Vacation Rental Search Engines
With a continued high demand for private holiday rentals, it’s no surprise that search engines like TripAdvisor, booking.com and Vrbo are very popular resources. These apps all enable you to find a holiday rental but there are other options that offer a more comprehensive search. German brothers Johannes and Michael Siebers launched the Holidu website in 2014, followed by the app in 2016. The idea for Holidu came to the founders after a surfing trip to Portugal, when they couldn’t find one website where they could compare prices for vacation accommodation other than hotels. They thought booking a vacation rental should be as easy as booking a flight or hotel, so the concept of Holidu was born.
Travelers have clearly loved the concept as Holidu is now one of the fastest-growing travel tech companies in the world. Holidu compares over 15 million vacation properties on more than 1,500 booking portals. In comparison, VRBO has a database of two million properties while Trip Advisor has 630,000, according to MoneySaving Expert. Users can search the Holidu website or app on their computers or mobile phones. Holidu includes listings from all the well known holiday search engines but crucially, also works with small, regional providers. This is how you can find something special or more unusual and at the best price. Local providers often offer extras as well.
A typical rustic finca in Mallorca, a vacation home with unusual architecture, a treehouse, an Agriturismo accommodation in Italy or a fishing boat in the Scottish Highlands are just a few of these possible gems on Holidu.
While the idea of getting one of the big holiday search engines on the phone might seem laughable, at Holidu, customer service does appear to be more accessible. Over 300 travel and technology experts at Holidu offer access by email, phone and WhatsApp and more than 30 million visitors come to their website each month.
Unique Image Recognition Technology
A quick search for a property in Venice next April did prove to be extremely fruitful, with 826 options available. For each listing, the search engine checked different portals and showed the cheapest price. There weren’t the usual, frustrating multiple listings for the same property. Holidu says this is made possible by their unique, self-developed image recognition technology and the numerous websites in the price comparison, including many local providers. For each listing, the image recognition technology finds identical vacation homes on different booking portals with price savings of up to 55 percent possible. An impressive 400 million images are scanned in less than 0.2 seconds.
And, unlike Airbnb, Holidu focuses on vacation apartments and vacation homes, professionally rented, not private accommodation or shared apartments. Although it’s not possible to search by neighborhood, you can search by distance to city center. In addition to the classic filter options (WiFI, air conditioning, price etc), there is also a newly introduced filter option “Free Cancellation.” If this option is activated, only vacation homes and apartments appear in the search results for which a fee-free cancellation is possible after booking.
Sustainable Rental Options
Also appealing to those looking for sustainable options, Holidu labels sustainable vacation rentals with the “Eco” label so that travelers can quickly and easily choose an environmentally friendly accommodation. Every vacation accommodation labeled as sustainable must meet at least eight of the sustainability criteria defined by Holidu including green electricity, waste separation and water saving systems. For Venice, a lovely “green property” on the Lido is a fine option.
Whether you’re looking for a city break or tranquil countryside escape, Holidu currently shows an unrivalled number of listings in 35,324 cities and 201 countries.