Skip to content

Vrbo vs Airbnb: Which is the Better

  • 13 min read

pin comparing airbnb and vrbo

Are you planning your next vacation and wondering whether to choose Vrbo or Airbnb for your accommodation? You’re not alone in the “vrbo vs airbnb” debate! Both platforms have become increasingly popular, offering travelers unique lodging alternatives to traditional hotels. So what are the key differences between Vrbo and Airbnb, their accommodation types, fee structures, booking experiences, and more. You’ll have a clear understanding of which platform best suits your travel needs when considering vrbo vs airbnb.  Read on.

In a Nutshell

  • Compare Vrbo vs Airbnb to find the best rental deal for your needs.
  • Vrbo offers whole homes, while Airbnb has a variety of shared and unique stays.
  • Both platforms offer safety measures, additional features such as Experiences & Trip Boards, and ethical considerations to benefit local communities.

Breaking Down the Basics: Vrbo and Airbnb

Two people enjoying a vacation rental from Vrbo and Airbnb

Vrbo and Airbnb are both prominent vacation rental platforms specializing in private rentals. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are notable differences in terms of:

  • Accommodation types: Vrbo focuses on offering whole-home rentals, while Airbnb provides a wider range of accommodation options, from private rooms to unique stays.
  • Fees: The fee structures of Vrbo and Airbnb differ, with Vrbo typically charging a subscription fee to homeowners and Airbnb charging a percentage fee on each booking.
  • Additional features: Airbnb offers additional features such as experiences and guided tours, while Vrbo focuses solely on accommodation rentals.

These differences make each platform suitable for different types of travelers and hosts.

When it comes to fees, Airbnb properties are often more cost-effective due to their typically lower service fee. Vrbo, on the other hand, generates revenue by charging a service fee in addition to the base rate. Both platforms offer long-term stay discounts and the option of refundable security deposits for guests.

Scrutinizing the costs between Airbnb and Vrbo may help you save money and secure the best deal.

Types of Accommodations: Whole Homes vs. Shared Spaces

Vrbo focuses on whole-home rentals, catering to families and groups seeking entire properties for their vacations. With an exciting range of properties, including entire homes, villas, and cabins, Vrbo offers travelers many options to choose from through their vacation rental services.

Airbnb, on the other hand, caters to a wider audience by offering a diverse selection of accommodations, including private rooms, shared spaces, and even hotel rooms. Whether you’re a budget traveler seeking a private room or someone looking for a unique stay in a treehouse, Airbnb has you covered.

Vrbo stands out as the preferred platform for those seeking entire properties and needing more space. Although both Airbnb and Vrbo provide a plethora of property types, your personal preferences should guide your choice between the two platforms.

Whole Homes

Vrbo is an ideal choice for families and groups seeking rental properties for their vacations. As a vacation rental platform, it offers a wide array of choices, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury accommodations, making it effortless for vrbo guests to find a property that meets their needs.

See also  Top 20 Best Places to Visit in the Fall

With options like villas, cabins, and even unique stays such as treehouses and houseboats, Vrbo makes it easy for travelers to find the perfect rental for their trip.

Shared Spaces and Unique Stays

Airbnb caters to budget travelers and those looking for unconventional lodging options. With incredible offerings such as:

  • entire properties
  • private rooms
  • shared rooms
  • hotel rooms

Airbnb provides a diverse range of accommodations, including Airbnb property options, to choose from.

This flexibility allows travelers to find the perfect space, whether they’re seeking a budget-friendly option or a one-of-a-kind experience.

Fee Structures: How They Affect Guests and Hosts

Both platforms have different fee structures, affecting guests and hosts in various ways, such as:

  • Airbnb offers a split-fee structure, with a service fee charged to both hosts and guests
  • Vrbo typically charges a lower service fee added to the cost of the booking
  • Hosts on both platforms may charge their own cleaning fees, providing added convenience for guests.

Taking into account these fee structures proves important when juxtaposing the two platforms, as they can influence the total cost of your booking. For example, although Vrbo’s service fee may be lower, the total cost of a booking could still be higher depending on the property and additional fees. By comparing the costs and fees of both platforms, you can ensure you’re making the most informed decision for your vacation rental.

Guest Service Fees

Airbnb typically has higher guest service fees, charging both hosts and guests a percentage of the total booking cost. These fees can vary, but they generally make up a significant portion of the total cost for guests. On the other hand, Vrbo offers lower fees for guests, as it does not offer individual rooms, so hosts don’t have the option to cover the entire service fee.

