6 Best Short-Term Rental Sites

Clever Real Estate

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Clever Real Estate

October 22nd, 2022
Updated October 22nd, 2022

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Do you need short-term housing before moving into your new home? Many websites make it easy to find temporary housing, from practical accommodations to vacation stays. To make your search simpler, we compiled a list of the six best websites for finding short-term housing.

Before booking a stay, research several websites and read customer reviews. Every website offers a unique type of booking, so comparing multiple sites can help you find one that matches your needs. Read on to learn about our picks for best short-term rental sites.

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Airbnb

Best for: Accessing the largest selection of short-term rental properties

Airbnb is a popular vacation rental site. People can rent either whole houses or single rooms for long or short stays.

The host sets the price and may change the rate based on which dates you choose. Besides the base booking fee, you’ll pay additional fees, which can include a cleaning fee, an extra guest fee, an Airbnb guest fee, and a currency exchange fee.

Because Airbnb is an established short-term rental market, it has a good reputation. It’s often more affordable than hotels, and certain amenities, like kitchen access, make it easier to stay for an extended period.

Types of housing offered:

  • Entire property
  • Private room
  • Shared room

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Vrbo

Best for: Finding accommodations with specific features

Vrbo is one of the most popular short-term rental sites. The website lists over two million properties around the world. These properties span 190 countries, with most in Europe and North America.

With Vrbo, you can select properties with more space, a full kitchen, laundry access, pools, and more. Families with pets can search for pet-friendly properties. These types of specialized offerings make Vrbo one of the best vacation rental sites.

Types of housing offered:

  • Condos
  • Cabins
  • Lake rentals
  • Beach houses

Note: Expedia, Vrbo's parent company, retired their HomeAway brand. HomeAway’s site and app now redirect users to Vrbo.[1]

FlipKey

Best for: Finding different types of short-term rentals

FlipKey is a vacation rental site within the TripAdvisor family. The site has over 300,000 listed properties. Verified owners on FlipKey can list whole homes, apartments, villas, or private rooms, which makes it easy to find a property that fits your needs. You can stay for a few days or a few weeks.

If you have questions about a listing, you can fill out a short form to contact the owner. FlipKey also lets you learn more about property owners, so you can choose to rent from people who have years of experience in this business.

Types of housing offered:

  • Beach houses
  • Cabins
  • Condos
  • Cottages
  • Vacation homes and villas

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HomeStay

Best for: Solo traveling

HomeStay sets itself apart from other websites by offering hosted experiences. You can meet the property owners and talk to a local individual or family — a personal touch you can't find other places.

When searching for a property, you can narrow your search based on whether the host provides a meal, what hobbies the host enjoys, and what amenities are available. All stays include breakfast.

Type of housing offered:

  • Private room

Booking.com

Best for: Instant booking

While Booking.com is well-known for offering hotel bookings, you can also book vacation rental properties on the site. It currently lists over five million rentals, including apartments and villas around the world.

The experience on the site feels similar to booking a hotel. You select where you want to stay, choose the dates, and pick from hundreds of rentals. The site recommends relevant accommodations based on previous searches to help narrow down short-term housing options.

Types of housing offered:

  • Entire property
  • Private room
  • Shared room

OneFineStay

Best for: Finding luxury short-term rentals

OneFineStay offers luxury short-term housing. This short-term rental site functions similar to Airbnb, but owners can list only whole properties. Guests can’t rent private rooms or share a house with another group.

Homes listed on OneFineStay are professionally serviced before you arrive. Once you’re on the property, you can expect an in-person welcome, 24/7 phone support, and access to an iPhone with local calls and data included.

Types of housing offered:

  • Homes
  • Villas
  • Chalets

Final thoughts

Each website has rentals suited for a variety of needs. To find the best short-term housing for you, compare several websites, properties, and owners.

If you’d prefer working with a professional to find short-term housing, a Clever Partner Agent can help you. The agent can walk you through the steps to find short-term housing and, if needed, can help you buy a home.

FAQs about short-term housing websites

Airbnb is considered the best short-term rental app, partly because of its popularity. Many travelers use Airbnb as a go-to platform when searching for short-term rentals. On the app, you can easily chat with the host, review your booking and accommodations, and access information on local attractions.

Yes, there are several vacation rental websites similar to Airbnb. Vrbo, which stands for “vacation rentals by owner,” is one of the best vacation rental websites. Founded in 1995, Vrbo is owned and operated by Expedia Group, an international, full-service travel brand. The site only offers stand-alone vacation homes. OneFineStay is another site like Airbnb, but it focuses on high-end vacation rental properties. Other similar vacation rental sites include Plum Guide, Sonder, Vacasa, Getaway, and Outdoorsy.

The best websites for short-term furnished rentals include Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. Vrbo specifically focuses on whole home rentals that come fully furnished. Extended-stay hotel rooms, like those offered on Booking.com, are always fully furnished.

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