VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) is a website that allows property owners to list and rent out their homes, apartments, cabins, and other types of vacation properties to travelers. VRBO was founded in 1995 and was later acquired by HomeAway in 2006. In 2019, HomeAway was merged with Vrbo, which is now owned by Expedia Group.
Through VRBO, property owners can list their properties for short-term rental and connect with potential renters. Travelers can use the platform to search for available vacation rentals in their desired location, compare prices and amenities, and book their stay directly with the property owner or manager.
VRBO has a range of rental options, including beach houses, cabins, condos, cottages, and villas, and is available in over 190 countries worldwide. It is a popular platform for travelers who prefer the flexibility and space of a vacation rental, rather than staying in a hotel.
VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) is an online marketplace that allows property owners to list their vacation homes, apartments, cabins, and other types of rental properties for short-term stays. Travelers can search and book these rentals directly from the owner or property manager.
VRBO was founded in 1995 and later acquired by HomeAway in 2006. In 2019, HomeAway was merged with Vrbo, which is now owned by Expedia Group. The platform offers a wide range of rental options, including beach houses, cabins, condos, cottages, and villas in over 190 countries worldwide.
Travelers can browse listings, filter their search based on location, price, amenities, and book directly with the owner or manager. Property owners can create a listing for their vacation rental, set their own prices, availability, and connect with potential renters.
VRBO offers various payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and other electronic payment methods. The platform also has a messaging system for travelers and property owners to communicate and manage booking details.
Pros & cons
VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) is a popular online platform for vacation rental properties. Here are some of the pros and cons of using VRBO:
- Wide variety of properties: VRBO has a vast selection of properties available for vacation rental, ranging from cozy apartments to luxurious villas.
- Direct communication with owners: With VRBO, you can communicate directly with the property owners to ask questions and get more information about the property.
- Transparent pricing: VRBO offers transparent pricing, which means there are no hidden fees or charges.
- User-friendly platform: VRBO’s website is easy to navigate, making it simple to search for properties and book your vacation rental.
- High fees: VRBO charges a booking fee for each reservation, which can be as much as 12% of the total cost of your stay.
- Limited cancellation policy: VRBO’s cancellation policy is set by the property owner, so it can vary from property to property. Some properties have strict cancellation policies, which can make it difficult to cancel or reschedule your stay.
- Limited customer service: VRBO’s customer service can be limited, with some users reporting long wait times to speak with a representative.
- Quality control: Because VRBO is a platform for individual property owners to rent out their properties, the quality of the property and the rental experience can vary greatly from one property to another.
Overall, VRBO can be a great option for finding unique and affordable vacation rental properties, but it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides, such as high fees and limited customer service.
The best VRBO rentals for families with children
There are many great VRBO rentals that are perfect for families with children. Here are some factors to consider when searching for a family-friendly rental:
- Location: Look for a rental that is located in a family-friendly area, close to attractions and activities that are suitable for children.
- Space: Make sure the rental is spacious enough to accommodate your family comfortably. Look for rentals with multiple bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen.
- Safety: Check to make sure the rental is safe for children, with features like child-proof locks, stair gates, and pool fences if applicable.
- Amenities: Look for rentals with amenities that are kid-friendly, such as a pool, outdoor space to play, toys, games, and a TV with kid-friendly channels.
- Reviews: Read the reviews from previous guests who have stayed in the rental with their families to get a sense of their experience.
Here are some VRBO rentals that are highly rated for families with children:
“Family-friendly beach house” in Gulf Shores, Alabama: This rental has four bedrooms and is located just a short walk from the beach. It also has a pool and a large backyard for children to play.
“Kid-friendly cabin” in Gatlinburg, Tennessee: This rental has three bedrooms and is located in a wooded area with plenty of outdoor space for children to explore. It also has a game room with a pool table and air hockey.
“Family beachfront condo” in San Diego, California: This rental has two bedrooms and is located right on the beach. It also has a pool and is within walking distance to many family-friendly attractions.
“Large family home” in Orlando, Florida: This rental has six bedrooms and is located just minutes away from Disney World. It also has a pool, game room, and a large backyard for children to play.
“Lakefront family retreat” in Big Bear Lake, California: This rental has four bedrooms and is located right on the lake. It also has a large deck and backyard with a hot tub and plenty of space for children to play.
What to look for in a VRBO property before booking
When booking a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) property, there are several important things to consider to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some factors to look for before booking a VRBO property:
- Reviews: Check out the reviews of the property from previous guests. Read both positive and negative reviews to get a sense of what to expect.
