Airbnb Alternatives in the UK: 7 Options Worth Considering for Your Property

airbnb alternative uk

By The Hospitable Team

Airbnb is a very popular online marketplace that makes it easier for property owners to rent out their homes, apartments, or spar­ rooms to travelers, but it’s not the only player in the game. Plenty of other websites offer opportunities for hosts to showcase their properties and connect with travelers looking for places to stay that feel like a “home away from home.”

So, if you’re already hosting your house on Airbnb and looking for an Airbnb alternative in the UK to expand your reach to a broader audience, here, you’ll find a list of top short-term rental platforms.  

Airbnb Alternatives in the UK: What Are Your Options as a Host?

Relying only on Airbnb to market your vacation rental property is one of the most common Airbnb mistakes you should avoid because it can prevent you from building a successful and sustainable STR business. If you list on other OTA platforms and create your direct booking website, you can increase your visibility and potentially get more bookings.

When choosing a direct booking website provider, it's essential to ensure it is the official partner of Google Vacation Rentals. This way, your website will appear on Google Travel, a trending metasearch engine, as well as on Google Maps.

Managing a vacation rental involves many responsibilities and consistent work, so many hosts use software tools like Hospitable to automate their hosting routine. With Hospitable, you’ll be able to streamline your business operations and save many hours of your precious time every week.

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Now, let’s look at the vacation rental sites popular among STR hosts and travelers in the UK.

Vrbo

Owned by Expedia Group, Vrbo is a popular vacation rental platform that attracts families traveling together and vacationers who are looking for longer stay options. Vrbo has been around since 1995 and currently has more than 2 million listings in 190 countries worldwide. It also has almost 100,000 holiday lettings from across the UK and Ireland.

Remember that the platform focuses on entire properties and doesn’t allow property owners to list shared spaces. The common types of property listed on the website are houses, condos/apartments, cottages, cabins, villas, and chalets.

Vrbo has two different service fee models for hosts. You can pay the annual subscription fee of $499, which covers unlimited bookings for the whole year, or the pay-per-booking fee. Then, you’ll be charged a 5% commission per booking and a 3% credit card processing fee.

You may also want to check out our blog article, where we compare Vrbo vs. Airbnb and explain key differences in their features, fees, cancellation policies, and the types of properties they allow.

Booking.com

With more than 29 million listings, Booking.com is one of the largest online travel agencies in the world. Traditionally, this was a website for hotels and resorts. Still, now it also focuses on vacation rentals and has more than 6.6 million listings for private homes, apartments, cabins, villas, and other accommodations.

Hosts on Booking.com pay commission fees based on the total booking value. On average, Booking.com takes 15% off your charged price for all confirmed bookings made through their platform. However, the commission rate may vary depending on your location and cancellation policy and range from 10% to 25%.

You may want to check out our blog post to learn more about Booking.com’s pros and cons for hosts to determine whether it’s the right listing site for your vacation rental business.

Vrbo and Booking.com are good options for listing your Airbnb property and reaching more travelers. If you opt for Hospitable, you can efficiently manage all your listings on these major booking websites from a single dashboard and never worry about juggling calendars, messaging, and cleaners across bookings.

All you need from a channel manager is here!

Double-booking protection, pricing synchronization, single calendar for all your listings, and more.

TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals

The world’s largest travel guidance platform, TripAdvisor, boasts millions of travelers who visit this website daily to plan and book a trip. It’s probably the first website that you think of when it comes to travel-related reviews.

But it also has over 800,000 properties listed in 200 countries worldwide, so travelers have plenty of options to choose from. Property owners can list different types of vacation rentals, from private rooms to castles and houseboats to villas.

You can sign up and list your UK properties on TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals for free and just pay a commission of 3% per booking. After your listing has been activated, it will appear on TripAdvisor’s network of sites, including Holiday Lettings and FlipKey.

Homestay

Homestay is the platform that connects travelers with local hosts who offer affordable accommodations in their homes and reminds us of what Airbnb was when it first started. This site can be a good Airbnb alternative in the UK if you want to rent your spare room to tourists, international students, and professionals who want to live with a local host and truly discover their destination.

Homestay now offers guests a selection of over 63,000 rooms in over 176 countries. Property owners can list their rooms for free. But you should remember that Homestay is a hosted experience, so you’ll be actively involved in making your guests welcome in your home and helping them immerse themselves in local life.

Coolstays

Coolstays attracts travelers who are looking for an extraordinary place to stay. The website features a selection of unique accommodations, such as houseboats, treehouses, barns, castles, cool cottages and villas, and eco-lodges.

It can be an excellent option to list your UK property with “something different” about it. You’ll need to pay a subscription fee (annual, quarterly, or monthly) to showcase your property, and there will be no commission, so everything you’ll earn via Coolstays will be yours.

Snaptrip

It’s a UK-based vacation rental platform that offers a wide range of holiday properties across the country, including holiday cottages, log cabins, and apartments. The Snaptrip Group now owns over 18 websites and boasts of receiving over 20 million visitors a year.

Property owners in the UK and Ireland who want to list their properties must complete a form specifying which sites they would like to list on. After you inquire, Snaptrip will respond within three business days and provide all of the necessary information you need to list with them.

If you decide to proceed, you’ll be given access to an online portal to set up your listing. Snaptrip doesn’t charge a commission or booking fee; you’ll only need to pay a listing fee.

Final Thought

Airbnb has revolutionized the hospitality industry, and it’s a trusted global platform, popular among travelers in the UK. However, the vacation rental market is constantly evolving, and plenty of Airbnb alternatives offer UK hosts an opportunity to showcase their properties to a global audience.

If you want to attract more guests to your unique home, you should definitely list it on major booking platforms, such as Vrbo and Booking.com, and consider local and regional platforms that can help you tap into the niche markets. Having a website that can help you build relationships with guests and drive repeat direct bookings is also essential.   

You may also want to check out our blog article comparing a vacation rental metasearch engine HomeToGo vs. Airbnb.

flipping vs renting

Flipping vs. Renting: Which Investment Path Is Better?

Thinking about investing in real estate and aren’t sure which strategy would offer you the best ROI: flipping houses or owning rental properties? To help you identify the best investment strategy for your lifestyle, in this article, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of flipping vs. renting houses.

Airbnb vs. Renting: Which Option Is Better?

Airbnb vs. Renting: Which Option Is Better?

One of the main discussion points between real estate investors is the debate about whether you should list your property on Airbnb or choose traditional long-term renting. Which strategy is more lucrative and can generate better ROI? Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each.

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