What is the Difference Between Airbnb and Vrbo Vacation Rentals?

Are you looking for a vacation rental but can't decide between Airbnb and Vrbo? Both platforms offer a wide selection of properties, but there are some key differences between them. Airbnb offers more options for shared spaces, such as private rooms or camping, while Vrbo only offers self-catering holiday homes. Airbnb also takes a more passive approach to customer care, while Vrbo is more likely to offer help if you have any issues with your booking or vacation rental. Prices for a given property at either site vary due to demand in a given week or time of year.

Airbnb charges a guest service fee that is normally less than 13% of the booking subtotal, while Vrbo's service fee rates are not specifically stated. The main difference between VRBO and Airbnb lies in the availability of the properties. VRBO requires listings to be full properties, while Airbnb allows landlords to list rooms and shared spaces. Airbnb's guest service fees tend to be more expensive than Vrbo's, ranging from 14.2% to 16%.

Vrbo's booking fee is 3% for payment processing and 5% for total rental cost commission, not including taxes. VRBO is part of Expedia's extended network, which means your listings can gain visibility on other vacation rental sites. When it comes to cost, Airbnb and Vrbo both charge guests and hosts percentage commissions on the value of the reservation. Airbnb's rates are high for guests, while VRBO's are high for hosts.

Most hosts running ads on both channels often inflate nightly rates in VRBO to reflect the higher cost of acquisition (COA). If you're thinking of listing your vacation rental on VRBO or Airbnb, it's important to consider the cost structure and availability of properties on each platform. Guests will flock to the vacation rental site that offers the widest selection of properties, while hosts tend to prefer Airbnb's low-rate structure. When using a vacation rental in Kelowna, Canada, I found that a Vrbo rental tends to be cheaper than an Airbnb rental.

You'll also need to add taxes, cleaning fees, and website service fees to the total price of your vacation rental. Overall, both VRBO and Airbnb are great options if you're listing a standard vacation rental for the whole family. However, if you're looking for more unusual options such as private rooms or camping, then Airbnb is the better choice.

Cathleen Testa
Cathleen Testa

Typical travel ninja. Hardcore food enthusiast. Evil webaholic. Avid internet expert. Unapologetic social mediaholic.