When you’re booking a room for your travels, do you always go to your favorite sites? Perhaps there is a popular hotel chain that you know and love. Maybe you’re an Airbnb aficionado, or a fan of an aggregate site like Booking.com.
No matter your path, we’d like to discuss an additional set of booking sites with you, in the hope that you’ll always find the best price for your future stays.There are so many different types of vacation rentals in the world and, if you’re anything like us, planning your trip well will extend the life of the party.
So, let’s pull out our pads and pens and start ‘price shopping’ for lovely accommodations, no matter which corner of the world you’re off to next.
Typically, you also won’t have to travel far for breakfast. Everything from our favorite Hampton Inn, to the Hotel Negresco includes complimentary breakfast. That’s a fantastic little perk. Don’t forget about the joys of room service either! Nothing beats the feeling of enjoying a warm croissant and a pot of steaming hot tea right from the coziness of your bed!
If you like the freedom and assurance of knowing that you can work while traveling, nearly every hotel in the world will offer complimentary WiFi. You’ve also got on-site restaurants and bars to look forward to. Similar to breakfast, you don’t have to roam very far for a little nourishment.
And, as a lovely finishing touch, what better way to return to your room in the evening, than to be greeted with a freshly made bed, clean towels, and a little chocolate on your pillow? When done right, a hotel or a chain will almost always prove to be a safe and happy bet to traveling in style.
New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts opened a gem of a B&B in Maryland in 2009. When I imagine the quintessential B&B experience, I imagine the Inn Boonsboro. So, if you carefully screen your B&Bs before you set your itinerary, you might want to look for some of the following perks.
A B&B with style should include a complimentary breakfast as well. Their linens will be fresh and soft, and their toiletries will be top of the line. The innkeepers here will be welcoming, charming, and may even offer a tour of the home. If you’re lucky, they may even tell a fascinating story as you walk down the corridors.
Perhaps the will also offer a delectable selection of wine and cheese every evening at five. If you’re talking about Inn Boonsboro quality, there may even be a library full of books that you can help yourself to, along with a decanter of whiskey so you can enjoy your drink fireside while you get lost in a novel.
Millions of people have comfortably and affordably traveled to almost every corner of the earth, thanks to Airbnb. And the beauty of it is that you can stay in a palatial villa in Corfu tonight and a small, cosy loft in Dublin on the morrow. Whatever your accommodation goals may be, Airbnb will help you attain them.
While we’re all accustomed to hotels and B&Bs, Airbnb accommodations tend to have a farther reach. So, if there’s no B&B and hotel of note to be found at your desired locale, you can safely bet that there will be an Airbnb in the neighborhood you’re zeroing in on. The perks of your experience are nearly endless.
Perhaps best of all, by choosing to stay in an Airbnb, you’ll be as close to feeling like a local as possible. Keys to your home will jingle in your pocket as you walk into town for your daily breakfast. Depending on your preference, you can even choose to stay in an Airbnb that offers a fully-stocked and equipped kitchen.
Not long ago, I stayed in an Airbnb in Galway, Ireland and the experience will stay with me forever. I searched using the filter “Superhost”. Thereupon, I narrowed down the most widely-reviewed host with the highest number of stars. After that, the booking process was easy as pie, and I arrived in short order to be greeted with a welcoming, friendly host. In the end, we became great pals. I’ll always remember my last night in town with her and her boyfriend. They treated me to some of the freshest Japanese cuisine, from the cozy shorelines of Galway.
I felt comfortable all through my journey. I knew that I was staying with a well-reviewed host. The accommodations were exactly as pictured. And, in the end, I was able to review her property with a full 5-stars. Guests get reviewed, too. So, remember to be on your best behavior, friends!
As we travel through these different types of vacation rentals in the world, I want to share some fine print (the booking fees), with you. I couldn’t find the black and white on every company we’re going to explore, but I’d like to share what I have managed to scrounge up.
Here’s the lowdown on Airbnb:
Booking fee: 3%
Traveler service fee: 6 - 12% (calculated based on the total nightly rate + fees)
Credit card fee: none
HomeAway is certainly akin to Airbnb. However, HomeAway encompasses a chain of about 25 different network names, including VRBO, VacationRentals.com, Owners Direct, and more. From a traveler’s standpoint, you might want to start with Airbnb, and see what their offerings are first. Then, take a look at HomeAway’s family of listings. From a host’s standpoint, the difference between the two counts a little bit more.
HomeAway is comparable to a section of online classifieds. Homeowners pay to advertise their properties. Airbnb hosts do not pay. This makes Airbnb more of a marketplace. And, because it’s a marketplace, Airbnb will handle the exchange of money. With HomeAway, you’re handling payments directly with the host. This is not a bad thing. Not at all. In fact, HomeAway has an impressive selection of offerings across different platforms.
