Airbnb can’t be the only option? Here are six alternatives

Posted by - February 20, 2018

GONE are the days of popping into a travel agent to try and wangle a cheap flight, hotel, and car hire deal.
Although there are companies that still offer this service, modern-day travelers – mainly millennials – are opting to book vacations through platforms that promote the sharing economy.
China’s millennials on the move: What drives these young globetrotters? Why? Because its mostly cheaper, more convenient and it excludes the middleman, also known as the high-commission-rate-taker.
With its vast selection of properties, from simple to princely, in cities, the countryside, on beaches and mountain peaks, Airbnb is the first pick for many when it comes to booking accommodation.
But as the home-sharing site has gained popularity since its humble beginnings back in 2008, users have seen the prices rise and the availability of dream rentals dwindle.
Here are six alternatives to Airbnb, offering everything from indulgent luxury to rural adventure and the opportunity to travel the world rent free.
VRBO A post shared by Vacation Rentals by Owner (@vrbo) on Oct 18, 2017 at 5:27pm PDT
With over one-million properties listed on the site, VRBO or Vacation Rentals by Owner certainly has a steady footing in the accommodation-booking market.
Although the company is not as well-known as Airbnb, it was established 12 years before the current market leader.
The model for this booking platform is different from Airbnb’s as it focuses more on the property and less on the hosting experience.
With this focus, VRBO is more suited to families looking to vacation or groups larger than four, wanting to rent the property for longer than a short weekend break.
VRBO also only takes commission from the property owners, which means no unexpected fees as you come to the payment page.
FlipKey A post shared by FlipKey Vacation Rentals (@flipkey_vacation) on Dec 21, 2017 at 1:55pm PST
Flipkey eliminates the frustration of finding the perfect property, only to discover that it’s a shared room as you click on the description. The only properties listed on this site are whole rooms or entire properties.
FlipKey is owned by review site TripAdvisor, so you don’t have to worry about dodgy properties or turning up to a half-finished complex.
Like most other Airbnb alternatives, FlipKey has fewer properties to offer but still tallies an impressive 300,000 rentals across 11,000 cities.
The filter feature on Flipkey is also next level helpful. You can search for pet-friendly properties, waterfront properties, mountain view rental and much more.
Homestay A post shared by (@homestaycom) on Nov 18, 2016 at 9:29am PST
Each of the properties listed on the site has a host present which means guests can experience the local culture and make real connections, as opposed to just grabbing the keys and familiarizing themselves with new light switches.
The hosts can tell you the best places to hang out, back street cafes with amazing food and how to navigate a new area.
The only downside is the often lack of availability in certain areas. While Airbnb may have over 100 properties listed in one town or small city, more in bigger cities, Homestay may only have 10.
However, it is always worth searching on Homestay first because if you can secure a rental on there, you know you’ll be giving back to the community you’re visiting, instead of feeding into a facelessness often associated with Airbnb.
One Fine Stay A post shared by onefinestay (@onefinestay) on Feb 13, 2018 at 6:40am PST
If you’re looking for private luxury, then One Fine Stay is your booking site. This booking platform offers everything from tranquil beach seclusion to indulgent mountain retreats and penthouse city breaks to quintessential countryside homes.
One Fine Stay only lists luxury properties, so as you can imagine, the price-per-night-tags are rather high, but so worth it.
To ensure high standards are maintained, One Fine Stay visits each of the listed properties and offers a 24-hour guest service to cater to all your needs.
Trusted Housesitters A post shared by TrustedHousesitters (@trustedhousesitters) on Dec 16, 2017 at 1:38pm PST
“Helping pet lovers travel” is the slogan and the ethos for Trusted Housesitters. The rental site allows home and pet owners to find trusted people to come and look after their houses and pets while they are away.
Although there is no payment for looking after a home, pet or both, sitters can often stay in the properties completely rent-free, a win-win for both parties.
This is a simple and trusted solution to getting away on a budget and doing something good for someone else.
If you’re undecided on where to go away, then why not flick through the listings on the site and see what pets, properties and locations you most fancy visiting?
Traveling alone? Join these Facebook groups to stay involved Crowd Villa A post shared by Crowdvilla (@crowdvillaio) on Jan 4, 2018 at 9:09pm PST
Crowd Villa will very soon be springing onto the sharing-economy accommodation-rental market. The model of Crowd Villa is different from anything previously mentioned in this article.
Crowd Villa aims to change the paradigm of using real estate assets as a community. They plan to do this by using blockchain technology to securely and openly create and record digital assets.
However, instead of the assets just existing as funds in a distribution ledger, Crowd Villa will invest in physical properties. The funds to acquire these properties will be generated through an initial coin offering (ICO).
This ICO will be created via a token sale event in which contributors will receive CRV Tokens. These tokens can then be converted into CRP tokens (points) which can be used to book and pay for holiday rental properties.
A lot to get your head around? Find out more about Crowd Villa here.
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Airbnb scams are getting more sophisticated – here is how not to fall victim

Posted by - December 5, 2017

WITH every miraculous innovation that is welcomed into the sharing economy, there come risks attached – and in the world of Airbnb, scams are rife.
A woman in Singapore recently lost US$52,000 because she mistook a fake Airbnb website for a real one. The wannabe patisserie chef booked into a seven-month course at the famed Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in Paris and paid the questionable sum over a website that imitated the Airbnb homepage.
Staying in touch while away on business doesn’t have to be difficult The ways around not getting scammed may seem plainly obvious to those who consider themselves tech-savvy, but an unfortunate few are taken in by such methods. And, as scams become more sophisticated, the chances of finding yourself without accommodation – and with an empty bank account – increase.
Here are a few tips to make sure you can travel with the peace of mind that you will have a place to rest upon your arrival.
A post shared by UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE & HOMES (@timeouthomes) on Dec 4, 2017 at 8:45am PST
Reviews are there for a reason – read them If there are reviews, give them a thorough read. You might instantly realize the host and listing might not be as they seem. However, more sophisticatedly, the dodgy host may have written the reviews themselves. You can detect this through writing style and repetitive use of certain words.
If the reviews seem legitimate, but you are still not sure, see if there are any numbers to call and look for your host on social media.
A post shared by (@palmspringshouse) on Nov 22, 2017 at 5:31pm PST Always go through Airbnb Once you have established the listing is legitimate and the host is who they appear to be, be sure to keep all your communication on Airbnb. This creates a log of correspondence so any disputes can be resolved quickly and fairly.
If the host asks you to communicate or make a payment outside of the online booking platform, decline and report it.
Airbnb announces cost-sharing feature – so you don’t have to front the whole bill Do not click on external links or send emails Email scamming is the original Internet fraud, and it has only got more sophisticated since it was created.
Receiving emails from addresses such as [email protected] or [email protected] will most probably be fake and contain external links that could be harmful to your computer and bank account.
You can check if an email address is legitimate by looking on Airbnb’s official website.
A post shared by Airbnb (@airbnb) on Dec 3, 2017 at 10:19am PST
Strong passwords It may be an Internet safety tip that is as old as the net itself, but it is crucial. If someone hacks into your account and books a luxury stay in a Balinese villa, you are going to be pretty disappointed and it could be a lengthy and complicated process to get your money back.
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