Airbnb and VRBO are both useful resources for booking room, apartment, and home rentals. VRBO has an emphasis on entire homes and apartments, whereas Airbnb spotlights shared rooms and private rooms in addition to entire homes. Beyond that, a few key differences generally make customers lean one way or the other.
If you’re worried that you may need to cancel your plans at the last minute, Airbnb tends to have a more lenient cancellation policy, based on a four-tier system for a full refund: flexible, moderate, strict and super strict. When using VRBO, you should do all of your research before booking, as VRBO maintains an individual cancellation policy, leaving you at the will of the homeowners.
In the past, VRBO did not charge guests fees, which gave a competitive advantage to the site in comparison to Airbnb, which charges between six to twelve percent. However, VRBO can no longer claim this advantage as they charge that same fee when customers book through HomeAway websites.
One upside to using VRBO is that the site has a better reputation for reliable reviews and better-maintained properties. Airbnb, on the other hand, receives criticisms from guests who have had shocking rental experiences in which reviews don’t match reality. VRBO definitely seems like the better choice in this case, however, the majority of disappointing Airbnb experiences can be avoided if you take the time to do proper research of the rental.
Overall, many believe the benefits of Airbnb outweigh those of VRBO, seeing as most downsides you’ll experience in using Airbnb you’ll also find on VRBO, and Airbnb boasts generally cheaper rates as well as perks such as instant bookings and long-term stays. But both VRBO and Airbnb are useful resources for booking your next room, apartment or home rental.