We’ve all heard some AirBnB horror stories. Perhaps you’ve had one of your own. Staying in a home is so much more comfortable than a hotel, but no one wants to deal with a company that offers support only after you get on the nightly news (if then!). I’ve had AirBnB take 3 days to respond when a host refused to let me stay…and refused to cancel my reservation. Plenty of apartments have been dirty. We’ve even ended up staying in a boat that was completely different than the one we rented!

AirBnB: great idea, not so great company.

I’m a huge fan of CouchSurfing, but sometimes you need a place of your own. Renting a place when you travel is a very different experience from staying with someone for free.

Here are some AirBnB alternatives, so you can enjoy the hospitality without the risk of scams.

AirBnB: great idea, not so great company Click To Tweet


A new player out of Portland, Vacasa already has homes from around the world. With Vacasa you’re not relying on individual homeowners to hope the place is clean and ready for you. Vacasa has carefully selected listings and employees around the world who clean and keep them up to snuff.

Boutique Homes

If you’re in it for the architecture and not worried about price, this curated site will connect you to Instagram-worthy digs. There’s no scrolling through pages of listings, since each listing is a winner.

VRBO & HomeAway

HomeAway has made the classic move of buying up the competition. VRBO is the oldest game in town when it comes to vacation home rentals. If you get scammed or have other issues, they’ll reimburse you for what you paid. They also offer rebooking help if your host cancels at the last minute.


Owned by TripAdvisor, FlipKey is the other big player in the short term rental market. FlipKey staff verifies listings, keeping you safe from scammers and the obviously insane. The website also offers payment protection and support in case things go wrong.


What Inclusive lacks in selection it makes up in heart. It was founded in response to the number of people experiencing racism on AirBnB. All hosts promise to treat everyone with dignity — hopefully that will translate to a successful business.

Kid and Coe

If you have kids, this is the site for you. Descriptions include information on what sort of family friendly setup each home has.


Overnight is for people who want all meeting awesome new people of CouchSurfing, without the hassle of planning ahead or sending requests.

With Overnight, you can book a room instantly and stay there that night. If you’re nervous about strangers, you can do things Tindr style and choose based on any mutual Facebook friends you might have.

Right now they’re in LA, SF, NYC, and Austin, but they’re planning on expanding to more cities soon.

Own a vacation rental? List your property for free on FlipKey & TripAdvisor