HomeAway is AirBnB’s biggest competitor in Europe. Launched 12 years ago, it has over two million properties listed across 190 countries. As a user you will need to pay a booking fee to the company (varying between four percent and 10 percent of the total), but in return you get 24/7 support and can opt to process your payment through them for added security.
Founded in Germany, 9flats is the European-based rival to AirBnB, offering users the chance to rent a variety of different accommodations for vacations, business, or mid- to long-term stays. While 9flats does not have as stylish a web layout as some of its bigger competitors, it does have some very reasonable prices for accommodation in popular destinations such as Paris, Berlin, or London, and operates on the same peer-to-peer basis.
Another rental company based on the sharing economy or peer-to-peer business model, Wimdu was launched in 2011 and has since attracted some 300,000 properties across 140 countries worldwide. Based out of Berlin, Wimdu claims to be Europe’s biggest platform for city apartments, with thousands of places to stay in Europe’s most attractive cities. All properties are subject to rigorous checks to ensure they are up to standard, and guests have access to 24/7 assistance with their booking.
Vacation Rentals By Owners, more commonly referred to as VRBO, is in fact part of the HomeAway family, and has many of the exact same listings available. With the VRBO service you get the same quality checks and 24/7 assistance, but with a different style of web platform. Properties range from cozy city apartments to luxurious town houses and countryside homes and, just like on AirBnB, many of these are available for instant booking, meaning you don’t have to wait to hear back from your host.
FlipKey is owned by travel recommendation and rating giant TripAdvisor, and while it may not have as many property listings as some of the aforementioned companies, it offers similar services and quality controls as its competitors. Just like TripAdvisor, the FlipKey website operates with a system of guest reviews to rank properties listed on the websites. Users can then also check out highly-rated attractions close to their property via the TripAdvisor website to help plan their trip.
Formerly known as VillaRenters, ClickStay has changed its name to mark a shift of focus from large holiday homes to include apartments and smaller properties. However, many of the listings remain in popular seaside destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Cyprus, and the website is mostly geared towards holiday rentals as opposed to business or city breaks. If you’re looking for something a little special or unique, ClickStay has some interesting properties to check out.
HolidayLettings was originally launched in Oxford, UK in 1999, but has since grown and was recently acquired by TripAdvisor Rentals. So, just like FlipKey, HolidayLettings is powered by TripAdvisor Rentals and relies on a similar system of user ratings to rate and review properties. HolidayLettings has around 600,000 properties available in over 150 countries including many popular European destinations, and offers payment protection for all payments made via the HolidayLettings site.
As its name indicates, OwnersDirect works by creating a platform for property owners to rent their apartment, house, or villa directly via the website. Part of the HomeAway family since 2007, OwnersDirect is especially popular for searches within the UK, and was voted in the top 10 for Best Villa Rental Companies category in the Conde Nast Readers Travel Awards. The website gives you direct contact to the owner so you can find out everything about the property, and allows them to offer you a more personalized service.