Vacation rental platforms have become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more people opting to stay in vacation rentals over traditional hotels. Two of the most popular vacation rental platforms in the market are Vrbo and AirBnB. Both platforms offer similar services, but they differ in some key areas. This article will compare Vrbo vs AirBnB to help you decide which platform offers the best vacation rental experience.

Introduction to Vacation Rental Platforms

Vacation rental platforms provide an alternative to traditional hotels by allowing travelers to rent out properties from homeowners. These platforms offer a wide range of properties, including apartments, houses, and villas. By renting out a property on a vacation rental platform, homeowners can earn extra income, while travelers can enjoy a more authentic travel experience.

Overview of Vrbo and AirBnB

Vrbo, which stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner, was founded in 1995 and was one of the first vacation rental platforms. The platform was acquired by HomeAway in 2006 and later by Expedia in 2015. Today, Vrbo has over 2 million properties listed in over 190 countries.

AirBnB, on the other hand, was founded in 2008 and has quickly grown to become one of the largest vacation rental platforms in the world. The platform has over 7 million listings in over 220 countries.

Comparison of Vrbo vs AirBnB

User Experience: Booking, Payment, and Cancellation

When it comes to user experience, both Vrbo and AirBnB offer a user-friendly platform. However, there are some differences in their booking, payment, and cancellation policies.

Vrbo requires travelers to pay the full amount upfront at the time of booking, while AirBnB allows travelers to pay a portion of the total cost upfront and the remainder closer to the check-in date. Additionally, AirBnB offers a more flexible cancellation policy, allowing travelers to cancel up to 24 hours before check-in for a full refund. Vrbo, on the other hand, has a stricter cancellation policy and offers refunds only if the cancellation is made within a certain timeframe.

Property Listings and Search Functionality

Both Vrbo and AirBnB offer a wide range of property listings, from apartments to villas. However, Vrbo specializes in vacation homes, while AirBnB offers a wider range of properties, including unique accommodations like treehouses and yurts.

When it comes to search functionality, AirBnB offers more filters, making it easier for travelers to find the perfect property. Vrbo, on the other hand, offers a map view that allows travelers to see the location of the property and nearby attractions.

Host and Guest Requirements and Support

Both Vrbo and AirBnB have requirements that hosts must meet before listing their property on the platform. However, Vrbo has a stricter vetting process, requiring hosts to provide more detailed information about their property and meet certain standards.

Both platforms also offer support for hosts and guests, but AirBnB has a more extensive support network, including a 24/7 support line and a community forum where hosts can connect with other hosts and share tips.

Fees and Pricing Structure

Both Vrbo and AirBnB charge fees for their services. Vrbo charges hosts an annual subscription fee, while AirBnB charges host a percentage of the total booking amount. For travelers, both platforms charge a service fee, which varies depending on the cost of the booking.

It’s worth noting that Vrbo tends to be more expensive than AirBnB, with higher nightly rates and more fees. However, Vrbo does offer more exclusive properties, which may justify the higher cost for some travelers.

Additional Features and Services

Both Vrbo and AirBnB offer additional features and services to enhance the vacation rental experience. For example, AirBnB offers experiences, which allow travelers to book unique activities at their destination, such as cooking classes and city tours. Vrbo, on the other hand, offers a concierge service, which can help travelers arrange transportation, book activities, and make restaurant reservations.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

One of the best ways to gauge the quality of a vacation rental platform is by reading customer reviews and ratings. Both Vrbo and AirBnB have a review system that allows travelers to rate their experience with the host and property.

Overall, both platforms have positive reviews, with travelers praising the ease of use and variety of properties. However, there are some complaints about hidden fees and poor customer service.


When it comes to Vrbo vs AirBnB, both platforms offer a great vacation rental experience. However, there are some key differences to consider. Vrbo is a great option for travelers looking for exclusive vacation homes and a more curated experience. AirBnB, on the other hand, offers a wider range of properties and more flexible booking and cancellation policies.

Ultimately, the best platform for you will depend on your personal preferences and travel needs. It’s worth considering both options and reading customer reviews before making a decision.

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