Read this comprehensive VRBO Review 2023 to discover the latest trends, best practices, and customer feedback about vacation rentals.
Are you planning your next vacation and wondering where to stay? Consider booking a vacation rental through VRBO, one of the leading online marketplaces for short-term rentals. VRBO, which stands for Vacation Rental By Owner, connects property owners with travelers looking for unique and affordable accommodations worldwide.
As the travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, more and more people are turning to vacation rentals as a safer and more flexible alternative to hotels. According to a recent survey by VRBO, 72% of American travelers plan to stay in a vacation rental in 2023, up from 62% in 2022.
But with so many options to choose from, how do you find the perfect VRBO rental for your needs and preferences? That’s where this VRBO Review 2023 comes in handy. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about VRBO rentals, from the booking process to the check-out, based on customer feedback and industry insights.
VRBO Review 2023: The Ultimate Guide to Vacation Rentals
The VRBO Booking Process: How to Find and Book Your Dream Rental
If you’re new to VRBO or vacation rentals in general, you may wonder how to navigate the booking process. Here are the main steps you need to follow to find and book your dream rental on VRBO:
- Set your search criteria: Before you start browsing VRBO rentals, you need to define your search criteria, such as location, dates, budget, and the number of guests. VRBO’s search engine allows you to filter your results by various criteria, including property type, amenities, and reviews.
- Browse listings: Once you’ve set your search criteria, you can start browsing the listings that match your preferences. VRBO displays the listings in order of relevance, based on the match between your search criteria and the property’s attributes. You can also sort the listings by price, reviews, and other criteria.
- Read property details: To make an informed decision, you should read the full description of each property that catches your eye. The description should include details such as the property type, location, size, layout, amenities, policies, and house rules. You can also view photos, videos, and virtual tours of the property.
- Check availability and rates: Once you’ve found a property that meets your criteria, you need to check its availability for your desired dates and the total cost of your stay, including any taxes, fees, and deposits. VRBO displays the rates and availability in real-time, and you can book instantly or send a booking request to the owner.
- Confirm your booking: After you’ve selected your dates, reviewed the booking details, and agreed to the terms and conditions, you can confirm your booking and pay the required deposit or full amount. VRBO offers various payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and e-checks.
VRBO Review: Advantages of Using VRBO
Large Selection of Vacation Rentals
VRBO offers a vast selection of vacation rentals, ranging from budget-friendly apartments to luxury villas. With over two million listings worldwide, you’re sure to find a rental that suits your needs and budget.
Direct Communication with Property Owners/Managers
When you book a vacation rental through VRBO, you communicate directly with the property owner or manager. This allows you to ask questions, clarify details, and get personalized recommendations for your trip.
Secure Booking and Payment Process
VRBO offers a secure booking and payment process that protects both the traveler and the property owner/manager. Payments are processed through the platform, and the funds are held until the traveler checks in.
Reviews and Rating System
VRBO has a robust reviews and ratings system that allows travelers to read about the experiences of other guests before booking a vacation rental. This helps ensure that you book a property that meets your expectations.
24/7 Customer Support
VRBO offers 24/7 customer support to help you with any issues or questions you may have during your trip. Whether it’s a problem with the rental or a question about the platform, you can always reach out to VRBO for assistance.
VRBO Review: Disadvantages of Using VRBO
VRBO charges a service fee for each booking, which can add up to a significant amount depending on the rental’s cost. This fee covers the platform’s expenses, such as customer support and payment processing.
Limited Flexibility in Payment Options
VRBO only accepts credit cards for payment, which may be inconvenient for travelers who prefer other payment methods, such as PayPal or bank transfers.
Lack of Consistency in Property Standards
Since VRBO allows individual property owners/managers to list their rentals, the quality and standards of each property can vary significantly. Some properties may be outdated or not as clean as advertised, which can lead to a disappointing experience for travelers.
Tips for Booking a Vacation Rental on VRBO
Read Reviews Carefully
Make sure to read reviews from other travelers carefully, paying attention to both positive and negative feedback. This can give you an idea of what to expect and help you avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Communicate with the Property Owner/Manager
Before booking a vacation rental, communicate with the property owner/manager to ask any questions you may have. This can help you ensure that the rental meets your expectations and avoid any misunderstandings.
