Vacation rentals give travelers the chance to live like a local, and often a lot more. Why bunk down in a generic hotel room when you could take up residence in a midcentury modern home in Palm Springs or try Metabolist living, an organic-inspired architectural style from the 1960s and 70s, in Tokyo? Vacation rentals at their best combine truly unique accommodations and a lower price tag than most hotels. But with great reward comes some risk as well. Living + Nomads evaluates rental properties (and the companies that facilitate those rentals) based on ease of use, renters’ protections, and safety, as well as aesthetic appeal, location, and value. Today, vacation rentals can be found anywhere travelers would like to go. Explore Ibiza from a candy-colored apartment, or London from a set of converted stables. Take killer pictures from an eco-friendly cabin on Easter Island or a 14th-century Italian home that sits on top of a network of caves. Sleep inside a geodesic dome, or go retro with an Airstream.