5 Best Airbnb Affiliate Program Alternatives (2023)
Airbnb was a favorite affiliate program for many travel bloggers, but the times when we could see Airbnb banners with discount codes everywhere are long gone.
The Airbnb affiliate program was shut down in March 2021, and Airbnb affiliates had to switch to other programs.
In this article, you will learn about the best 5 Airbnb alternatives.
Airbnb Affiliate Program Alternatives
Airbnb had a great affiliate program, but no worries, there are many good alternatives.
Below you can find a list of the best 5 alternatives in 2023.
1. Booking.com Affiliate Program
Let’s start with the biggest Airbnb competitor.
Booking.com is no longer known as just an online hotel booking website, as it has expanded its inventory to include vacation rentals.
The Booking.com affiliate program has always been very popular, and with the shutdown of the Airbnb affiliate program, many affiliates have turned to Booking.com as the first alternative.
Booking.com has an in-house affiliate program and can be joined here.
You can also find the program on CJ Affiliate. However, currently, you can only join affiliate programs that target specific European countries, which is quite limiting (this can change in the future.)
The in-house affiliate program has a progressive commission structure which means that the commission rate you earn is based on the number of bookings you generate each month.
You can see the commission structure in the table below.
It is important to note that you only earn a percentage of Booking.com commission.
If your referral books accommodation worth $100, you will not receive $25.
Depending on the property, Booking.com receives a commission worth 10%, 15%, 17%, or 20%.
Therefore, from a $100 booking, Booking.com would receive $10, $15, $17, or $20, and an affiliate would receive $2.5, $3.75, $4.25, or $5 (provided that the affiliate commission is 25%).
The Booking.com affiliate program only has a session-based cookie which means that the purchase must be made before the browser window is closed.
The program offers various tools affiliates can use, such as map widgets or search boxes.
2. Vrbo Affiliate Program
Vrbo is the closest Airbnb alternative in terms of platform similarity.
Just like Airbnb, Vrbo is an online marketplace for vacation rentals only.
The Vrbo affiliate program can be joined on CJ Affiliate and offers a 2% commission per completed booking.
Unlike the Booking.com affiliate program, you don't earn a percentage of the Vrbo commission.
Thus if your referral book accommodation is worth $100, you will receive $2.
The cookie duration is 7 days.
Another similarity with the Airbnb affiliate program is that Vrbo allows you to earn a commission for new property listings.
If your referral is a property owner who creates a listing on Vrbo, you receive a $20 commission.
Vrbo gives you an extended 60 days cookie duration for property listing referrals.
3. Hotels.com Affiliate Program
As the same suggests, Hotels.com primarily focuses on hotel accommodations.
Nevertheless, it also has vacation rental listings, so its affiliate program is a possible Airbnb alternative.
The Hotels.com affiliate program can be joined through CJ Affiliate.
The cookie duration is 7 days, and the commission is 4%.
On CJ Affiliate, you can find many affiliate programs for Hotels.com.
If you join the main one, you will receive a commission for just sales from the USA and Canada.
Currently, there is also an affiliate program for Latin America and selected European countries.
4. Expedia Affiliate Program
Expedia is the biggest company on this list. It owns Hotels.com and Vrbo, which are part of Expedia Group.
Expedia's main website does not offer vacation rentals. For vacation rentals, Expedia has Vrbo.
Nevertheless, Expedia is still worth mentioning in this list as Expedia affiliates can, besides accommodation, also earn commission on flight tickets, car rentals, and cruises.
Just like Hotels.com, Expedia has many affiliate programs on CJ Affiliate.
The main US program has a 7-day cookie duration, and commission ranges from 2% to 6% based on what you promote. The accommodation has 3%.
The highest 6% commission is for cruises.
5. Travala Affiliate Program
Travala is an interesting Airbnb alternative. Unlike Airbnb and other platforms listed in this article, Travala is a blockchain-based travel booking platform, so people can pay for their bookings with various cryptocurrencies. Travala also has its own token called AVA.
The Travala affiliate program can be joined on Impact.
Besides accommodation, you can also promote flights and activities.
The program has a 30-day cookie duration, and commission ranges from 4% to 5.5%.
For accommodation bookings, you get 5.5% if your referral is a new Travala customer and 5% if your referral already has a Travala account.
Which Airbnb Alternative is the Best?
The Airbnb affiliate program is gone and probably gone for good.
If you were an Airbnb affiliate, the cancellation of their program is unfortunate, but luckily there are many similar programs you can join and promote.
What I would recommend to anyone reading this article is not to focus on just one affiliate program.
Who knows, maybe Booking.com will be the next to cancel its affiliate program.
If that happens, you will have to update your affiliate links again.
Updating affiliate links for booking listing is not easy, even if you use an affiliate link management plugin.
This is because your affiliate links don’t link to the homepage but to a particular accommodation listing, so you can't make global changes and have to manually replace links to new listings. There are some tricks to making this faster, but transitioning to a new booking affiliate program will always take a lot of work.
Therefore, I recommend joining more than one booking affiliate program. If one goes down, the others will still earn while you replace the non-functional affiliate links.
Moreover, this will allow you to determine which affiliate program you should focus on, as you will have data to compare.