Pay Attention to Payment Details
Be sure to read the payment details carefully, including the service fee, payment schedule, and refund policy. This can help you avoid any unexpected charges or fees.
Check the Property’s Location and Amenities
Before booking a vacation rental on VRBO, make sure to check the property’s location and amenities carefully. Consider whether the rental is located in a convenient and safe area and whether it offers the amenities you need for your trip, such as a fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, or a pool.
Don’t just book the first vacation rental you come across on VRBO. Take the time to compare the prices and features of several rentals to ensure that you get the best value for your money.
VRBO rentals can fill up quickly, especially during peak travel seasons. To ensure that you get the rental you want at the best price, book early and avoid waiting until the last minute.
The VRBO Experience: What to Expect During Your Stay
Once you’ve booked your VRBO rental, you may wonder what to expect during your stay. Here are some general guidelines and tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
- Check-in and check-out procedures: The owner or manager should provide you with clear instructions and directions for the check-in and check-out procedures, including the key exchange, the property tour, the amenities usage, and the departure cleaning. Make sure you follow the instructions and respect the property’s rules and policies.
- Property condition and amenities: Upon arrival, take a tour of the property and check its condition and amenities against the description and photos. If you notice any discrepancies or issues, notify the owner or manager immediately and document them with photos or videos. If the issue is significant and affects your comfort or safety, you may be eligible for a refund or compensation.
- Housekeeping and maintenance: Most VRBO rentals do not offer daily housekeeping or maintenance services, but they should provide you with clean linens, towels, and basic supplies for your stay. If you need additional services or supplies, you should contact the owner or manager and request them in advance. If you encounter any maintenance issues during your stay, report them promptly to the owner or manager.
- Neighborhood and community: Since VRBO rentals are often located in residential neighborhoods or communities, you should respect the local residents and their privacy. Avoid excessive noise, parties, or other disturbances that may disrupt the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Follow the local regulations and customs regarding parking, garbage disposal, and other amenities.
As we conclude our VRBO Review 2023, we can say that VRBO remains one of the leading vacation rental platforms in the world, offering a wide range of properties, competitive rates, and reliable customer service. Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a group retreat, you can find a VRBO rental that fits your needs and preferences. By following our tips and guidelines, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable experience for you and your loved ones. Remember to book early, read reviews, compare rates, be flexible, and communicate with the owner or manager. Happy travels!
FAQs About VRBO Rentals
What is the cancellation policy for VRBO rentals?
Each VRBO rental has its own cancellation policy, which you can find in the listing details. The policy may range from strict to flexible, depending on the owner or manager’s preferences and the seasonality of the rental. Make sure you understand the cancellation policy before you book, and consider purchasing travel insurance for added protection.
Are VRBO rentals safe and secure?
VRBO takes safety and security seriously and provides various measures to ensure a safe and secure rental experience. These measures include identity verification, secure payments, guest reviews, and insurance options. However, as with any travel or rental experience, there may be risks and uncertainties, and you should take precautions and exercise common sense to protect yourself and your belongings.
Can I bring my pets to a VRBO rental?
Many VRBO rentals allow pets, but the policy may vary depending on the owner or manager and the property. Some rentals may have size or breed restrictions, additional fees or deposits, or specific rules for pet behavior and waste disposal. Make sure you check the pet policy before you book and communicate with the owner or manager about your pet’s needs and habits.
Do I need to bring my own supplies and amenities to a VRBO rental?
Most VRBO rentals provide basic supplies and amenities, such as linens, towels, toiletries, and kitchen utensils. However, some rentals may have limited or no supplies, or may charge extra for additional amenities, such as pool towels or firewood. Make sure you read the listing details carefully and contact the owner or manager if you have any questions or specific requests.
What if I have an issue or complaint during my stay?
If you have an issue or complaint during your stay, the first step is to contact the owner or manager and try to resolve the issue directly. If the owner or manager is unresponsive or unable to resolve the issue satisfactorily, you can contact VRBO’s customer service for assistance. VRBO offers a resolution center for disputes and claims, and may offer refunds or compensation in certain cases.