Airbnb vs VRBO: Which Vacation Rental Service is the Real Winner?


Which service is best for booking travel accommodations? Which service is best for finding vacation rentals? When it comes to picking the best vacation rental, Airbnb and VRBO are the market leaders.

Airbnb or VRBO: Which is Better?

With the travel industry being so competitive and always changing, and with other services like VRBO and Airbnb also trying to get a piece of the market, don’t try to decide which one is better. Instead, use both!

This week, Airbnb might be the best website to find a place to stay, but next week, VRBO might be the best. For one place, Airbnb might be the best choice, while VRBO might be the best choice for another. One might be better for families, while another might be better for pairs. You see what I mean.

Why you should book a vacation rental through both Airbnb and VRBO.

A Little-bit about Airbnb

First, let’s talk about Airbnb. Airbnb has been around since 2008, and now it seems like almost everyone has heard of it. Every night, more than 2 million people stay in places they found on Airbnb. There are shared rooms and flats on Airbnb, as well as places to stay where you can rent the whole place.

Airbnb says it has a lot of unusual places to stay, such as yurts, huts, treehouses, and houseboats. Airbnb also has more places for business travelers who need to stay in places that aren’t usually on the tourist trail.

A Little-bit about VRBO

VRBO Website has been around for a lot longer than Airbnb has. Vacation Rentals By Owner is what VRBO means. HomeAway and VacationRentals are both part of the Expedia group and belong to the same family. Some other country-specific services, like FewoDirect in Germany and Bookabach in New Zealand, are also part of the same group.

As its name, “Vacation Rentals By Owner,” suggests, VRBO focuses on the market for private holiday homes. At the time of writing, VRBO users can’t rent out shared homes.

Since most properties are vacation homes, they tend to be clustered in places with a lot of tourists.

Why should you look for a vacation space on both VRBO and Airbnb?

Airbnb or VRBO

Both Airbnb and VRBO have exclusive listings

Some homeowners will only list with Airbnb, while others will list with both VRBO and Airbnb.

If there are a lot of homes on one site, you may not want to give yourself too many choices. But if you are having trouble finding a place to live, you should look at both sites.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, look on both Airbnb and VRBO.

  • A property in budget
  • The right location
  • The correct number of rooms
  • Specific amenities like a pool or beachside
  • Popular dates

Airbnb and VRBO offer different Fees and pricing

Airbnb and VRBO both take a share of the rent. This is 0–20% for Airbnb and 5–15% for VRBO.

Airbnb also has flex pricing, which means that prices go up and down based on how many times a listing is viewed and other factors in their algorithm.

Prices for VRBOs can change depending on the time of year, but they don’t usually change every day.

There are also fees for cleaning and city taxes.

Because each site has a different way of setting prices, the same item can cost a different amount on each site.

Both Airbnb and VRBO have Instant Booking Feature

Both Airbnb and VRBO offer booking immediately Service. Some locations will use one site more than the other, and instant booking may only be set up for one site.

If you don’t want to wait around for an answer and the property doesn’t have a fast booking set up for Airbnb, you might find that the option is turned on on VRBO.

Airbnb has options for shared rooms

Airbnb or VRBO

Airbnb lets you rent a whole house, share a house, or even rent a room with other people.

VRBO only includes exclusive use of a property

Many families would rather have the whole house to themselves, but there are some benefits to sharing:

  • Cheaper.
  • Direct interaction with a local.
  • Chance to mingle and socialize with other travelers.

Use Airbnb and VRBO Filters Options to find the perfect property

I think you should use the options on both Airbnb and VRBO. If there are many homes to choose from, you can narrow your search by using filters. If you want to broaden your search, you can always remove filters.

For example, we are planning a trip to Utah. There are a lot of homes in our price range, so I added the “hot tub” filter. Just picture me sitting in that every night with a glass of wine.

Airbnb is getting closer, but VRBO has a few more controls. They have a filter for “recommended for families” that looks at more than just if kids are allowed. They also have a filter for homes that are good for kids under 5.

VRBO controls tend to be a little bit stronger, which means that owners have probably used all the right ones.

It’s always a good idea to check with the owner to make sure that everything on the listing is true. For example, a pool may be mentioned as an amenity but only be open during certain times of the year.

Airbnb and VRBO Have Good Reviews

Both Airbnb and VRBO let people who have stayed in a home write reviews of it. Both VRBO and Airbnb let hosts respond to a guest’s review. The way an owner responds to a report can say a lot about who they are and if the problem was a one-time or temporary one.

I really think you should read the reviews of a place and not just look at the number of stars. People have a lot to say about Wifi. If you don’t need good Wifi, you might be able to find a less famous but otherwise great place to stay.

Homey or plain? Airbnb and VRBO have got you covered

Some Airbnb homes are lived in by their owners, but most VRBO homes are second houses. This does make a difference in how each house looks and what it has. This can be a good or a bad thing.

There may not be as many spices, oils, and seasonings in a second home as in a first home. There might be more toys at family homes. One might be better than the other, and some people don’t like living with other people’s stuff. Some visitors like a house that looks and feels lived in.

Do you have suggestions for us? Kindly comment with your thoughts.

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