Alternative Apps To Airbnb

Airbnb has completely revolutionised the way we travel the world and has also opened up new income streams to property owners worldwide.

The app works by allowing residential property owners to rent out their properties to tourists short-term, giving them a more ‘local’ experience and allowing them to take advantage of lower prices than major hotels.

According to Statista, the app is home to over 5 million Airbnb hosts, listing their properties to tourists that want a more ‘local’ homestay experience. In 2023, Business For Apps reported that 448 million bookings were made on Airbnb in 2023, making it a massive business.


The History Of Airbnb


Airbnb was founded back in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia.

The idea for Airbnb came about when the founders, struggling to afford their rent in San Francisco, decided to rent out space in their apartment to attendees of a design conference.

After catching on to the idea’s potential, the company raised its first seed round and began to grow quickly.

Now, Airbnb is one of the world’s most successful startups, present in 100,000 cities around the world and valued at over $100 billion.


Major Criticisms Of Airbnb


Despite its quick success and wide user base, Airbnb is no stranger to criticism. Some of these include:

Driving Up Property Prices In Major Cities

One of the main criticisms Airbnb has received is around how it has affected property prices.

Given it can provide property owners with a new stream of income, more people were buying up apartments in desirable city areas, increasing demand and driving up prices.

Moreover, landlords began converting their long-term rental properties into short-term rental ones, as they could adopt more dynamic pricing based on the time of year, popularity and perceived demand.

This caused a hike in property rental and ownership prices in some major cities, meaning the amount of affordable housing options for residents was decreasing.

This phenomenon has caused some city councils to ban Airbnb altogether, in order to allow properties to become more affordable to those living in the city.

Safety And Security

As the platform has continued to grow, issues around the safety of both guests and houses has continued to be a theme around Airbnb.

Although the company does provide some level of insurance, there have been numerous instances of disagreements around damages between hosts and guests.

Moreover, there have been reports of hostility towards guests from locals – who take issue with the over-commercialisation of residential areas.

False Advertising

Like many things online, some Airbnb hosts have been accused of false advertising.

There have been many reports of properties that falsely advertise what they look like, what amenities they have and more. This has been a major issue that the company has had to clamp down on over the years.

High Cleaning Fees

On top of room rental, Airbnb hosts are able to charge a cleaning fee to guests that have stayed in their property.

However, in many cases this cleaning fee has become excessive, with guests also required to clean the property before they leave.

In many cases, guests have been given a long list of chores to do before checkout and then given a high cleaning fee. Not only does this defeat the point, it also removes any cleaning responsibility from the host.


Alternatives To Airbnb


Whilst Airbnb does have its advantages, it certainly also has its issues. So, here are some alternative apps to use if you still want that local homestay experience…




Vrbo Reviews | Read Customer Service Reviews of

Vrbo is an online marketplace for holiday rentals, very similar to Airbnb.

Part of Expedia group, it comes with a large selection of villas, apartments, cottages and more.

Though slightly more up-market in general that Airbnb, it’s certainly a good alternative.

Hopper Homes


Integration With Hopper Homes - The OwnerRez Blog - OwnerRez


Hopper homes is another marketplace that allows users to search for local homes. Hopper claims that it can find better prices and selection than other places and features thousands of properties.

Not only that, the company has the Hopper Promise – which is an insurance policy against any unforeseen issues.

Plum Guide


Plum Guide | Updates, Reviews, Prices


Whilst Airbnb advertises a range of accommodations including shared rooms and hotels, Plum Guide exclusively lists holiday rentals.

Dubbed a more ‘luxury’ version of Airbnb, and with over 38,000 rentals, the app is perfect for anyone looking for a high-end stay in a major city.



Pacaso Press Room - Logos


A slightly different offering, Pacaso is a shared home ownership platform, allowing holidaymakers to buy a share of a holiday home.

The company is perfect for anyone looking to return to the same place again and again.






For those looking for authentic local stays, homestayin is a great alternative to airbnb. Connecting students and independent travellers to homestays, the company is perfect for anyone travelling on a budget.