Whether you’re a traveler or a host, you want to ensure you are using the best vacation rental site. For travelers, you want somewhere with safe and fair policies and quality accommodation that you will feel comfortable staying in. For hosts, you want somewhere with a high amount of traffic that will mediate all of your guest's stays for you.
There are so many options out there it can be hard to figure out which one will be the best for you. But not to worry, as we have made the process of choosing much easier. Here are 10 of the best vacation rental sites that we approve of:
Homes & Villas
Homes & Villas by Marriott International is a home rental site that is available for people in countries around the world. It has only been around since 2019, but it has the brand Marriott’s over 90 years of hospitality experience. The focus is mainly on luxury short and long-term rentals, so if you’re looking to stay somewhere of the highest standard or want to list your own premium home, Homes & Villas will be able to help.
The great thing about Homes & Villas is that you get the familiarity of a respected brand and the spaciousness of a home rather than a hotel room. Every listing has to meet extremely high standards, such as 24/7 support, high-speed WiFi, and only the best amenities and housekeeping. And while Homes & Villas won’t be the one providing you with these things, they do ensure that the hosts are.
One of the most significant selling points of Homes & Villas is its loyalty scheme. Each time you stay at one of the listings, you will receive five Marriott Bonvoy points for every dollar spent and one Marriott elite night credit for every night you stay with them. These points can be exchanged for future stays, which will help you save money in the long run. This makes Homes & Villas great for avid travelers!
Second on the list of the best vacation rental sites is Booking.com. Booking.com has been around since 1996 and is now one of the world's most respectable vacation hotels and rental sites. It started as a small Dutch startup and has grown to become part of Booking Holdings Inc. It now lists over 28 million properties on its websites and handles more than 1.5 million bookings daily.
While Booking.com only started out providing people with a wide range of hotel options, it has started adding vacation homes and short-term rentals to its platform. Due to the fact it has managed to gain a lot of traction as a respected site, it is one of the very best places you can post your property as a host, or rent somewhere as a traveler, no matter where you are (or where you’re going).
The unique thing about Booking.com is that it doesn’t have its own payment system, so hosts can determine which payment option suits them best. However, even though they aren’t being paid directly through the site, Booking.com still charges hosts a 15% commission for each of their bookings which is taken directly from their accounts. But on the bright side, if a traveler cancels a reservation, they won’t have to pay any fees.
Trivago isn’t just known for its ‘Hotel? Trivago’ slogan that you may have heard when turning on your TV and radio. Instead, it is a world-leading vacation rental search engine that allows you to compare accommodation quality and prices in a number of locations around the globe.
As a traveler, you can easily find the best place to stay that meets all your needs and your budget, however it isn’t the best place for a host because it acts purely as an accommodation search website and not somewhere to place listings directly. However, that isn’t to say it is somewhere that should be ignored because it still acts as a place that can advertise your listing and help you get more recognition from potential guests.
How Trivago works is that you will search for accommodation and use filters such as location, price, and amenities to help you find the right place. Once you have found somewhere you want to stay, you will click the ‘View Deal’ button, which will take you directly to the vendor’s website, where you can make a booking.
Another fantastic vacation rental site that works well for both travelers and hosts is Expedia. It is one of the largest online travel shopping platforms that provide options for things like flights and car rentals as well as accommodation. It has been around since 1996, initially launched by Microsoft, and it has gained a large amount of respect in the travel industry today.
It doesn’t matter the type of accommodation you’re looking to stay in or list; Expedia offers almost anything you can think of. Whether it’s a hotel, villa, home, or unique treehouse, you will be able to advertise and find it on Expedia. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, you can easily filter the search to fit your needs and budget. It is extremely user-friendly, and you can find your way around the site in a matter of seconds.
You can list any property you want on Expedia for free, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any added costs. Every time someone books with you through Expedia, you will be charged a commission between 10 to 30%. This will depend on how much you charge per night and various other factors. You can find out exactly how much you’ll need to pay as you finalize your contract with the platform.
Another vacation rental website that operates under the Experia Group is Vrbo. This company was first launched in 1995 as VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), but after it merged with its sister site HomeAway, it had a rebranding. Since Experia Group owns it, you know it is a reliable platform for both hosts and travelers. While it offers short-term rentals for people worldwide, most of its clientele is from the USA.
The unique thing about Vrbo is unlike Expedia or some other vacation rental websites, only private apartments and houses can be listed. This means it caters to people who want to feel more at home when traveling instead of staying in a hotel room. However, due to this, travelers will have to pay a service fee that can be as high as 12% and other fees that cover things like cleaning.
As a host, you don’t have to pay a commission per rental if you pay an annual subscription of $499 per year. However, if you don’t want to commit to this, you can opt for the pay-per-booking option when you pay a small 5% commission and a 3% credit card charge.
