Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
Friday, February 23rd
With an impressive inventory of 2 million properties spread across 190 countries, Vrbo has cemented its presence in the vacation rental market. Originating as Vacation Rentals by Owner, Vrbo was established in 1995 and soon gained popularity among homeowners seeking short-term rental opportunities. Over the years, it underwent acquisitions, rebranding, and is now owned by Expedia Group.
Standard search and booking process
Vrbo offers the typical user-friendly search interface, allowing users to filter rentals based on their preferences. By inputting dates, destination, and guest count, users can narrow down their options using various filters such as bedrooms, availability, price, property type, and amenities. Detailed listings with photos and guest reviews help users make informed decisions.
No background checks on hosts
Unlike its competitor Airbnb, Vrbo falls short in terms of safety protocols. The designation of "Premier Host" is based on positive attributes but does not include criminal background checks.
Vrbo's fee structure can be confusing and potentially burdensome. In addition to the nightly rate, users may encounter additional fees set by hosts, such as cleaning fees. Vrbo also imposes its own service fee, further adding to the overall cost. While the platform attempts to provide at-a-glance fee breakdowns on the result page, users may still find themselves paying more than initially anticipated.
Varying cancellation policies
Cancellation policies on Vrbo vary from property to property, making it crucial for users to review each listing's policy before booking. While some properties offer full refunds with as little as 14 days notice, others have strict non-refundable terms or require lengthy notice periods.
Breaches of "Book with Confidence"
Vrbo attempts to address rental issues through its "Book with Confidence Guarantee." Promising coverage for unexpected owner cancellations, material misrepresentation of properties, and serious health and safety concerns, this guarantee should offer some reassurance. However, the effectiveness of this guarantee has been called into question, with reports of unresponsiveness and delays in providing necessary assistance. Startling reports have emerged, such as customers losing thousands of dollars when property owners mysteriously vanished after bookings were made. The credibility of this guarantee is significantly compromised, leaving Vrbo's customers understandably distressed.
Properties not as advertised
Unfortunately, we have more negative reviews to share. One Vrbo customer discovered that a listed 2-bedroom condo turned out to be an unventilated alcove with a plastic curtain "door." The host's belongings cluttered the space, including trash and medication. Despite reaching out to Vrbo multiple times, no response was received, leaving the reviewer frustrated and cautioning others to avoid the platform. Many other users encountered misrepresented, dirty, and unsafe rentals, so it isn't an isolated incident.
It can get worse: hidden cameras
As if those things weren't bad enough, disturbing incidents involving hidden cameras have plagued Vrbo's reputation. During our research, we learned that multiple lawsuits have been filed against the company after guests discovered covert surveillance devices in private areas, including bedrooms.
Better Business Bureau alert
At the time of this review, Vrbo was not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and held a "B+" rating. A message was posted on the company's page informing visitors that a concerning pattern of complaints had been discovered regarding cancellations, refund delays, and failure to honor guarantees. The lack of accreditation and the troubling reports are the nail in Vrbo's coffin when ranking it against higher-performing vacation rental options.
Just walk away
In our exploration of Vrbo, we have uncovered a concerning array of issues that raise serious doubts about the service's reliability. From breached guarantees and privacy violations to unresponsive customer service, the platform's track record is far from reassuring. While Vrbo boasts an extensive property inventory, that won't matter much to you if you wind up with a less-than-acceptable vacation stay. With competing platforms offering more robust security measures and greater transparency, we advise you explore our better-rated options when searching for vacation rentals.
Are you tired of the same old hotel experience when you go on vacation? Do you crave something more unique and personalized, where you can truly feel at home even when you're away? If so, then vacation rentals might just be the perfect solution for you.
If you've ever stayed in a vacation rental property, you already know their charm and allure. Unlike traditional hotels, vacation rentals offer a level of comfort, privacy, and flexibility that is hard to match. These properties are often privately-owned homes or apartments that are rented out to travelers on a short-term basis.
Vacation home rentals come fully furnished and equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, from kitchen cupboards full of cookware, to cozy living areas and comfortable bedrooms. It's like having a home away from home, complete with personal touches that reflect the unique style and taste of the owner.
One of the best things about vacation rentals is the sheer variety of options available. Whether you're planning a family reunion, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, you can find a vacation rental that fits your needs perfectly. Want to relax by the beach? There are countless beachfront properties waiting for you. Prefer a secluded cabin in the woods? You'll find plenty of those too. From urban lofts to countryside villas, there's something for everyone.
Unlike traditional hotels that are typically owned by large hotel chains or corporations, vacation rentals are often owned by individuals who use them as second homes or investment properties. These owners may be local residents or people from different parts of the world. Some vacation rentals are also owned by small property management companies or vacation rental agencies that handle the day-to-day operations on behalf of the owners. These agencies may handle tasks such as marketing, guest communication, and property maintenance.
How do you go about choosing the right vacation rental? That's where vacation rental websites come in. These platforms connect travelers with property owners, making it easy to browse and book the perfect vacation rental for your needs. Not all vacation rental websites are created equal, though. It doesn't matter how many properties they have if they don't offer good customer service or aren't responsive when you need assistance.
Here are some things to keep in mind when making your choice:
Ready for a vacay? To make it a breeze to find the perfect stay, Top Consumer Reviews has evaluated and ranked the best vacation rental websites currently on the market. We hope this information helps you find the perfect home-away-from home accommodations for your next trip, no matter where you want to go.
Select any 2 Vacation Rental Sites to compare them head to head
This year’s version of a short-term vacation rental bill now goes ...
Could this be the year that the Florida Legislature passes a law taking away more local control of short-term vacation rentals like Airbnb and Vrbo? We’ll find out in the next 15 days, after the House ...
Thu, 22 Feb 2024
Fox 5 San Diego on ...
Pacific Beach town council revisits short-term vacation rental ...
SAN DIEGO (FOX 5/KUSI) — The Pacific Beach town council meeting Wednesday revisited the ordinance which regulates short-term vacation rentals in their community. The City of San Diego passed the ...
Thu, 22 Feb 2024