That’s it, we can go on weekends, or even on vacation for the lucky ones, happily exceeding the perimeter of ten kilometers around the home. And even enjoy the terraces and non-essential shops from May 19. Obviously, you will need a place to sleep. For many, they will have the Airbnb, Booking and others reflex. Others will prefer to use alternative shared accommodation sites. We have made a selection of seven of them for you. Whether they offer an eco-responsible, thematic or totally incongruous trip, these sites deserve to be known.
Several who have also launched an assault on the giants say they are currently growing. Proof, no doubt, that some of the guests and travelers alike want to emancipate themselves from it. These alternative platforms promise lower commissions – around 10% of the night compared to 18% on average for Airbnb and Booking. And even if the offer is less extensive (at the same time difficult to compete with the 600,000 active listings of Airbnb housing in France), it is often more original.
French and eco-responsible platforms
Founded in 2018, this accommodation platform connects travelers concerned about their environmental footprint with guests “Eco-responsible”. The search for accommodation is all that there is more classic: a search bar, embellished with an interactive map and a mini-calendar. No need to register to view the results, only if you decide to book on the site. Difference with Airbnb: each accommodation is rated from 1 to 3 according to its level of eco-responsibility and the commission is almost half as high. The site now has 1,200 homes, but says it is growing: + 20% activity in 2020 despite confinements compared to the previous year. To encourage local tourism, the scope of the offer is limited to metropolitan France.
– We Go GreenR
If you still haven’t found it, head over to We Go GreenR. The same ambition of green and local tourism, authentic and responsible, the platform launched barely a year ago has selected, on an in-house evaluation grid called the “Greenscore” (a score of 1 to 5), 1,100 accommodations so-called eco-responsible. But, the start-up plans to double (or almost) its offer by the end of May 2021 and reservation requests have multiplied by six since the last government announcements. The scope also covers France, but the site is being translated into English, Spanish and Dutch. “So that our border neighbors can find a responsible alternative when they go to France”, explains the young shoot. And, in the end, does eco-responsibility drive up the bill? “For an equivalent geographical area and level of comfort, the prices are the same as on Airbnb and Booking”, responds the start-up.
On the same model and to increase your chances of finding a “green” place to sleep, you can also visit the site called GreenGo. Launched last February, the offer is still limited to 500 accommodation units, distributed among more than 200 hosts in France. But, the start-up is also expanding since in just three months, their catalog has quadrupled. The operation is similar: the hosts and their accommodations are evaluated by an environmental score. This is what the four founders called the “AFER” label for authenticity, French, fair and responsible. All for a “fair price”, claims GreenGo, which works in particular with farmers.
NB: no, you have not just read the same paragraph three times, if these three start-ups have adopted the same model, their singularity lies in their evaluation method. Our advice is to test all three each time (at least for now) because the offer is still limited …
“If you are looking for more than a bed. “ Its slogan sums up its philosophy. Created in 2016, the KooKooning platform with the effigy of a sloth cuddling a cushion, offers thematic accommodation: relaxation and well-being, nature, terroir and gourmets, unusual, sporty, romantic, etc. As on a classic platform, you just have to enter the category that interests you, your dates and your destination. With 5,000 announcements, the platform is not limited this time to France, but has opened up to Europe. Note: KooKooning is the service that most resembles a travel agency and least Airbnb.
If your eternal question is how to exercise on vacation, you will love the Sportihome platform. Created in 2017, this site allows you to choose your holiday destination according to the surrounding sports spots. The offer is vast: 10,000 vacation rentals between individuals, 3,000 sporting destinations, 20,000 activities and experiences and 2,000 listed sports equipment rental companies. You can choose your accommodation by sports (60 in number), by elements (water, land, air, mountain), by experiences (less than 100 km, last minute, with swimming pool, sports equipment included) and by style of life (in family, in group, with his animal). Sportihome is now available in 40 countries. The service charge to be paid for travelers varies between 5 to 17% of the total amount of the reservation.
A European travel cooperative
“Fair” means in English “fair” and “Bnb” refers to the concept of “bed and breakfast” or overnight stay in a local. What gives Fairbnb or “the bed and breakfast at a fair price and without shareholders”. Beyond snubbing the Californian giant, the platform created in 2016 is a cooperative owned and managed by its members, which gives pride of place to the solidarity economy. The platform offers rental offers in Venice, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Valencia (in Spain), Genoa and Bologna.Fairbnb favors hosts who offer only one property in the tourism market, so that it is more sustainable. A little more expensive than the others, the site takes a commission of 15% on the gross rental price, but only keeps 50%. The other half is invested in local community projects.
Share your van between individuals
Hotels, lodges and relaxation very little for you. Your ideal vacation can be summed up in two words: the road and the freedom. Except that buying a van or motorhome is not cheap. So why not try to rent it to an individual? This is what Wikicampers offers, a collaborative platform launched in 2012 on the Atlantic coast that connects van and motorhome owners with travelers who want to try the adventure (over 23 years old and holder of a license B). In 2020, growth jumped 102%, according to figures released by the start-up. In all, the site lists more than 500,000 registered owners who offer their vehicles – enough to find your happiness!
In the same genre, there is Yescapa who claims to be the “Leader in the rental of motorhomes, vans and vans fitted out between individuals”. To find the vehicle you want, all you have to do is type in the name of the departure city, your vacation dates, and the search is launched. The start-up also reports a growing craze among the French for these “leisure vehicles” in 2020, registering an increase of 21%. The trend is confirmed this year. In 2021, already nearly 24,000 departures are expected this summer, according to company estimates. The benefits are logistical, ecological and economical at the same time – although prices can vary depending on the owner and type of vehicle. In total, 4,400 vehicles including 4,000 in France are available on the platform.
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How to go on a trip without going through Airbnb or Booking?