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Home Exchange vs Airbnb

Thursday, April 15th

2021 Vacation Rental Site Reviews

Home Exchange Review 3.5 Star Rating

Home Exchange

3.5 Star Rating
  • Number of Properties: More than 400,000, in 187 countries
  • BBB Rating: A-, not accredited

Want to get your vacation accommodations for free? It's possible with Home Exchange. The catch? You have to be willing to share your home with other travelers. This service has hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, and it's easy to see reviews from people who have exchanged homes and set your mind at ease before you make a commitment. This is a reliable, well-used service and it presents an opportunity to travel on the cheap - but keep in mind that this is not a traditional vacation rental service by any definition, and unless you live in a popular tourist destination, you might not find anyone who wants to swap houses with you.

Airbnb Review 2 Star Rating


2 Star Rating
  • Number of Properties: Over 4 million spaces for rent, in 191+ countries
  • BBB Rating: F, not accredited

Airbnb offers the widest range of vacation rental possibilities, whether you just need a room in a shared apartment for a night or you want an entire chateau to yourself. The service also has a unique "Experiences" option that gives you access to tours, classes and even online sessions with famous people. Unfortunately, Airbnb has the worst possible rating with the BBB - and an advisory there indicating you may be left hanging if you need any kind of customer service.

The 6 Best Vacation Rental Sites

What's the Best Website to Use When Booking Your Next Vacation Rental?

If you've ever stayed in one, you already know all of the advantages a vacation rental has over a traditional hotel stay - especially for trips that will last longer than a night or two. Because vacation rental properties are usually fully-furnished apartments, condos, and houses, they give you a home away from home. From kitchens with all of the pots and pans to make a gourmet meal, to washers and dryers that mean you don't have to pack as much clothing, vacation rentals can have it all.

How do vacation rental properties work? Many are owned privately, and the owners take a lot of pride in making sure you have a fantastic stay. You may arrive to find complimentary snacks on the kitchen counter or a binder full of local recommendations for things to do and restaurants to visit, and your hosts could even stop in to introduce themselves.

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Continued from above...

Other vacation rentals are owned and operated by management companies, so your experience might feel more like a traditional hotel stay. No matter how your property is managed, it's a great way to have a more relaxing, private vacation. Plus, with unique destinations that include castles, chalets and even boats, vacation rentals are only limited by your creativity (and maybe your budget!).

However, not all sites offering vacation rentals are equal. You won't care if the service you used has millions of properties if they leave you hanging once you've checked in, or if you can't get help from a responsive customer service team when a problem arises. Which one should you choose for your vacation?

Here are several things to keep in mind as you consider the options:

  • Reputation. What do other travelers say about their experience with the vacation rental company? Has the service been rated by the Better Business Bureau?
  • Selection. Can you find a vacation rental property that meets your needs? Some services are in all 50 states and over 200 countries, while others are more limited. If you're looking for something unique or traveling to a destination at a premium time (such as the Super Bowl, Christmas, and so on), you're more likely to get it if the company has many vacation rentals in their "inventory".
  • Pricing and Fees. This varies by property, so you'll want to keep an eye out for any fees above and beyond the cost of the rental itself. This can include cleaning costs, charges for amenities (like heating a hot tub), and so on. You might also want to see if the property you're considering is listed on more than one site, in case there's a price difference that could save you some money.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best vacation rental websites available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect spot for your next adventure, whether it's a county or a continent away!

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