, making it the perfect NYC weekend getaway.

London, United Kingdom

The 40 Winks Boutique Hotel is described as a home-away-from-home experience and is housed in one of four Queen Anne townhouses built for merchants and naval officers in 1717. It is a ideal stay for a couple.

Find out more at welcomebeyond.com.

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About Guillermo Russell

Guillermo Russell

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