Airbnb vs VRBO
I have rented from Airbnb, and VRBO hosts and I list my Costa Rica properties on both. I’ve been in the Vacation Rental business for many years and have rented to hundreds of families and groups. Here, I am going to share the differences between Airbnb vs VRBO in hopes this information may help you create a better vacation.
I will cover three key differences and how they may impact your ability to find the perfect vacation home at the best price.
Cancelation policies vary significantly on Airbnb vs VRBO. These policies are not only a consideration if you think you may need to abort your dream vacation, but knowing the rules can help you find the perfect spot.
With Airbnb’s “strict” cancelation policy, the guest can cancel just 7 days before arrival and receive a 50% refund. In contrast, VRBO’s “strict” cancellation policy allows guests to cancel only up to 60 days before arrival.
Besides the obvious, there is a significant impact that few vacation shoppers realize. Most hosts that I know block out the best dates on Airbnb and make those dates available on VRBO. We don’t allow guests to book the most popular times on Airbnb. I only give the prime time slots to VRBO. We do this because we don’t want to take the chance that we could get a last minute cancelation. So if you are searching for a holiday weekend or a high season vacation dates, you will likely find a better selection of vacation homes to choose from on VRBO vs Airbnb.
Discounts on Airbnb vs VRBO. Last minute discounts are only automatedly available on Airbnb. These are left to the discretion of the host but are a great tool and, I suspect, used by most of the vacation rental owners.
Here’s how it works. Hosts write their own discount rules. I discount my homes if there is available space 28 days before arrival by 25%. The amount and the number of days before check-in is the choice of the owner, but the soonest you can apply a discount is four weeks before arrival. Next, I change the discount rate to 35% 14 days before arrival for any remaining unsold nights. Then, just a week before, I drop the price to 40% off my standard nightly rate. Automatic discounts is a great feature that benefits both the owner and the traveler. There is no such feature with VRBO. Owners can manually adjust prices, but it is a lot to keep up with and rarely happens.
So, if you have been following along with the Airbnb vs VRBO differences, you have likely figured out that VRBO is a better place to search for homes in the distant future and prime times while Airbnb can be a gold mine for the last minute traveler. But wait, there is one more thing to consider.
Money is paid to owners differently from Airbnb vs VRBO. VRBO pays the host when the guest pays VRBO. Airbnb, on the other hand, holds on to all the dough until the guest has successfully checked in. Although both vacation rental companies do a good job preventing fraud, you must realize that, although I own the homes I manage, many don’t. These people are managing homes for other people. VRBO is releasing your money, in many instances, to brokers. These brokers may have the best intentions, but if they do not own the home and something goes wrong they may not have the ability to refund your money if the owner fires them or sells the house.