Airbnb, once known for being an incredible and innovative platform for finding unique accommodations around the world, has fallen from grace with many travelers.
Travelers are tired of exorbitant service fees and cleaning fees, ridiculous rules, misleading listings, missing amenities, and inconsistent quality.
Here’s why I gave up on Airbnb and what I’m using to book my travel accommodations instead:
Why I Quit Using Airbnb
As a frequent traveler and digital nomad, I had a great experience using Airbnb to book private apartments for stays of anywhere from one week to one month in many destinations around the world.
But around the end of 2021, I started noticing a sharp decline in the quality of my Airbnb experiences.
I found myself dealing with uncommunicative hosts and apartments that didn’t live up to the listing photos. Once, I checked in to an Airbnb, only to find it hadn’t been cleaned at all after the previous guest left, and the WiFi wasn’t working. It took hours of contacting Airbnb support to get this resolved.
Not only that, but Airbnb, which once offered great deals and value on short-term apartment rentals, was no longer an economical option thanks to sky-high fees.
What I Use To Book Accommodations Instead
After I quit using Airbnb in 2022, I switched to booking almost all of my accommodations through Booking.com instead. In some situations, I also book direct with hotel chains.
As a frequent Booking.com user, I’ve found the platform to be much better than Airbnb for a number of reasons.
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Why I Love Booking.com
Booking.com is not just for hotels. The booking platform also has a great selection of apartment rentals, much like Airbnb.
The difference is that with Booking.com, many of these are serviced apartments and “aparthotels.” You get the privacy and amenities of an apartment but with added hotel benefits like a real reception desk and housekeeping services.
I almost always book these types of properties for my longer stays now.
You can choose to view the total price upfront for listings on Booking.com, so you won’t be surprised by any additional fees when you go to check out.
You can also filter the search results in many ways on Booking.com to find exactly what you’re looking for. One thing I always do is filter results by properties that have an average rating of 9/10 or higher.
Another great reason to use Booking.com is because of its Genius program. This free loyalty program offers great perks like extensive discounts and free breakfast or room upgrades at many properties.
Unlike many loyalty programs, once you unlock a new Level with the Genius program, you retain it for life rather than having to maintain a certain number of stays per year.
Booking Direct With Hotel Chains
For short stays of just a few days to a week, I often stay in hotels rather than an apartment. While Booking.com is great for booking unique boutique and independent hotels, there’s another good option too, and that’s booking directly with hotel chains.
Hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, and IHG offer discounts if you book directly rather than using a third-party booking platform.
You’ll also be able to earn points on your stay, which can be redeemed for free hotel nights later on.
Hotels typically work out to be cheaper for short trips compared to Airbnb, according to NerdWallet, and you can expect a more consistent level of service and quality. You won’t have to worry about spending your vacation dealing with an Airbnb host who’s late to show up or an Airbnb that’s missing amenities that were promised in the listing.
Both of these Airbnb alternatives have made my life of frequent travel much easier and smoother since making the switch.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com