In evaluating the two platforms, you should factor in how these service fees will shape your total booking cost. While Airbnb may have higher guest service fees, its often lower nightly rates can still result in a more affordable stay. However, if you prefer whole-home rentals, Vrbo’s lower service fees may make it a more attractive option overall.

Host Fees and Subscription Options

Vrbo provides a subscription model for hosts, allowing them to save on service fees and enjoy additional benefits. Hosts on Vrbo generally pay a commission fee of 5% per booking, plus a payment processing fee around 3%. This subscription model can potentially save hosts thousands of dollars, especially for those with a high volume of bookings.

In contrast, Airbnb charges a standard host fee of 3%. This lower fee makes Airbnb a more attractive platform for property owners, particularly those with fewer bookings or who are just starting.

In choosing between the two platforms as a host, you should weigh the potential cost savings and advantages each offers.

Booking Experience: Ease and Flexibility

Both Airbnb and Vrbo offer user-friendly booking experiences, but they differ in search functionality, filters, and payment options. Vrbo has better filter options, helping guests quickly find the perfect property, while Airbnb offers more listings and the convenient “Instant Book” feature, allowing guests to book a property without waiting for approval from the host.

In terms of payment options, both platforms provide easy payment methods. However, Vrbo allows payment splitting and partners with Affirm financing, offering guests the opportunity to make a down payment with the balance due closer to the time of travel, and even break large amounts into smaller payments over time. This flexibility in payment options can make the booking experience more convenient and accessible for many travelers.

Search Functionality and Filters

Vrbo has better filter options, such as price, occupancy, cleanliness reviews, and pets allowed. These detailed filters make it easier for guests to find the perfect property quickly.

See also  20 Amazing Things to Do in the Outer Banks

In contrast, Airbnb offers a wider selection of listings and the “Instant Book” feature, allowing guests to effortlessly book a property without waiting for approval from the host. Both platforms offer an outstanding set of tools to make searching simpler and more efficient, catering to the needs of most travelers.

Payment Options and Splitting

Vrbo offers guests the option to split payments, providing greater flexibility and convenience in the booking process. Vrbo is proud to announce its partnership with Affirm. This service enables customers to pay for large purchases in smaller easy installments..

This added convenience makes it easier for travelers to book their ideal vacation rental without worrying about the financial burden upfront. While Airbnb also offers easy payment methods, it does not currently provide payment splitting or financing options like Vrbo.

Cancellation Policies: Understanding Your Options

Airbnb has more flexible cancellation policies, while Vrbo’s policies are more rigid and harder to compare. Airbnb offers a variety of cancellation policies ranging from flexible to strict, with many hosts providing full refunds if guests cancel at least 24 hours before check-in. In contrast, Vrbo’s cancellation policies are tailored to the timing of the cancellation and are generally less flexible than Airbnb’s policies.

In contrasting the two platforms, one must take into account their cancellation policies, since they can modify your overall booking experience. If flexibility is essential for your travel plans, Airbnb may be the better choice. However, if you’re sure of your travel dates and prefer whole-home rentals, Vrbo’s policies might be more suitable for your needs.

Safety Measures: Protecting Guests and Hosts

Both platforms prioritize safety with background checks, watchlist monitoring, and insurance policies. Airbnb and Vrbo perform background checks and monitor watchlists to ensure guest and host safety. Additionally, Airbnb offers a dedicated 24-hour safety line, while Vrbo provides travel and damage protection insurance.

These safety provisions play a critical role in fostering a secure and trust-inspiring environment for both guests and hosts. By choosing a platform that prioritizes safety, you can enjoy a more comfortable and worry-free vacation rental experience.

Background Checks and Watchlist Monitoring

To ensure guest and host safety, both Airbnb and Vrbo perform background checks and monitor watchlists. These checks involve verifying useful data such as email addresses, dates of birth, and physical addresses, as well as checking a person’s name against a list of known criminals or people flagged for suspicious activity.

This proactive approach to safety helps protect all users and maintain a secure environment on both platforms.

Insurance and Guarantees

Airbnb offers clearer insurance policies and guarantees, providing coverage of up to $1 million in damages through its Host Guarantee and Host Protection Insurance. On the other hand, Vrbo provides travel and damage protection insurance through Generali Global Assistance, ensuring peace of mind for all involved.

Both platforms prioritize the safety and security of their users, offering different insurance options to cater to the needs of hosts and guests alike.

