One of the most important things to plan when you travel is the place or places you'll be staying. We've reviewed countless hostels and even some hotels, but what if you're looking for something more personal or long-term?
While accommodations might not be a big concern for some travelers, it can be a big deal for those looking to relax and disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. While you might be able to stay in world-class luxury resorts or hotels, those who are budget-conscious might want to look for a deal at a lower price point.
That's where vacation rentals come in! Vacation rental services help you locate places tailored for a larger group of guests, located within proximity to travel hotspots or have deals for longer-term stays.
How do you start looking for the ideal place to stay, though? A lot of it depends on where you're going and what you're looking for, but don't worry, we're here to help!
While not every rental site fits every budget, we've provided some options that offer a way to customize your price budget while searching. We'll find vacation rental sites that give you the flexibility to find what works for you! While some sites listed below might not be the most budget-friendly, we've added a small blurb to address why we think those sites are still worthwhile for budget travelers.
Read on for our list of the best vacation rental sites (in no particular order)!
We all know of Airbnb's success, and if you're hoping to stay in your own space while traveling, they're an excellent resource for finding a home away from home for your travels.
Considering that AirBnB operates in over 200 countries, you're bound to find a place that fits your tastes! With options that range from a room in someone's house, a flat, or an entire house somewhere, there's a reason AirBnB is the largest vacation rental site out there.
You can also easily read reviews of the accommodation or the host before committing to a place.
Through Holidu, you can use their site as a way to compare vacation rental properties in terms of price, amenities, location, and more. Their site even features Google street view so you can see the outside of the property before you pay for it.
Another fun addition to Holidu is that you can plan with friends and family, so you can easily share properties you've found to get their opinions. Do be aware that since Holidu isn't a booking site, any cancellations or complaints will have to go directly through the company through whom you booked the property.
You can read our review of Holidu here!
A newer competitor to Airbnb, Vrbo, offers countless properties worldwide for all kinds of tastes and travels. The most significant difference between Vrbo and AirBnB is that Vrbo only offers stand-alone vacation homes, so you won't have to sift through other accommodation types.
Anecdotally, travelers have reported that service fees are cheaper with Vrbo than with Airbnb. It's worth mentioning that complaints with Vrbo have been in regards to the cancellation policy, specifically when a host cancels and visitors not being able to get their stay refunded.
If you're headed to the US, Canada, Mexico, Belize, or Costa Rica, Vacasa is the site for you.
In addition to offering rentals, Vacasa provides a complete rental management service to property owners, so owners and visitors alike can feel reassured in the service they're receiving. One cool Vacasa feature is doing a 3D rental tour before committing to a rental.
Head to our Vacasa review to read more!
While you might know Booking.com for their hotel booking, you'll be pleased to know you can also use their website for other kinds of vacation rentals.
Booking.com allows you to input in your check-in and check-out date, along with where you want to stay, to give you a long list of what's available. You can even filter by properties with breakfast included, pools, or by distance from a specific landmark.
Every ten nights' stay you make through booking.com also gets you one night towards their reward program. With enough points, you'll be able to redeem for things like discounts, complimentary breakfast, or a free room upgrade.
We know that many of you may be familiar with Booking.com, but we love the fact that you can set your budget as a filter when searching for rentals! With booking.com, you can make sure you're only looking at vacation rentals that fit your budget for your travels.
I'm sure many of us remember the Expedia travel agent commercials. Still, in addition to their flight resources, they also have a dedicated vacation rentals page.
While this still comes up with hotel rooms, you can also find apartments, and studios, so there is variety in what they show. You can also filter for "family-friendly" rentals, amenities such as breakfast, spa, or washer and dryer, vacation rental/accommodation type, and more. When you go to book, the layout is very similar to Airbnb, so it's easy to navigate.
Depending on where you're looking to travel, Expedia can have more expensive properties available. They do, however, have a dedicated deals page so you can get some discounts on your subsequent stays!
Even though Tripadvisor is best known for its reviews, it can also serve as a tool for booking experiences for trips, and most importantly, vacation rentals! Their site will show you rentals that vary in size from places for one to whole families needing multiple bedrooms.
In line with the rest of their site, you can easily read reviews for any property that interests you and then submit your own once you've completed your stay.
Tripadvisor will also give you a notice if you're planning to travel during peak season, so you can adjust your dates if you want to avoid that. You can also filter by price to ensure that there are rentals that fit your budget even during peak season! We like the easy-to-navigate review function, so you know what to expect before booking a rental.
Another conglomerate website, Tripping, provides countless vacation rentals worldwide. Their claim to fame gives travelers property options from several sites such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Tripadvisor, and more. Their service combines the listing and displays them all in one place, making it easier for you to find the perfect home away from home for your travels.
You can filter by amenity and price for the dates and location you want to travel to. You can also use their handy map feature to see other properties and prices.
You can't book through Tripping, but clicking "view deal" on any property will take you to the correct booking site.
Not just for hotels, hotels.com will give you vacation rentals of all kinds. Expedia owns Hotels.com, so you'll find similar results on both sites, but hotels.com is a great resource, especially if you're hotel inclined but want to compare different prices easily.
Similarly to booking.com, every ten nights booked through hotels.com earns you one night reward that can be counted towards their reward program. They also have a deals page that lets you find rentals running specials or discounted prices so you can get more value for your money!
While a newer website on the scene, Coolstays allows you to find unique and creative vacation rentals around the world. As their name implies, you'll be able to stay somewhere cool, like a treehouse, cabin, in a pub, a barn, or even a boatel!
Prices vary, and the unique nature of the accommodation means you won't necessarily have loads of options to book. However, if you're still interested in having a fantastic place to stay on your next trip, check here first!
The search and booking process is the same as hostels, so you know you're getting a good deal and the same quality accommodations. While some of the hotels operate similarly to hostels (you reserve a bed in a room with multiple beds), this is a budget-friendly option to find a place to stay during your travels!
Let's say you're looking for a more outdoor style of accommodation or trying to stay in an RV or camper van for your travels. In that case, Outdoorsy is the place for you.
You can search through different kinds of RVs near your destination and then arrange with the host to either pick it up or have it delivered to you.
Currently, RV rentals are only available in the United States, but reservations come with 24/7 roadside assistance. Their website is also full of trip guides to help you plan your next (or current) road trip.
For a budget-friendly and unique experience, you can use Homestay to find a room within someone's house to stay in for your travels. You'll always stay with a host, but this allows you to live with a local and gain a different kind of experience while you travel.
Homestay helps you connect with locals rather than just being someone with whom you exchange keys. They have options for short or long-term stays. You can filter by amenities, whether the host welcomes couples, families, students, or others, and by host hobbies as well.
Ever wanted to experience the relaxing vibes of staying in a resort without having to pay the overnight costs? That's where ResortPass comes in handy!
You can use this app to find alternatives near you or in the city, you'll be visiting to give yourself a little stay-cation of sorts. Relax by the pool, use the gym facilities, or have a spa day to prepare for your next adventure for a reasonable cost. You can't use ResortPass for overnight stays, but it can be a novel way to spend the day!
Read all about how we reviewed it here!
Plan your getaway with Pilot!
Even with all these sites, we know that there are more vacation rental sites out there! These may be our recommendations for the best vacation rental sites, but feel free to let us know if we missed your favorite!
As you plan your next travel adventure, make sure you check out Pilot.