Find and book a unique stay with these three travel apps

The way we travel has changed over the last few years with vacation rentals becoming much more mainstream and presenting a major challenge to hotels.

The benefits are clear: your own place, improved secrecy, often better value for money and you can create a bespoke vacation offering an authentic approach to your visit, by staying in the local neighborhood.

The emergence of Airbnb brought vacation rentals into the limelight. Although many older vacation-booking apps had been available long before, it was the launch of the website and app which shook the market. This was partly thanks to the sharing economy which enabled individuals to effectively become their own company by sharing their lifestyle. So how do these apps help you for your vacation? We break down three interesting apps which help you book your next rental.

Airbnb changed the hospitality industry, providing affordable, unique and different accommodation for either your vacation or business trip. If you dreamt of staying in a houseboat, treehouse or in a renovated caravan, now you can.

As soon as you open the app it provides you with the option of accessing nearby places, Airbnb favorites or popular destinations. Travelers can enter a worldwide destination using the simple search function and then enter travel dates. You can then apply a filter using +/- symbols to alter the number of guests, type of living accommodation, whether you want a whole house, own room or shared living.

Once you’ve located ad booked your trip, you can speak with your host and receive a local inside guide to your destination. What’s more, Airbnb also offers "Experiences", such as guided food tours, water sports and so on, meaning you will not be missing out wherever you travel.

HomeAway is a traditional booking company which has been involved in the vacation rentals for a long-time and includes a huge database since it was purchased by Expedia. With over 1 million vacation rentals in over 190 countries, you are very likely to find something to suit your requirements. It is also more customizable with its filters and due to the vast options. Instead of a private room, shared space or the whole house like on Airbnb, you can select from something much more specific, such as a cottage, bungalow or even a castle. There is also the standard filters such as making sure you have a pool, beachfront, garden so there are more feature options vs. Airbnb but not necessarily the experiences.

A problem with both Airbnb and HomeAway is that the booking may not quite as you expected and some of the photos may be out-of-date, shot many years previously. There is no standard system for keeping the places pristine, no checks and both rely on user reviews.

One Fine Stay is a very a different app and is making a niche for itself by providing the very highest quality vacation homes. Taken from a curated list, every apartment or villa is high end and with bundles of character. As a result, One Fine Stay bookings will be more expensive than Airbnb or HomeAway.

The One Fine Stay app also offers assistance when staying at your new place, such as how all appliances work or helps you explore the local area. Another issue is the fact you have to place a $1,000 deposit for any house you rent, whatever the size of the premises or cost of the booking.

What is evident though is that these apps are not necessarily competing with each other as they all offer a unique perspective on vacation rental and all provide you with a refreshing alternative to hotels, depending on your tastes.

Download the Airbnb, HomeAway and One Fine Stay apps.

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