Additional Features: Experiences, Trip Boards, and Mobile Apps

Airbnb and Vrbo offer unique features such as Experiences, Trip Boards, and mobile apps to enhance the user experience. Airbnb Experiences provide unique activities and tours for travelers, allowing them to immerse themselves in local culture and make meaningful connections. On the other hand, Vrbo Trip Boards enable guests to collaborate on travel plans and share ideas, making it easy to plan the perfect vacation.

My family was looking for a beach vacations in the Outer Banks and frankly we had waited too long to find a place for our family to stay, however, we were able to find a few pretty impressive vacation homes from which to choose.  If you’re new to the Outer Banks, we put together this article on activities to do in the Outer Banks.  Enjoy!

See also  20 Amazing Things to Do in the Outer Banks

Both platforms also have functional mobile apps, but Airbnb’s user interface is more visually appealing and interactive. This makes it easier for users to navigate the app and manage their bookings on the go.

Whether you’re seeking unique experiences or streamlined trip planning, vrbo airbnb platforms, both Airbnb and Vrbo, offer additional features to cater to your needs.

Airbnb Experiences

Airbnb Experiences provide unique activities and tours for travelers, allowing them to truly immerse themselves in the local culture. Hosted by local experts, these experiences include:

  • Cooking classes
  • Wellness sessions
  • Cultural exchange activities
  • Virtual tours

With Airbnb Experiences, you can discover hidden gems, learn new skills, and make lasting memories during your trip.

Vrbo Trip Boards

Vrbo Trip Boards are an ingenious way to plan and organize your vacation. Create a Trip Board to conveniently save and share your favorite destinations, activities, and accommodations.

Trip Boards allow you to:

  • Easily collaborate with friends and family, ensuring everyone’s input is considered when planning the perfect vacation
  • Keep all your travel ideas in one place
  • Share your travel ideas with your travel companions

This feature makes it simple to plan and organize your vacation.

Mobile App Comparison

Both Airbnb and Vrbo have amazing mobile apps that allow you to:

  • Book and manage your trips on the go with ease
  • Easily search for accommodations
  • View beautiful photos and reviews
  • Manage your bookings with ease

The Airbnb app is available on both iOS and Android, while the Vrbo app is only available on iOS. Both apps offer a range of great features.

However, Airbnb’s user interface is more visually appealing and engaging, making it a more enjoyable experience for users.

Ethical Considerations: Impact on Local Communities

Airbnb and Vrbo have both positive and negative impacts on local communities. While these platforms contribute to over-tourism and housing affordability issues, they also offer immersive travel experiences, fostering connections between travelers and local residents. By supporting local businesses and promoting cultural exchange, vacation rental platforms can have a positive effect on the communities they serve.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to take into account the potential adverse effects of vacation rentals on local communities. Being a responsible traveler entails:

  • Researching the area you plan to visit
  • Pondering the possible repercussions of your stay
  • Choosing accommodations that prioritize sustainability and community engagement

By doing so, you can help ensure your vacation has a positive impact on the places you visit.

Circling Back Around

Both Vrbo and Airbnb offer unique advantages and cater to different travel preferences. Vrbo is ideal for families and groups seeking whole-home rentals, while Airbnb provides a diverse range of accommodations, including shared spaces and unique stays.

Each platform has its own fee structures, booking experiences, and additional features, so it’s crucial to consider your individual needs when choosing between the two. By comparing these platforms and understanding their differences, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect vacation rental for your next trip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people use VRBO instead of Airbnb?

Vrbo offers a great selection of entire homes and condos for groups, as well as better filtering options compared to Airbnb. It also lets you filter by user reviews, so you can be sure of finding the perfect place with the best ratings for cleanliness.

Is VRBO safer than Airbnb?

Overall, VRBO is generally seen to be safer than Airbnb due to its policy of not allowing visitors to remain in shared spaces.

Is it better to list on Airbnb or VRBO?

Given that Airbnb and VRBO target different audiences and reach different traveler demographics, listing on both channels is the best way to maximize occupancy and increase bookings.

Is VRBO more expensive than Airbnb?

Overall, Vrbo tends to be more cost-effective than Airbnb, with lower service fees and variable listing prices depending on various factors.

What are the main differences between Vrbo and Airbnb?

Vrbo and Airbnb offer different types of rental experiences: Vrbo is tailored to whole-home rentals while Airbnb has a wider selection, including shared spaces and unique stays. They also have varying fee structures and extra features, such as Experiences and Trip Boards.
Pinterest pin comparing vrbo vs airbnb

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *