Finding Budget-Friendly Accommodations in a Post-Airbnb World

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

In the ever-evolving landscape of travel accommodations, Airbnb has been a game-changer. However, recent regulations and changing dynamics in the hospitality industry have led to a shift in the short-term rental market. If you’re wondering how to secure unique and comfortable lodging without breaking the bank in a post-Airbnb world, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we explore alternative options that won’t strain your budget.

One option you will see several times is – Craigslist was the original database and platform for short term rentals, and vacation homes as well as many other forms of housing. Tech companies took the bare bones Craigslist model and made the experience much easier and safer. However, if you are safe, you can utilize the platform to secure housing in your next destination! See more info at the bottom for safety.

1. Vacation Rentals: Beyond Airbnb

Although Airbnb may face new regulations, the concept of vacation rentals is far from fading. Websites and platforms dedicated to vacation rentals, such as Vrbo and, continue to thrive. These platforms offer a wide range of options, from charming cottages to budget-friendly apartments. You can still enjoy the flexibility, space, and privacy of vacation rentals in a post-Airbnb world without compromising your budget.

Where to book: | (be careful) | facebook groups (be careful) | word of mouth

2. Hostels: Affordable and Social

Hostels have been a long-standing favorite among budget-conscious travelers. They provide affordable accommodations with shared spaces and a social atmosphere, perfect for solo travelers or those seeking to make new friends on the road. In a post-Airbnb world, hostels remain a fantastic option for budget travelers.

Where to book: | Directly on Hostel website (score a free breakfast or better rate)

3. Budget Hotels: Affordable Comfort

Budget hotels, often referred to as economy or discount hotels, provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional hotels. These accommodations offer comfortable rooms without the frills, making them a perfect choice for travelers looking to save on lodging costs. Many budget hotel chains are known for their affordability and convenient locations.

WHERE TO BOOK: | | | hotelstonight app

4. Extended Stay Options: Economical Long-Term Stays

For travelers seeking a home-like environment for longer stays without breaking the bank, extended stay accommodations are the answer. Many hotels and aparthotels offer budget-friendly suites with fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to save on dining expenses during your extended visit.

WHERE TO BOOK: | | | facebook groups

5. Home Swapping: A Unique Budget Option

Home swapping is an exciting and budget-friendly way to travel. Platforms like HomeExchange and Love Home Swap allow you to exchange your home with someone else’s during your vacation. This not only saves on accommodation costs but also provides a unique opportunity to live like a local in a different city or country.

HomeExchange | Love Home Swap

6. House Sitting: Stay for Free

House sitting offers an incredible opportunity to stay in someone else’s home for free in exchange for taking care of their property and possibly pets. Websites like TrustedHousesitters connect homeowners with responsible house sitters. It’s a win-win situation that allows you to enjoy comfortable accommodations without the cost.


The world of travel accommodations is evolving, but budget-friendly options are still abundant in a post-Airbnb world. From vacation rentals to hostels, budget hotels, extended stay accommodations, motels, home swapping, and house sitting, there are various alternatives that won’t strain your finances. Each of these options offers affordability without compromising on comfort, ensuring you can enjoy your travels without worrying about excessive lodging costs.

While Airbnb may face challenges, the spirit of adventure and exploration continues to thrive, even for budget-conscious travelers. By exploring diverse alternatives, you can find the ideal budget-friendly accommodation for your next journey, ensuring a memorable and cost-effective stay in the post-Airbnb era.


For Craigslist:

  1. Meet in Person: Whenever possible, meet the property owner or manager in person to view the rental and discuss terms. If distance is an issue, consider video calls for virtual tours.
  2. Local References: Ask the owner for local references or previous renters you can contact to verify the legitimacy of the rental and the owner’s reputation.
  3. Zoom Call First: It’s 2023, everyone has some form of video conferencing, do a Zoom call and inspect the space and meet the property owner
  4. Public Meeting Places: If meeting in person, choose a public and well-traveled location for safety, especially when initially contacting the owner.
  5. Payment Caution: Never send money or personal information upfront before confirming the legitimacy of the rental and verifying the owner’s identity.
  6. Beware of Red Flags: Be cautious of listings with unusually low prices, misspelled details, or requests for payment through untraceable methods like gift cards or wire transfers.
  7. Use Secure Payment Methods: When paying, opt for secure methods like PayPal or credit cards, which provide some level of buyer protection.

For Facebook Groups:

  1. Join Reputable Groups: Look for well-established and reputable Facebook groups dedicated to vacation rentals. Read reviews and comments to gauge their legitimacy.
  2. Verify Members: Check the profiles of group members who post rental listings. Legitimate members often have a history of active participation in the group.
  3. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from group members who have successfully rented vacation properties in the past. They can provide valuable insights.
  4. Private Messaging: Communicate with property owners or managers through private messaging rather than publicly sharing personal information.
  5. Group Rules: Familiarize yourself with the group’s rules and policies. Reputable groups typically have guidelines to maintain safety and trust among members.
  6. Exercise Caution: Be cautious when dealing with offers that seem too good to be true or when asked for payment outside of the group’s established norms.
  7. Research the Owner: Research the property owner or manager independently to verify their identity and legitimacy.
  8. Document Everything: Keep records of all correspondence, including messages, emails, and payment receipts, in case you need to address any issues later.
  9. Report Suspicious Activity: If you encounter a suspicious listing or member in a Facebook group, report it to the group administrators and consider notifying local authorities if necessary.

Remember that while Craigslist and Facebook groups can offer budget-friendly vacation rental options, they may also pose higher risks due to the lack of oversight. Exercise caution, trust your instincts, and prioritize safety when using these platforms to find vacation rentals.

No more articles