My top 5 favourite holiday rental sites

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The world of holiday rentals is both large and small (holiday rental companies acquiring other holiday rental companies is making the world of holiday rentals smaller each year whilst each player gets bigger). Being such a large space, it can be intimidating and scary to even know where to start.

So let me help you. To navigate you through what can be a crowded and busy online space, I have collated my top 5 holiday rental listing sites. These sites are recommended for whatever your destination is but look out for future posts on the sites I recommend for specific destinations and holiday types as there are listing sites for every niche and every traveller (same, same but different!)

The 5 holiday rental listing sites below are the sites I visit and use when I begin a quest to source and book a holiday rental for an overseas holiday. There are a LOT of professional and trusted holiday rental listing sites to choose from so this is just a starting point to get you on your way.

1. Airbnb

finding holiday rentals on Airbnb

Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have heard of this giant in the land of holiday rentals. Airbnb has properties across over 190 countries so you’re sure to find something for your destination (and budget!).

Why you’ll like it

The site is a travellers dream – whether you’re looking for a room in a house or a whole house on your own for you and friends/family, you’ll have plenty of options. The site is easy to navigate and if you are clever about using the filters available, you’ll quickly be able to narrow down your property choices. The in-built review system allows you to view the feedback of guests who have stayed in the property, given greater credence to the property information and description.

2. HomeAway

Homeaway is one of the biggest competitors of Airbnb and promotes itself as has over a million vacation rental listings in 190 countries with various versions of their site translated into over 40 languages worldwide.

Why you’ll like it

One of the stalwarts of listing sites, you’ll again be spoilt for choice. Unlike Airbnb, you cannot search for just a room – this site is all about standalone properties and there is a property type at all budget levels to suit everybody.

3. Holidays Lettings & House Trip

House Trip holiday rental listing site

OK I’ve cheated a little bit here and combined Holidaylettings and Housetrip on the list at # 3 – and that’s because both of these sites are now owned by TripAdvisor. TripAdvisor confirms that they are committed to “providing travelers the best possible selection of high quality homes, no matter their destination or budget”.

Why you’ll like them

You’ll find a large range of choice on either of these sites, with the benefit of integrated TripAdvisor reviews of the listed properties. Easy to navigate sites, search functions – you’ll find all the standard criteria and a vast range of properties to choose from.

4. One Fine Stay

finding holiday rentals One Fine Stay

Described by Business Insider as the ‘airbnb for the rich‘, One Fine Stay promotes itself as offering renowned hospitality for stays in the finest homes. The site offers a portfolio of stunning properties (all hand-picked, representatives from the company  visit and inspect each property before it is accepted into its portfolio) in destinations including Paris, London, Rome and New York.

(NB One Fine Stay was acquired by French hotel group, Accor in 2016)

Why you’ll like them

One Fine Stay offers a level of luxury and customer service that it reassuring and comforting. They visit, check and photograph every home themselves, and they know each one inside out. It’s all taken care of. As an extra bonus, guests also receive an iPhone too, with free data and local calls, and area recommendations.

5. Welcome Beyond

Welcome Beyond holiday rentals

Welcome Beyond was founded by two Berlin-based brothers and promotes itself as offering hand picked vacation rentals (and boutique hotels). In their words.

Many reflect their owners’ passion for distinctive architecture and design. Some border on quirky, several are quite posh. And a few are downright rustic.What all properties have in common is that they’re exclusive — in the best sense of the word.
Each is singular, memorable and definitely worth writing home about.

Why you’ll like them

There are some wonderful properties on the site and it is definitely worth exploring if you’re looking for that special and unique property. Looking for a yurt in Norway? Dying to stay in an igloo in the Swiss Alps, then Welcome Beyond is your go to!

Have you booked a holiday rental? What’s your go-to site for booking holiday rentals?

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