Vrbo and Airbnb are two of the most well-known vacation rental sites on the internet. Both companies have been around for over a decade and have built a solid reputation in the industry.
However, these websites have plenty of downsides you should understand before listing your property or booking a vacation rental from either of them.
Keep reading as we compare Vrbo vs. Airbnb and why you should consider these websites for short-term rentals this year.
» Learn more: 5 Best Short Term Rental Sites
Vrbo vs. Airbnb Quick Facts
It’s important to consider the data when choosing a short-term rental site. Do you value platforms with the most listings, most rooms booked, number of bookings each day, or anything else?
Here are some quick facts about Vrbo and Airbnb:
- Operations in 190 countries worldwide
- Up to 48 million users each month
- 2 million property listings on Vrbo
- Market cap of $16 billion
- Average length of hotel stays is 2 days and short-term rental is 5 days
- 40% increase in pet-friendly short-term rentals year-over-year
- 150 million worldwide users
- Over 1 billion stays booked on the platform
- Average cost of $163 per night per booking
- Guests stay an average of 4 nights per booking
- $1.5 billion in revenue in 2021, a 78% increase since 2020
- Listings in 220 countries and regions around the world
- Hosts make $7,900 per year on average
Now that you have some of the facts straight, let’s do a side-by-side comparison of Vrbo vs. Airbnb on the key areas that you look for when booking or listing a vacation rental.
Website User Experience and Usability
Both Vrbo and Airbnb have invested millions into making sure it’s easy to find and book your next stay on their website.
We believe that Vrbo has a better user experience on their website by making it easy to filter different properties and sort them based on the total price, nightly price, home type, number of bedrooms, free cancellation option, and much more.
However, Vrbo’s website has a bit of an outdated feel while Airbnb’s seems to be sleek with a nice pink accent on the search and booking buttons throughout the website.
If you’re looking for a modern website that looks nice with standard booking features, you’ll want to choose Airbnb. However, if you want to use a website with multiple ways to filter through results to find the perfect property, Vrbo will be the way to go.
While Vrbo should be the go-to website for standalone property bookings, Airbnb is ideal for guests who are looking for options other than just a standard home.
For example, Airbnb offers private rooms and shared spaces for guests who are more budget-conscious or are looking to meet new people in communal spaces.
Since Vrbo’s listings are predominantly standalone properties, it’s better for families or large groups booking in vacation destinations.
The focus on entire properties often means that Vrbo listings might be more spacious and private, but doesn’t appeal to travelers looking for more budget-friendly or communal options.
Booking a Rental
The booking process for Vrbo and Airbnb are both very easy and intuitive. Set the location and dates for your stay, use their search features, and find a property with good reviews that looks inviting.
Some guests may want to communicate with hosts before booking to clear up any uncertainties. Luckily, Vrbo and Airbnb both offer this option and allow potential guests to talk to hosts about their property and ask questions to help make a purchase decision.
In terms of fees, both Airbnb and Vrbo have seen their fee structure increase over the years. Airbnb charges hosts 3%, which is calculated from the booking subtotal and is automatically deducted from the host payout.
Additionally, guests also pay fees on Airbnb. Fees for guests can go as high as 14.2% of the subtotal but can vary based on a variety of factors according to Airbnb.
On the flip side, Vrbo charges hosts a pay-per-booking fee, which means they pay for every time they post a listing. This fee consists of 3% for processing payments and 5% commission fee on each listing. Guests also pay a service fee that is based on the percentage of the total amount of the reservation.
Search functionality is a critical component of any online booking platform, as it determines how easily users can find accommodations that fit their needs. Here are the reasons why Airbnb wins the search functionality category.
Airbnb allows users to search by location, dates, number of guests, and type of accommodation (e.g., entire place, private room, shared room). Once a search is initiated, users can sort through the results by price range, amenities, facilities, property type, and more.
Additionally, Airbnb introduced a “flexible search” feature that lets guests search for stays within a broader range of dates, which can be useful for those with flexible travel plans.
Vrbo offers a similar basic search interface where users can input the location, dates, and number of guests. After initiating a search, users can sort by price range, amenities, property type, and other features.
Vrbo also features a map view that displays property locations and their proximity to prominent landmarks and attractions in the area.
This article compares Vrbo vs. Airbnb and took a look at two of the most popular vacation rental sites in the world.
While Vrbo started in 1995, Airbnb seems to have the upper hand in a number of different features that we tested out in our Vrbo vs. Airbnb review.
Airbnb offers a wide range of accommodations, like hotels, hostels, shared spaces, and more, while Vrbo is primarily meant for standalone homes and vacation rentals. If you prefer a platform dedicated solely to vacation rentals, Vrbo might be more appealing.
In the end, whether Airbnb or Vrbo is better for you will depend on your specific travel needs, destination, property preferences, and the availability of listings in your desired location.
It’s a good idea to compare both platforms, read reviews, and consider any additional fees or features that might be relevant to your trip before making a decision.
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