What is Vrbo?





This is an online marketplace specializing in different rentals. Vrbo vacation rentals have been around since 1995. These vacation rental properties can be found in 190 different countries with over 2 million properties.

What does Vrbo stand for? Vacation rental by owner. Some of the owners on this site use a property manager to look after their rental property. You can stay in a standard hotel and or other hotel rooms too.

What Is Vrbo?

This vacation rental platform lists different opportunities. They will only list an entire home and there are no shared spaces available like with Airbnb. The company was bought by HomeAway back in 2006. Then the Expedia group bought both for 3.9 billion in December 2015.




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How Does Booking on Vrbo Work?

StepDescription
1. Account Set-upYou can create an account using just an email address and name. An option to add a photo and bio is available.
2. Browse ListingsUse filters to sort through property listings based on destinations, number of guests, and preferred dates.
3. Booking MethodsThere are two methods to book with a property owner:
- Instant Booking Request: Confirms your choice immediately.
- 24-hour Confirmation: Allows property owners 24 hours to accept or decline your request.

Either option through this vacation rental company requires arrival and departure dates, number of guests, and if you’re bringing pets. Learn more about the check-in process here.

what is vrbo

How Is a Vrbo Vacation Rental Different from Airbnb Vacation Rentals?

Not all vacation rental platforms are created equal. Both Vrbo and Airbnb are industry-leading rental sites. There are differences between these vacation rentals by owner sites. For example:

  • Each site boasts booking with a host. Airbnb users and people looking to book through Vrbo both need to send requests. But Airbnb offers an instant book option.
  • Both Airbnb and Vrbo allow hosts to charge an applicable fee for a security deposit. However, the Vrbo website shows more of these.
  • Both of these charge service fees. There’s a standoff here as the Vrbo prices are similar to the entire service fee for Airbnb. Each of these fees for short-term rentals and others is around 20% of the base rate.
  • Airbnb and Vrbo both allow property hosts to charge cleaning fees. A listing from Vrbo is cheaper in this regard. All the bookings on Vrbo show the total reservation costs excluding taxes.

what is vrbo



Here’s another advantage for Vrbo. If you’re a travel writer you can use this affiliate link to make extra money. Similarly, you can take a look at these 20 Airbnb competitors to consider if you are looking for more options.

What Is the Pricing on the Vrbo Vacation Rental Site?

Vacation renters that are interested in Vrbo and renting entire homes want to understand pricing for this property type. Once you find the single Vrbo location that you want to rent, you can use American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

The host might require full payment upfront. Is Vrbo safe? The answer is yes. They even have a natural disasters page and a contact page for it.

When you list you will need to put in minimum stay, links and nightly rates plus any additional fees.



What Is the Vrbo Service Fee?

what is vrbo

There are service fees for hosts and two fee models that hosts pay. One is the annual fee where you pay a flat rate to list all of your properties with Vrbo. The annual subscription rate is $499. There is also a pay-per-booking fee.

The guest service fee is a portion of the total amount of the reservation subtracting taxes and other refundable fees. Guests should also know about the book with confidence guarantee. It covers the entire transaction and the Vrbo Customer Service team can look after issues like access.

The book with confidence guarantee makes this member of the Expedia group stand apart. However, this is different from travel insurance.



What Is Vrbo’s Cancellation Policy for Vacation Rental Services?

These vary depending on the different Vrbo properties. Vrbo lists the ones for hosts on their listing pages. The cancellation policies state cancellations need to be made by 11:59 pm in the listing time zone. The refund policy can also depend on the total amount payable.

How Do You List a Property on Vrbo?

Listing vacation properties is about a little bit more than just listing the available amenities. There is a process that includes the same steps for one or more properties.

  1. You can start by clicking the link.
  2. The numbered list includes reviewing what other short-term rental properties are charging.
  3. You’ll need to review local laws and upload six or more different photos so solo travelers and others can view them.
  4. You need to verify your contact information and bank account info.

There are a few other steps including having your submission reviewed before you can list the entire property.



Is Vrbo or Airbnb Better for Hosts?

what is vrbo

Property managers and their Vrbo hosts who own the properties want to know who comes out on top with Vrbo Vs Airbnb. Airbnb has one of the lowest host fees but Vrbo offers two different fee options that the host can choose from.

Vrbo has a better search filter with more capabilities. There’s also a trip board feature that helps guests to plan their trips and reservation itinerary. In the end, there are bonuses to both sites. Remember, both sites charge of booking subtotal on top of the fees. But you can find more on how to become a Vrbo host.

Is Vrbo or Airbnb Better for Travelers?

what is vrbo

There’s a seesaw battle between these two platforms for travelers too. However, you can look at the safety tips listed.



For example, Vrbo wins for customer service. They have fewer complaints even though they have fewer listings. Airbnb, on the other hand, has had to set up a Resolution Center to deal with problems.

Guests have one year to leave a review on Vrbo while guests and hosts have two weeks to leave reviews on Airbnb.

Is HomeAway the same as Vrbo?

Both of these companies belong to Expedia. They are different in a number of ways. For example, you can save money with HomeAway. Vrbo charges anywhere from 6 to 12% service fee to the guests who broke through them. HomeAway charges 4 to 10% of the total reservation cost.

They are similar in some respects but cater to different markets in others. HomeAway is good for long-term tenants. Vrbo books many high-end rentals.



Image: Depositphotos


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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

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