What is the Difference Between Vacation Rentals and Airbnb?

Are you looking for a full comparison between VRBO vs. Airbnb as you explore options for where to stay and which rental sites to choose? As the two main competitors in the online vacation rental market, VRBO and Airbnb have several similarities, but they also have their differences. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO are online hosting marketplaces that cater to both guests and hosts. Airbnb and VRBO act as brokers in the sense that, when advertising and executing a transaction, they receive a commission for each reservation.

Booking an Airbnb or VRBO property is similar in that all bookings are made online. In addition, VRBO charges a refundable security deposit to your credit card at the time of booking. Both Airbnb and VRBO have a secure online messaging system to communicate with rental hosts. Both Airbnb and VRBO allow hosts to charge a cleaning fee at their discretion.

With its long history and presence in 190 countries, VRBO remains one of the main players in the travel industry. HomeAway and VRBO share the same properties. Renting a vacation through Airbnb and VRBO is a matter of searching online to find a space that fits your style and needs. Vrbo only offers self-catering holiday homes.

It generally doesn't offer “shared spaces” such as private rooms or more unusual options, such as camping. Airbnb offers self-contained vacation homes, as well as shared spaces and even hotel rooms. In addition, the conveniences of having a kitchen, laundry, and several bedrooms and bathrooms entice families and larger groups to choose larger Airbnb or VRBO properties. With Airbnb and VRBO displaying listings for homes packed with similar services, there are different characteristics of each.

To understand the differences between Airbnb and VRBO, let's start by taking a look at their similarities. Travelers who want to book stays in traditional vacation destinations flock to sites like VRBO because they are best known for their large inventories in tourist destinations. However, keep in mind that while VRBO offers fewer rentals, it only offers houses, condos, or entire apartments. Both Airbnb and VRBO charge service fees to cover the costs of the company's products and services.

When booking through VRBO, guests will be charged a service fee of 6-12% of the total cost of the reservation, less tax. Cancellations and refunds do not include the VRBO vacation rental service fee. VRBO also offers “Trip Boards”, where you can create collections of your favorite properties. VRBO guests can add travel protection insurance to their booking.

Both Airbnbs have their unique advantages and disadvantages, but VRBO is one step above Airbnb in almost every way. In addition, the level of customer service between the two companies is also completely different. If you have any problems with your booking or your vacation rental, Vrbo is more likely to offer you help. Airbnb, on the other hand, takes a more passive approach to customer care and should only be contacted after an issue with the property manager has been resolved.

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. Vrbo also charges a service fee, but does not specifically state its service fee rates. Their site says that, in general, the higher the amount of the reservation, the lower the rate.

Other travel sites pointed to the fare of up to 12%. Vrbo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both markets charge guests and hosts percentage commissions on the value of the reservation. Airbnbs rates are high for guests, while VRBOs are high.

Both structures are almost the same, but hosts tend to prefer Airbnb's low-rate structure. Most hosts running ads on both channels often inflate nightly rates in VRBO to reflect the higher cost of acquisition (COA). 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.

Although both platforms are open to various types of properties, from apartments to tree houses, the availability specification has led to fewer ads on VRBO. Unlike Airbnb, travelers need to rent an entire house in VRBO instead of renting a single room or apartment. VRBO stands out from Airbnb for its extensive set of filters that allow users to search by type of location: beach view, lake view, etc. Tenants can visit the VRBO website and search for available vacation rental properties through various search queries.

A risk-taking traveler who wants a more unique rental experience can choose Airbnb, while a traveler who knows the exact destination, dates and type of property they want can choose a traditional rental management company. There are several methods of earning passive income in real estate, but one of the most popular is investing in vacation rentals. From wooden tree houses to luxury villas, vacation rentals also allow you to experience something a little out of the ordinary on your trip. Airbnb and Vrbo are two of the most popular vacation rental sites out there, and Vrbo is, in my opinion, the best Airbnb alternative on the market right now.

Over time it became one of the main players in the hotel industry specializing in short-term vacation rentals including accommodation in private homes cottages apartments hostels etc. If you're thinking of listing your vacation rental on VRBO or Airbnb a key factor to consider is cost And some landlords have essentially started to snatch cheap real estate and entire properties to convert them into more vacation rentals effectively becoming a vacation rental business in their own way. If you have already made up your mind about which platform you want to use then go ahead book your next trip with confidence knowing that you have analyzed all aspects between these two platforms.

Cathleen Testa
Cathleen Testa

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