Cheaper Alternatives to Airbnb: Discover Budget-Friendly Options

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When Airbnb first launched in 2008, it shook up the entire travel industry. People were no longer limited to hostels and hotels and could now have access to affordable home stays when vacationing, helping them save costs. 

Yet, as the company raises its fees time and again, it is increasingly becoming less advantageous to stay in an Airbnb while traveling – and as a savvy traveler, you can find more options if you’re just willing to look.

In this post, we take a look at some of the cheaper alternatives to Airbnb that you can consider to help you save on costs when booking accommodation for your next trip!

1. Vrbo

Vrbo is a booking website that functions largely similarly to Airbnb. While the prices that you find on the website may vary, Vrbo generally has a different selection of properties that are not also listed on Airbnb.

The prices you find will ultimately depend on the specific property that you choose to book, of course, but it is entirely possible to find cheaper properties on Vrbo compared to Airbnb. It’s also worth noting that Vrbo only allows listings for entire homes, not shared spaces. This makes Vrbo a good option if you enjoy your privacy and don’t want to stay on a property with strangers. 

2. Local Rental Agencies

An often overlooked alternative to booking an Airbnb is renting a vacation rental from a local rental agency (like Sky High Cabins!). Local rental agencies often have staff who live in the town or city that you’re traveling to and have in-depth resident knowledge on the area.

Furthermore, local rental agencies often combine the charm of staying in a local, non-commercialized property with the service and cleanliness associated with professionally managed properties.

Rental agencies like ours are also able to provide more personalized service and can resolve any issues that you encounter on the property during your stay. Moreover, booking through a local rental agency enables you to support the local economy directly and helps you save on the expensive booking fees that websites like Airbnb charge. 

3. Hipcamp

Hipcamp is a website that enables users to book camping trips and outdoor stays. Because of its niche service offerings, you’re likely to find many accommodation options on Hipcamp that you won’t find on Airbnb. If you enjoy the outdoors and don’t mind staying in a tent, RV, cabin or other form of outdoor accommodation, then Hipcamp would be a cheaper alternative to Airbnb that you can consider.

One of the other perks of booking a stay with Hipcamp is that you can sometimes find unique experiences and properties. For example, you might be able to find properties beside waterfalls or in the middle of the forest that can help add to the excitement and fun of your vacation.


While the allure of staying in an Airbnb property is that you get to enjoy an authentic local experience, this can sometimes come with the disadvantage of inconsistencies in the level of service. From properties that have not been properly maintained to properties with cleanliness issues, there are many ways that an Airbnb stay could go wrong because many property owners on Airbnb typically don’t manage their property full time.

Like our rental management experts here at Sky High Cabins, addresses these issues since most of the properties listed on the website are owned and managed by property managers of management companies. While you may find hotels and hostels on the website, there are also other properties such as apartments and vacation rentals that are available for you to book. 

5. Homestay

As its name suggests, Homestay is a booking website that specializes in homestay bookings. With Homestay, you can live together with a local in the town or city that you’re visiting and get an authentic, personalized experience. Your host may also be able to provide you with recommendations for activities as well as tips that can help you make your vacation a more pleasant one.

Homestay also supports sustainable local tourism, enabling you to contribute directly to the economy and reducing your environmental impact. The company also takes the safety of its travelers very seriously and it ensures that all of its hosts are thoroughly vetted. You can compare the properties that you find on Homestay with those on Airbnb to find the most affordable places to stay while on vacation. 

Consider Visiting Big Bear on Your Next Holiday

If you haven’t already chosen a destination for your next vacation, consider visiting Big Bear, CA! Our town is located along the banks of Big Bear Lake and is surrounded by the breathtaking San Bernardino mountains. With a year-round population of just over 5000 people, it’s an ideal place to retreat from the bustling city.

There’s also no shortage of activities for visitors to Big Bear Lake. Anglers of all skill levels can charter a private boat and enjoy a day out on the fish-filled lake. Sportier individuals might choose instead to visit the nearby mountain biking trails or the Bear Mountain ski resort for some outdoor adventures. 

Exploring Cabin Rentals in Big Bear

If you’re planning a trip to Big Bear Lake, booking a cabin rental might be a cheaper, reliable alternative to Airbnb that you can consider.

Sky High Cabins is a property management company that manages, services and offers a large selection of accommodation options in Big Bear Lake for rent. We combine the rustic charm of staying in a homestay with our professional management services, ensuring that all of our properties are always cozy yet well-maintained and clean at the same time.

If you like waking up surrounded by nature, choose one of our lakefront cabins for your trip. For a more luxurious getaway, we also have luxury cabins available to accommodate you. What’s more, when you book directly with us, you save on the high fees that Airbnb, Vrbo and other booking websites charge — ensuring that you get the best possible rate for your stay.

Book a room with us today and make your next trip to Big Bear Lake a memorable one!

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