The 8 Best Vacation Rental Sites of 2019

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The Rundown

Best Overall: See Airbnb Rentals "Airbnb boasts more than six million listings across 100,000 cities in 191 countries."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: See Vrbo Rentals "Exclusively lists entire properties – which means you’ll never have to share with hosts or other guests."

Best for Luxury: See Luxury Retreats Rentals "It features more than 4,000 curated properties in the world’s most beautiful locations."

Best Value: See Simply Owners Rentals "Book directly with the property owner, without any booking fees and hidden costs."

Best Ethics: See Innclusive Rentals "Addresses the problem by only revealing a potential guest's profile photo and name after a booking has been accepted."

Best for Travel Inspiration: See FlipKey Rentals "You can browse trending and featured destinations, or look through its Trip Ideas page."

Best for Home Swaps: See Love Home Swap Rentals "Instead of paying for your rental, Love Home Swap allows you to swap a stay with your own home."

Best Comparison Site: See HomeToGo Rentals "Once you find the property that best suits your needs, you will be redirected to the host site to make your booking."

Our Top Picks

01 of 08

Best Overall: Airbnb

Airbnb

Courtesy of Airbnb

As the largest home rental site, Airbnb boasts more than six million listings across 100,000 cities in 191 countries. These range from single rooms to entire homes – in addition to more unique offerings (think Balinese treehouses and Finnish sauna boats). The search box on its homepage asks where you want to go, your check-in and check-out dates, and the number of adults, children, and infants in your group. Then, you can filter the results according to a long list of preferences. Options range from your desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms to specific amenities like high chairs or indoor fireplaces. 

Alternatively, if you’re not sure where you want to go, the site conveniently groups stays by destination and/or theme for your perusal. Each property has a review section, and once you make a booking, your payment is protected via a secure platform. You can also securely message your host to arrange check-in and ask for directions, and if you have any issues, Airbnb’s 24-hour team is always available to help. Even more, Airbnb Plus properties are verified by the company's representatives and guarantee high quality and excellent hosts. The site also lists nearby restaurants and Airbnb Adventures — multi-day journeys hosted by local experts.

02 of 08

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Vrbo

Vrbo

Courtesy of Vrbo

Since its foundation in 1995, Vrbo has grown to include over two million properties across 190 countries. The significant difference between this company and Airbnb is that Vrbo exclusively lists entire properties – meaning you’ll never have to share with hosts or other guests. This makes the site ideal for those who need a little extra space, perhaps for large families, reunions, or celebrations. On the homepage, you can browse properties according to type (including cabins, condos, houses, and villas). Alternatively, search for a specific destination or property ID. 

You will be asked for your dates of stay, the number of adults and children in your group, and whether you're bringing any pets. You can then filter the results according to your budget, the required number of bedrooms, specific amenities, and more. Plus, an interactive map shows where each property is located in relation to the others on the list. Read through reviews left by other guests, or ask the owner some questions before booking. Properties listed under Instant Confirmation may be booked without waiting for the owner's approval. Whichever property you choose, you’re protected by Vrbo’s Book with Confidence Guarantee.

For more information, read how you can book a stay through Vrbo.

03 of 08

Best for Luxury: Luxury Retreats

Vacation Rental Sites Luxury Retreats

 Luxury Retreats

While most sites offer properties for all budgets, Luxury Retreats (an Airbnb company) focuses exclusively on high-end vacation rentals. It features more than 4,000 curated properties in the world’s most beautiful locations – from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean. All are equipped with the latest amenities and are hand-picked according to a checklist with more than 240 different criteria. Each booking also includes a 24-hour personal concierge, who will handle the details of your trip from last-minute itinerary changes to organizing special local experiences. 

The homepage search box allows you to enter your desired location, dates of stay, and the number of guests. Results are listed so that at a single glance, you can see how many bedrooms and bathrooms each property has, its maximum capacity, price, and reviewer score — making it easy to compare properties. Similar to other vacation rental sites, you can also filter your results. Plus, properties listed under Instant Book can be reserved without waiting for host approval. If you’re not sure where you want to go, look for inspiration by browsing the site's featured destinations and themed property collections.

04 of 08

Best Value: Simply Owners

Villa Rental Rhodes

Simply Owners

U.K.-based site Simply Owners allows you to book directly with the property owner, without any booking fees and hidden costs. As such, it affords excellent value for money. All owners are verified and bookings are covered by 100 percent free payment protection. The site specializes in holiday rentals in idyllic, England locations like Devon, Cornwall, and Cumbria. It also offers properties across Europe and a few in the Caribbean, too. If you already know where you want to go, you can enter your preferred dates and search according to your chosen destination or property ID. 

