You are no longer limited to expensive hotel chains. Today, you can book everything from an apartment in San Francisco, a riad in Morocco or even a beach house in Costa Rica.

There are many benefits to renting an apartment, b&b or another type of vacation rental as opposed to the more conventional hotel chain. For example, they often allow you to stay in neighborhoods that have an authentic feel, instead of being confined to a business or tourist district. In addition to this, apartments are equipped with kitchens so you can cook meals like a local to save money, and do your laundry so you can pack less.

There's no better way to enrich your travel experience than to immerse yourself in local lifestyles. You'll see things as a local, come across locations that aren't mentioned in any guidebook and meet many interesting people along the way. 


Here are some of our favorite sites to help you find the perfect place to stay during your next trip.


Apartments & Homes


My Travel Arsenal Editors' Choice for nearly all your peer-to-peer travel bookings. Discover unique lodging from spare rooms and private apartments to treehouses, igloos and even private islands.

Apartments Apart

Europe's largest independent apartment operator with rentals spanning across every country and into Africa, Asia and beyond.


Looking for completely free accommodations? Review hosts profiles and prior guests comments then request to stay on a spare couch or guest bed of your liking.

Home Away

Focuses on traditional vacation homes that are rented out by their owners when not in use. Ideal for larger groups looking for space. 


One of the most extensive holiday rental online booking services, offering a wide selection of private villas, chalets, cottages and apartments.


A social travel network for budget consciousness travelers where you book accommodations for work, for money or for free.


A Kayak-like search engine for vacation and short-term rental sites. Great if you are pressed for time and need to cover a lot of ground at once.


As with HomeAway, (who also owns VRBO) properties are either run by their owners or property managers. Rentals are mostly in the U.S.

Boutique Hotels, B&Bs and Hostels 

Bed and Breakfast

Choose everything from quaint inns, garden cottages and luxury bed and breakfasts.  


Search for a small, independently owned property, often missed by larger hotel search sites, who aim to attract budget-conscious travelers.


The complete guide to hostels worldwide. Compare unbiased reviews, see detailed images and map locations, then search every booking site at once when you're ready to book.  

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Hundreds of handpicked (and anonymously reviewed) boutique & luxury hotels around the world.

When You Just Need A Hotel


One of Asia's largest and most popular accommodation booking sites.

Known for its high degree of customer satisfaction, particularly the ease of its booking process.


Your one-stop China travel source specializing in affordable hotel reservations.


Superb user interface makes finding a hotel in your desired neighborhood a breeze.

Great for last-minute deals and earning free nights through their Welcome Rewards program.


By selling off unsold travel inventory at discounted prices, Hotwire can save you a bundle.


An auction style site that allows you to name the price you are willing to pay.


Search hotels based on value, romance, family or business then compare the best user reviews on the web to help narrow your decision.