Having trouble booking a staycation retreat? Specialized Airbnb companies in Vrbo could open the door

Families together: Today there are hundreds of homestays in the UK (and beyond) at varying prices

Stories of vacation cottage prices rising by up to 70 percent a year raised eyebrows – and blood pressure.

With so few overseas travel options that don’t require a quarantine upon return to the UK, it’s no surprise that stays are more popular than ever.

The problem is, cottages are booked months in advance, as are hotels, campsites, and B & Bs. The result? Prices have skyrocketed.

Which leaves host families – staying in properties that for part of the year are real homes not available for rent, or second homes / apartments that the owners have decided to offer to vacationers.

Today there are hundreds of properties in the UK (and beyond) at varying prices, often listed on rental websites.

So here is our guide to the home rental market.

All the companies we mention offer disinfection compliant with Covid-19.

AMERICAN PIONEER: Vrbo (vrbo.fr)

Millwood Manor in Dalton-in-Furness, sleeping 12, from £ 2,103 for three nights.  It is available for vacation rental on Vrbo

Millwood Manor in Dalton-in-Furness, sleeping 12, from £ 2,103 for three nights. It is available for vacation rental on Vrbo

One of the bedrooms inside Millwood Manor.  The property has good availability in June and September and some in July and August

One of the bedrooms inside the Millwood Mansion. The property has good availability in June and September and some in July and August

Vacation Rentals by Owner was founded in the United States in 1995. Specificity is the selling point here – as homes, apartments, farms, cabins, estates, caravans, cottages, bungalows, studios and houseboats (and many more) can be selected. There are two million properties; you must book for at least a week.

The average price in London is £ 72 per person per night; in Edinburgh £ 52pp. The best UK destinations are Great Yarmouth (£ 23 per person) and Bodmin (£ 29 per person).

GOOD TO KNOW: Digital payment is not mandatory; some hosts want a check mailed.

GROUP CHOICE: Three nights at Millwood Manor, Dalton-in-Furness, sleeping 12, from £ 2,103. Good availability in June and September, some in July and August.

HAUTE VIE: The plum guide (theplumguide.com)

Big Getaway: Babbling Brooks, a three bedroom property in Lancashire, available all summer

Big Getaway: Babbling Brooks, a three bedroom property in Lancashire, available all summer

Inside Babbling Brooks, available on The Plum Guide.  An inspector checks potential property inclusions for the guide against a set of 150-point criteria

Inside Babbling Brooks, available on The Plum Guide. An inspector checks potential property inclusions for the guide against a set of 150-point criteria

This is for the discerning traveler. An inspector checks for potential property inclusions against a 150-point set of criteria, so places with sleazy showers, limited cooking utensils, and slow Wi-Fi won’t do.

Only 3% of the properties inspected are selected. It operates in ten countries including the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Portugal and the United States

GOOD TO KNOW: The highest price in London is £ 8,008 per night and the lowest £ 87.

GROUP CHOICE: Five nights at the three bedroom Babbling Brooks, Lancashire, from £ 1,444. Availability all summer.

REFINED: onefinestay (onefinestay.com)

In a three bedroom house in West London in Chiswick, available to book on onefinestay

In a three bedroom house in West London in Chiswick, available to book on onefinestay

Three nights at the house from £ 1,005 and there is availability all summer

Three nights at the house from £ 1,005 and there is availability all summer

The large Accor Hotels group owns onefinestay, the main competitor of the Plum Guide for high-end properties.

The website is divided into “city collection” (London, Paris, New York) and “villa collection” (including St Barths, St John and Turks and Caicos). In the UK, the company operates only in London.

GOOD TO KNOW: Customers can earn points for Accor hotels.

GROUP CHOICE: Three nights in a three bedroom house in Chiswick from £ 1,005. Availability all summer.

KEEP IT REAL: Host Family (homestay.com)

A house in Miserden in the Cotswolds which can be booked through Homestay

A house in Miserden in the Cotswolds which can be booked through Homestay

As home rental websites have grown, an increasing number of professionally managed properties have emerged.

Homestay, founded in 2013, hopes to bring back the early experiences of companies like Airbnb, when they only offered rooms in homes used by owners.

It focuses on the budget and has 33,000 deals, operating in 160 countries for an average price of £ 24 a night.

GOOD TO KNOW: Only single rooms can be rented, which may be less popular due to the Covid.

GROUP CHOICE: Seven nights in a house in the village of Miserden, Cotswolds, from £ 504, for four. Availability all summer.

FAMILY FAVORITES: Kid & Coe (kidandcoe.com)

There are over 1,000 family owned properties in 50 locations listed on the Kid & Coe website.  Pictured is one, The Victory Residence in Kingsdown, Kent

There are over 1,000 family properties in 50 locations listed on the Kid & Coe website. Pictured is one, The Victory Residence in Kingsdown, Kent

Inside the Victory Residence.  Four nights in the four bedroom property start from £ 1,000.  It has good availability in June and July

Inside the Victory Residence. Four nights in the four bedroom property start from £ 1,000. It has good availability in June and July

Families flock to the same resorts year after year because they are reliable. Kid & Coe hopes to provide the same assurance when it comes to vacation homes. There are over 1,000 properties in 50 locations, including the UK, France, Portugal, the US and Mexico. All are suitable for families with children. Each listing contains details on types of beds, toys, activities, and even decor.

GOOD TO KNOW: There are categories including best for babies and toddlers, older kids, all-inclusive getaways, and coastal getaways.

GROUP CHOICE: Four nights at the four bedroom Victory Residence in Kingsdown, Kent, from £ 1,000. Good availability in June and July.

BIGGEST: Airbnb (airbnb.fr)

Four Nights at Five Bedroom Broadgate in the Lake District start from £ 252.  It is available for booking on Airbnb

Four Nights at Five Bedroom Broadgate in the Lake District start from £ 252. It is available for booking on Airbnb

One of the rooms at Broadgate, available all summer

One of the rooms at Broadgate, available all summer

With more than seven million properties worldwide, Airbnb has become the benchmark for vacation rentals. Naturally, there is a great variety when it comes to location, size and type of house (entire properties or one room).

GOOD TO KNOW: Airbnb has partnered with British Airways, so you can earn Avios points on your stays.

GROUP CHOICE: Four nights in five rooms Broadgate, in the Lake District, from £ 252. Availability all summer.


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