If you have a firm idea of what you’re looking for, how much you want to pay, and where you’d like to be situated, start the line up with Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, to start. After you do this, you’ll already be on your way to some sweet, sweet memories.
Here are HomeAway’s numbers:
Booking fee: 5%
Traveler service fee: 4 - 9%
Credit card fee: 2.9%
One word: TripAdvisor. Is that technically two words? Well, as soon as you hear the word TripAdvisor, what springs to mind is another word: ‘authority’. Since TripAdvisor runs Flipkey, you’ll be flipping the travel coin in your favor. Flipkey features about 830,000 properties in over 190 countries.
Similar to HomeAway, they have a family of websites, including Holidaylettings.co.uk, HouseTrip.com, and more. So, when you’re researching the different types of vacation rentals in the world, be sure to add Flipkey to your search list. You just might even find your own personal gem wading in the sea of TripAdvisor fans.
Here’s Flipkey’s rundown:
Booking fee: 3%
Traveler service fee: 5 - 15%
Credit card fee: none
Booking.com is a beast (in a good way). They are able to open the doors to over 1.5 million properties in over 229 countries and territories. We’re talking everything from igloos, to tree houses and good old-fashioned hotels by the sea. Similar to how you can do it all on TripAdvisor (select your hotel and research your points of interest), you can do it all on Booking.com.
On this website, you can book your flights to get you there, your hotel or vacation rental while you’re there, and map out ground transportation options and 5-star restaurants as well. When you book through them, you earn points on top of even more points. In no time at all, those points can be converted into free airfare and hotel stays.
When we plan our travels, we tend to dip into different inkwells for each leg of the journey. If you put all your travel eggs into Booking.com’s basket, you’re going to watch your travel rewards stack up over time. And with an inventory like that, you can’t go wrong. Icelandic igloos today and Chilean tree houses tomorrow. What a fantasy that you’ll be able to bring to life!
For Booking.com, you’re looking at:
Booking fee: 15%
Traveler service fee: none
Credit card fee: none
7. 2nd Address
2nd Address is a company formerly known as HomeSuite. If you’re looking for corporate housing or a long-term apartment, 2nd Address will get you there in style.
It’s often difficult to find a long-term stay overseas. Turning an Airbnb stay into a month-long affair can change the price tag significantly. But 2nd Address focuses entirely on long-term stays: getting you the best rate in some of the finest accommodations around.
If you’re looking to write a novel from the comfort of Stockholm, but you don’t want to break the bank, take a scan through 2nd Address. With their help, you can even stretch that Stockholm vacation to spend another three months in Basel!
Wimdu is a fantastic German company that is popular among European travelers. This is where price shopping comes in handy. While we’re all quick to type in Airbnb.com, hold off on popping the cork on your Airbnb find until you’ve double checked some of their comrades like Wimdu.
Wimdu’s inventory features about 350,000 properties in over 150 countries. Sometimes, their prices dip as low as 13 USD! Their tagline is “best city apartments”. So, if there’s a possibility of snagging a great price on a Parisian dream right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, isn’t that worth a look? With a little extra jingle in your pocket, you’ll be able to take home that stunning painting from the local art gallery you couldn’t get out of your head.
9flats tap dances its way across the travel scene with a cool 6 million homes worldwide. (They just acquired Wimdu, so they must be doing something right.)
They have a similar fan-base, being a German company beloved by European trekkers. Still, that doesn’t mean that other people can’t benefit from their affordable price tags and transparent operations.
The next time that Europe is on your horizon, toss Wimdu and 9flats onto your list of sites to research. The beauty of these niche sites is that golden nuggets are often tucked away in the quaintest corners of the world.
Tripping.com is a definitive player in the travel game. I actually discovered them through their blog. They run a very robust blog, full of unbiased tips and advice. You know what that means. It’s likely they have their consumers’ best interests in mind.
In addition, Tripping’s inventory is no slouch. They feature about 10 million properties in over 150,000 destinations. Let your Tahitian dreams spring to life in just a couple clicks. And, on your way home, let Tripping.com help you expand your travels to also include a couple of New Zealand nights.
There are different types of vacation rentals in the world, something for everyone to enjoyIn a transparent world of online reviews, travelers really do come out on top. Options abound, whether you’re open to trying something unexpected, or you know exactly where you need to stay. You’ll notice that fees vary, but they vary in a way that may make everything wash out evenly in the end. So, take a careful look.
Start with the fan favorites like Airbnb and Booking.com. Then, take a break, pour yourself a nice glass of chardonnay. After that, continue to walk the cobbled streets of Tuscany from Tripping.com, sail the shorelines of Venice on Wimdu, and price check over at 9flats. In the end, you’ll be safely betting on a comfortable, secure, and life-affirming trip abroad. As always, we wish you the safest of travels and the happiest of memories!
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