It’s getting to be the time of year when going on vacation sounds like a really good idea. Daylight Savings Time has kicked in, the first signs of Spring are starting to show, and taking a chance to kick back just sounds right.
For people looking to get their travel fix without the atmosphere of staying in a hotel, Dwellable, offers an alternative.
The free app, which is available for iOS and Android, gives users a way to search vacation rentals like houses and apartments that will give them a home away from home to visit, rather than having to cram their stuff into a room with two beds and a mini-fridge filled with overpriced tiny bottles of liquor.
It’s a popular idea, and the vacation rental space is incredibly crowded. In addition to Dwellable, other companies like HomeAway and AirBnB are also competing for a slice of the pie when it comes to serving people who are looking for a place to stay.
The Seattle company, which was co-founded by Adam Doppelt, one of the co-founders of Urbanspoon, and Snapvine co-founder Nathan Kriege, looks to stand out from the crowd by providing the best mobile experience among its competitors. While AirBnB’s app for the iPhone comes close, Dwellable’s listing pages are laid out in such a way that made immediate, intuitive sense to me.
I particularly appreciated Dwellable’s emphasis on displaying a calendar that shows when a property is available in the body of a listing. When browsing for a place to stay, it’s always frustrating to find somewhere that looks lovely, only to figure out that it’s already booked up.
Dwellable is the only company that offers a dedicated tablet app. While the app isn’t anything particularly special, it’s much better than running an iPhone app on a tablet screen.
Dwellable has one major limitation: Its selection of listings.
Want to take a trip to Walla Walla? You may need to go elsewhere, since there are no properties listed. Meanwhile, rival provider VRBO shows 97 property listings.
Still, Dwellable’s straightforward and effective design makes it a worthwhile app to have on hand for vacation planning.
App of the Week is a regular feature of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing at 7 p.m. Saturdays on KIRO Radio in Seattle (97.3 FM), except when preempted by live sports. The show runs every weekend on GeekWire.com. You can get every episode using this RSS feed, subscribe in iTunes or find us on Stitcher.
Check out this week’s segment in the player below, or through this MP3 file.