With the numbers of tourism on the rise in Portugal, there are more and more owners placing their homes in the Airbnb rental market, thus achieving an extra income at the end of the month. But the truth is that there are several short-term rental platforms and it’s not always easy to understand the differences between them, as some are more oriented towards traditional hospitality (hotel rooms and overnight and breakfast accommodation) and others for Airbnb rentals.

Although the 3 platforms have some points in common, such as the possibility to create free ads or choose whether to pay through the website or not, there are some differences between them.

In this article, we’ll show the main differences between the 3 most popular booking sites (AirBnB, Booking.com and Homeaway) and help you make the right decision.


Founded in 2008 in the USA, AirBnB is the main website used by individual owners and the first to be completely focused on the local hosting business. Although it began as a platform for renting single rooms in private homes, AirBnB today is one of the websites that owners use the most to place their homes and apartments on the short-term rental market.

Main features of Airbnb:

• Freedom to build your descriptions and create the ad according to your preferences;
• Contact with guests is done directly by the owner;
• Possibility to rent only some rooms of the house;
• Commission of 3% (VAT included) for owners per reservation, and subsequently an additional fee of 12% (VAT included) will be charged directly to the guest.

Recommended article: How to legally register your Airbnb for “Alojamento Local” in Portugal


Contrary to what happened before, Booking.com is no longer an exclusive platform for traditional hotels, having become an excellent option to promote apartments and villas for local accommodation.

Main features of Booking.com:

– Recognized all over the world;
– Intuitive, practical and very easy to use;
– Great customer support, both for owners and guests;
– The commission of Booking.com is 15% (VAT included) under the total value of the reservation.


Unlike AirBnB and Booking.com, the Homeaway website is typically used to advertise large houses with capacity for many guests, mainly for holidays with family or groups of friends.

Main features of Homeaway:

• Homeaway guests tend to book their homes much earlier (about 3 months);
• Usually stays are longer (average of about 5 nights per stay);
• Homeaways’ commission is 5% + VAT on the total value of the reservation.

Now you have all the information you need to choose the best platform to advertise your home. But don’t forget all the associated logistics to start making the most of your home, such as taking good photos, creating ad descriptions and managing communications, billing and payments with guests.

Related article: Short renting: do your own management or hire a company?

In addition, if you have your home available on multiple platforms, you’ll also have to manage your calendars very carefully, so that you don’t allow same-day bookings on AirBnB and Booking.com, for example. There are some solutions (such as a channel manager) that manage the various dates between the various platforms but with an associated cost.

And that’s it, these are the main differences between AirBnB, Booking.com and Homeaway. If you are not yet fully convinced about the advantages of placing your home in the short-term rental market, find all the information you need here.

If you want to know how much your house is worth, use our simulator now and find out how we can help you monetize your house without hassles or worries for your side.


Guide short-term rental Portugal