Once you decide on a location, you’ll be taken to a destination page with a detailed overview of local attractions and an interactive map. Use the extensive filter system to narrow down the results according to price range, property type, capacity, and specific amenities. Before you click on a property, you’ll be able to read a brief description and see how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has. And on the property's page, you can read reviews and either message the owner directly or access their phone number. Simply Owners also offers wheelchair-friendly options.

Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08

Best Ethics: Innclusive

Luxurious Getaway in Las Vegas

Innclusive

Innclusive’s founder started the company after experiencing racial discrimination when trying to book through Airbnb. This wasn’t an isolated issue – the vacation rental giant has faced considerable controversy over the years as a result of users claiming to have been rejected by hosts on account of race, gender, and/or age. Innclusive addresses the problem by only revealing a potential guest's profile photo and name after a booking has been accepted. Furthermore, if a host rejects a guest’s request, they are unable to make the same dates available to someone else.

The vast majority of the site's properties are also available for Instant Booking, so hosts are less likely to reject a booking on discriminatory grounds. There are options to suit every budget in more than 130 different countries worldwide. To find the property that’s right for you, enter your chosen destination, dates, and the number of guests. You can filter the results according to price range, property type, size, and preferred amenities — or view the property's location on an interactive map. Should you have more questions, you can contact the host directly before booking.

06 of 08

Best for Travel Inspiration: FlipKey

Vacation Rental Sites Flip Key

 Courtesy of Flip Key

FlipKey is part of TripAdvisor Rentals and lists around 300,000 properties in locations all over the world. In many ways, it's similar to other large, vacation rental companies. On the homepage, you’ll find a search box that allows you to enter your chosen destination and dates. The listings that come up when you search include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the capacity, a TripAdvisor rating, and the average owner response time. You’ll also be able to view the properties on a map. As with TripAdvisor, you can sort the results by relevance, price, and the number of reviews. 

Filter options include preferred rental types, amenities, and activities. What makes FlipKey special is the inspiration it provides for travelers who haven’t yet decided on a destination. You can browse trending and featured destinations, or look through its Trip Ideas page with themes like Girlfriend Getaways, Honeymoon Destinations, or National Park Trips. The FlipKey blog is another valuable resource, with articles offering travel tips and destination overviews. If you'd like, you can also subscribe to emails updating you on the best deals and personalized recommendations.

07 of 08

Best for Home Swaps: Love Home Swap

Love Home Swap

 Love Home Swap

Instead of paying for your rental, Love Home Swap allows you to swap a stay with your own home. Here’s how it works: first, enter your chosen destination and dates to find the vacation rental of your dreams. Helpful filters let you specify the type of home you’d like, choose your must-have amenities, and weed out properties that are (or aren’t) pet and kid-friendly. There are listings for locations all over the world, from French chateaux to Thai pool villas. 

Once you’ve found a few places that you like, create a profile and upload a description and photos of your home. Then, message the owners of the properties you’re interested in and find out if they'd like to stay at your house. You can do a direct swap and travel at the same time, or arrange for them to stay at a later date. Once the details are arranged, you will confirm the swap online after you choose a membership plan. Alternatively, you can do a Points Swap — you earn points by letting a member stay at your house, then use them to stay at another property anywhere in the world.

08 of 08

Best Comparison Site: HomeToGo

Vacation Rental Sites

Courtesy of HomeToGo

With so many vacation rental sites out there, it can be difficult knowing which one to use. HomeToGo offers a simple solution by comparing more than 17.6 million properties from more than 600 rental sites worldwide. In fact, it bills itself as "The World’s Largest Vacation Rental Search Engine." Of course, with such a huge number of available properties, deciding between them can be overwhelming. You’ll need to use the search filters carefully to narrow down the listings and find exactly what you want. 

The first step is to enter your destination, preferred dates, number of guests, and required number of rooms. The initial search box also asks whether or not you’re traveling with kids in order to reflect the most accurate pricing. Then, when you get your results, you can filter them further according to a specific list of amenities (ranging from cribs, saunas, dishwashers, and parking). There are also filters for price, reviewer ratings, and different accommodation types. Once you find the property that best suits your needs, you will be redirected to the host site to make your booking.

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