- Location: Consider the location of the property, including its proximity to attractions, restaurants, and other amenities.
- Amenities: Look for a property that offers the amenities that are important to you, such as a pool, hot tub, or fully equipped kitchen.
- Safety features: Check to see if the property has safety features in place, such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.
- Cleanliness: Look for a property that is clean and well-maintained. Check the photos and read reviews to ensure that the property is up to your standards.
- Communication with the host: Reach out to the host before booking to ask any questions you may have about the property or the area. A responsive and helpful host can make all the difference in your vacation experience.
- Payment and cancellation policies: Make sure you understand the payment and cancellation policies before booking. Some properties may require a deposit or have strict cancellation policies.
- Extra fees: Be aware of any extra fees associated with the property, such as cleaning fees, booking fees, or pet fees.
By considering these factors before booking a VRBO property, you can help ensure that you have a positive and memorable vacation experience.
How to Negotiate the Best Deal on a VRBO Rental
Negotiating the best deal on a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) rental can help you save money on your vacation. Here are some tips for negotiating the best deal:
- Do your research: Look up similar properties in the area and compare prices. This will give you a better understanding of what a fair price for the rental might be.
- Reach out to the owner: Contact the owner of the rental property directly and express your interest in renting the property. Ask if they are willing to negotiate on the price or offer any discounts.
- Be flexible with your dates: If you have flexibility in your travel dates, consider asking the owner if they offer discounts for off-peak periods.
- Offer to pay in full upfront: Some owners may be willing to offer a discount if you pay the full rental amount upfront instead of in installments.
- Ask about any additional fees: Inquire about any additional fees associated with the rental, such as cleaning fees or booking fees, and see if the owner is willing to waive or reduce them.
- Consider a longer stay: Some owners may be willing to offer a discount if you stay for an extended period.
- Be respectful and polite: Remember that negotiating is a two-way street. Be respectful and polite in your communication with the owner, and be open to compromise.
By using these negotiation tactics, you may be able to secure a better deal on a VRBO rental, making your vacation more affordable and enjoyable.
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about VRBO:
Q: What is VRBO?
A: VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner. It is an online platform that allows property owners to list their vacation homes, apartments, condos, and other properties for rent to travelers.
Q: How does VRBO work?
A: Property owners can list their properties on VRBO by creating an account and providing details about the property, including photos, amenities, and pricing. Travelers can search for properties on VRBO by location, dates, and other criteria. They can then contact the property owner to book the property directly.
Q: Is VRBO safe?
A: VRBO takes steps to ensure the safety and security of its users, including verifying the identity of property owners and providing secure payment options. However, it is important for travelers to do their own research and take precautions to ensure the safety of their booking.
Q: How do I pay for a VRBO rental?
A: Payment options vary depending on the property owner. Some may require a deposit or full payment upfront, while others may allow payment in installments. VRBO offers secure payment options, including credit card payments and PayPal.
Q: What if I have an issue with my VRBO rental?
A: If you have an issue with your VRBO rental, contact the property owner or manager directly to address the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved, VRBO has a support team that can assist with disputes and other issues.
Q: What is the cancellation policy for VRBO rentals?
A: The cancellation policy varies depending on the property owner. Some may offer full refunds for cancellations made within a certain time frame, while others may have strict cancellation policies with no refunds.
Q: Is VRBO cheaper than a hotel?
A: The cost of a VRBO rental can vary depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property. In some cases, a VRBO rental may be cheaper than a hotel, especially for larger groups or longer stays.
Q: Can I bring my pets to a VRBO rental?
A: Some property owners may allow pets, while others may have restrictions or additional fees. Check the property listing or contact the owner to inquire about pet policies.
VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) is a popular online platform that allows property owners to list their homes or apartments for short-term rentals. The platform provides an easy-to-use interface for property owners to create listings, set rental rates, and manage reservations.
One of the major benefits of VRBO is that it offers a wide variety of properties in different locations, making it easy for travelers to find accommodations that suit their needs. Additionally, many VRBO listings offer amenities such as full kitchens and multiple bedrooms, which can make them more attractive to families or larger groups.
However, VRBO does have some potential drawbacks. For example, because the platform relies on individual property owners to manage their listings, there is less consistency in terms of the quality and condition of the properties available for rent. Additionally, some travelers may be wary of booking through VRBO due to concerns about fraud or other scams.