Airbnb is No Longer the Only Option for Unique Stays

If you prefer staying in homes or apartments when you travel then your first go to place for bookings is probably Airbnb. I often book through Airbnb myself, since it gives you many more options and also a different experience. But what you might not know, is that you can also book the same properties through sites like booking.com.

Booking Homes and Apartments

Airbnb has been trying to be more like a go to booking site for all kinds of properties, be it hotels, apartments, houses, mansions and everything else. Booking.com is kind of doing the same thing. They are trying to add more properties that you’d expect to be on Airbnb.

Booking.com says it now has 5 million properties in its non-hotel portfolio, a 27 percent jump from last year. The 5 million includes villas, houses and apartments. Airbnb on the other hand has 4.85 million properties in total.

Expedia has also jumped in the home sharing business. They acquired HomeAway in 2015 for nearly $4 billion to better compete in the alternative lodging space and rival Airbnb.

Kevin Kopelman, director and research analyst at Cowen & Co., sees Airbnb’s strength in urban homes, Booking’s in multi-unit and other professionally managed properties, and Expedia’s HomeAway in North America vacation homes.

But as you would expect many properties will be listed on many platforms. So when you think of staying at an apartment or a house while on vacation, you should stop thinking of just Airbnb as your only option. There’s definitely more platforms out there where you can book from.

You should check in multiple places before booking as prices often vary by $100 or more. You should be aware of different pricing structures. While Airbnb charges a cleaning fee for example, booking.com doesn’t. They include it in the price. On the other hand, if you’re traveling with 4 people for example, Airbnb will not charge you extra. With booking.com and Expedia it works the same as booking a hotel room, you will usually be charged for every person after the first two occupants.

You should also look at other savings options for each site such as cashback portals or discounted gift cards.

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