Zoopla is a property rental website that caters to clientele in the UK, It also has its own app, which makes properties easier to browse, especially if you travel frequently. The platform is part of Zoopla Limited, which was founded in 2007, and while the website is mainly used for people looking to purchase houses or long-term rentals, it also has a number of vacation rentals to choose from.
The website has millions of properties for people to browse through and a selection of filter tools that help ensure you have the right place to stay. While they work mainly with estate agents and property managers, you can still list the property if you’re the host yourself. You just need to get in touch with the site by filling out the form, and they will let you know the best way to proceed and what fees you might have to pay.
Almost everyone in the travel industry has heard of TripAdvisor, so there’s no surprise it is a vacation rental website that has made this list. Founded in 2000, it is probably one of the most popular platforms for advertising and listing your vacation rentals. It is also beloved by travelers because it shows clear feedback from others who have stayed in the accommodation you’re looking at booking.
The best thing about TripAdvisor is that you can use the website to compare one vacation rental with tons of others with the exact requirements you’re looking at. This makes it super easy for you to find the perfect place to stay, especially when you use the filter tool that reduces your search down based on location, budget, and other amenities. You may also look at reviews at local attractions near the accommodation to help you figure out if the area has what you want.
As a host, you can list your properties for free on TripAdvisor, and it also has an incredibly low commission rate compared to other websites. You will have to pay 3% for every booking, but you will also have a listing on FlipKey which will provide you with more visibility and a higher chance of reaching a guest.
As you can probably tell by the name, SilverDoor Apartments is a rental site that specially caters to apartments. It is also a corporate brand that helps businesses find apartments to stay in when their employees go away on corporate trips. It has been running since 2000, with headquarters in London, and has since managed to partner with over 2,000 apartment operators.
SilverDoor Apartments has become one of the most trusted corporate accommodation providers worldwide. It has developed an innovative digital platform called Orbi which allows you to book an apartment online as seamlessly as possible. It also helps businesses negotiate the best price to keep their travel expenses down. The site has gained a five-star Trustpilot review, which is no surprise with the platform's ease of use and quality of apartments.
It isn’t as easy with SilverDoor Apartments to become a host as they work with serviced apartment operators. You will have to get in touch with a member of the SilverDoor team if you are considering becoming a host. Bear in mind that costs may be slightly higher when it comes to commission, and you might have to have special licenses to advertise your apartment.
Similar to SilverDoor Apartments, TrustedStays is also a corporate short-term rental site, allowing businesses and government members to find accredited accommodations to stay in. In March 2020, TrustedStays started as a Homes for NHS scheme during the pandemic, with more than 30 partners donating accommodation. However, as the pandemic started to subside, they decided to keep the momentum going by creating TrustedStays.
TrustedStays now has over 5,000 homes available to book for any corporate trips, each at an incredibly high standard. Every home is accredited, and there are preferential rates available for NHS workers. Employers can pay for the property for their employees beforehand and securely book in advance, knowing their workforce will be staying in places that meet the high industry standards of the UKAA and STAA.
As a host, uploading a property is super easy too. You need to start by registering as a partner and waiting for approval from the website. You can then add properties for no extra fees and use the seamless dashboard provided by TrustedStays. When you receive a booking, they’ll let you know immediately, and all you have to do then is confirm whether you have availability.
Last but not least, we have Airbnb. It is the most popular vacation rental site and is trusted by travelers and hosts around the globe. As a traveler, you have a better chance of finding somewhere to stay at Airbnb than anywhere else, as it has more listings than other vacation rental sites. There are over 6 million listings available across 220 regions, which means you can discover a place to stay almost anywhere.
It is super easy to search for a property on Airbnb, as they have placed all the filters at the top of the page. You can choose your location, dates, and budget to ensure that your ideal place is available and affordable. You can also look at the reviews of others who have stayed at an Airbnb property to see if it is somewhere you would be happy staying at as well.
As a host, Airbnb is the perfect place to list a property. You don’t have to pay any fees, but you do have the option to pay a service fee each time a guest makes a booking. There are commission fees that will vary depending on the location of your property, and sometimes your guest will pay the fee instead of you.
|Distribution via 40+ platforms including major, affiliate, select access* and niche platforms
|Single property page - Manage all your listings from within the platform
|Booking management - Fully synced Bookings list
|Single & Multi-calendars - flexibly update your availability and see your properties all in one place
|Performance reporting in one dashboard - see your key metrics by Company or Apartment
|Dynamic pricing - Managed in-platform and powered by Pricelabs, to increase revenue through rate optimisation.
|Enquiry management - Track, action and convert direct bookings in one place
|Smart Availability Search - Match enquiries with available properties through smarter searches.
|Automated customer communications - Customisable email templates for all your communication needs
|Automated Scheduler - Aut-schedule your field activity inc. check ins, cleaning and maintenance
|Deep third-party integrations - Connect your automated schedule to Breezeway, Keynest and more
|Customisable pre-check in process - Check-in and out times, special welcome packages & upgrades
|Deposit management - Track, amend and action deposits from Hospiria
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