As one of the oldest services in the industry, VRBO paved the way for newer adaptations of the same idea.
VRBO shows thousands of listings based on your search location and does not require a profile or account to book a listing. It is one of the most established brands in the space so if you are looking for a long time leader VRBO might be your winner.
VRBO has a few quirks that can be frustrating to renters. They often require a security deposit and VRBO could be a bit more helpful if anything goes wrong.
VRBO Bottom Line
VRBO has some good options for rentals. It might be cheaper or have higher availability than some sites in the rental space. If you have flexibility in your search VRBO might offer you the best bang for your dollar.
VRBO | Part of the HomeAway Family
VRBO is a vacation property rental service where homeowners rent out their vacation homes to holidaymakers. In that sense, VRBO is similar to its main competitor, Airbnb. However, VRBO is much more focused on the vacation rental property segment of the market, whereas Airbnb encompasses a wider range of properties, including hotel rooms and people’s apartments.
What is VRBO?
VRBO claims to be the biggest vacation rental property service in the United States. While VRBO properties are listed by their owners, you will find that the properties tend to be more professional than many of the properties you will find on competing sites (which tend to attract people who are renting out their properties more casually). Additionally, VRBO is better suited for those who want to rent out entire properties rather than just a room in somebody’s house.
VRBO Pricing & Service Charges
In most cases, VRBO charges a booking fee of between 5 to 12 percent. However, if you pay the owners directly with a check or through PayPal then you can avoid this fee. Many cities, such as Chicago, are also imposing hotel taxes on sites like VRBO. However, because VRBO is more popular in rural areas (where such taxes are rare), you may not have to worry about this extra fee.
Pros of VRBO
VRBO has a lot of advantages. Because the listings on VRBO are often professionally managed, you tend to get an experience that is more akin to booking a hotel or a professional vacation property owner. Also, you will be renting the entire property, so you get a lot more privacy and don’t need to worry about intrusive owners. VRBO is also exceptionally good for finding rural vacation properties, such as gorgeous cottages tucked away in the woods or seaside rentals with beach access. VRBO doesn’t require you to create an account in order to use it.
Cons of VRBO
While there are a lot of pluses to VRBO, it does have a few downsides. Because this service tends to be popular with owners who rent out properties professionally, you will have a tougher time finding extremely cheap rentals, at least compared to Airbnb and Couchsurfing.
Also, if you have a problem with your vacation rental then in most cases you will have to complain directly to the owner. Only in very serious cases or those involving cancellations or damage will VRBO assist you directly. Also, the rating system on VRBO is not foolproof. Unlike Airbnb, VRBO is unable to verify that reviews are genuine.
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How It Works
Searching on VRBO is straightforward. Enter your desired location, check in and check out dates, add the number of guests and search away. Begin browsing available homes with a grid or map view or use one of the many filters to narrow your options. Once you have decided on the perfect rental, contact the owner or book instantly. All payments are run through VRBO so you are never sending money directly to the homeowner.
Plans & Pricing
Prices vary by location, amenities, and time of year. VRBO has a wide variety of house sizes and amenities and straightforward all priced accordingly. If you are traveling with a group, VRBOs can be a cost-effective solution.
Rental owners field the majority of inquiries through the booking process on their specific rentals. VRBO is not able to assist renters in most instances but for certain concerns they may assist in contacting the rental property owner for you to help resolve issues.