While iPhone users have had quick access to Airbnb’s convenient room booking service for a while now, Android users can finally get in on the fun now that the Airbnb app has come to the Android Market.
Airbnb is a free app that serves as a hub for people to find and list their own homes for other strangers to stay in. The launch of the Android app brings with it some new features to the Airbnb model, including the ability for the guest and the owner to instant message quickly back and forth with one another should any problems arise. If you’re looking for something a little different in travel accommodations, Airbnb is a pretty cool place to start.
But there are plenty of other app options for Android users if they’re not sold on the Airbnb experience, too. On the opposite side of the spectrum from Airbnb, there is the more conventional Orbitz (free). With Orbitz you can book flights, hotels and rental cars in just a few quick taps. The Android app also includes a feature called Orbitz Mobile Steals that offers additional mobile-only discounts on room rentals.
If you find you’d like to look at vacation rentals while also keeping an eye on the apartment rental market, HotPads Rentals & Real Estate (free) does a good job providing a little bit of everything under the sun. The app offers listings based on location with listings shown either in list or map form. Potential renters can see detailed pictures, floor plans and price comparisons.
Those that want to keep their eye firmly focused on the vacation end of things can check out the free HomeAway app. HomeAway offers vacation rentals with full kitchens and all the convenience of an actual home while you’re still on vacation. The app boasts over 260,000 properties and you can use the app’s calendar to search by date of availability or by assorted other rental criteria like number of rooms and price.
For the serious comparison shopper, there’s RENTalo Vacation Lodgings (free). RENTalo lets users compare prices on various hotel and vacation rental deals. The app has photos and information on each of its listing and helps ensure that users aren’t being up-charged by one website over another when they go to book their stay.
Whichever app you eventually end up choosing, it seems like a safe bet that you should be able to find a reasonable and comfortable place to stay. Just remember not to bring your phone into the hotel pool with you.