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      January 24, 2020

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Vacation Rentals By Owner vs Home Exchange

To help you find the Best Vacation Home Rentals, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Vacation Rentals By Owner and Home Exchange.

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Find Your Next Vacation Rental Home With Home Away Today! A vacation rental is a term used by the travel industry that refers to renting a furnished apartment, condo or home for a temporary basis. Rentals can range from an inexpensive one bedroom economy apartment to a lavish 6 bedroom home on a golf course overlooking the ocean.

These vacation rental properties are generally owned by individuals who generate income by renting while they're not being used. Other properties may be owned by management companies and run more like a hotel. Either way, a vacation rental property is an excellent way to save costs and have more privacy. Vacation rental properties are also great for holding a large group of family or friends in a quaint, relaxed setting.

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Best Reviews

2020

Vacation Rentals

3.5 stars
Vacation Rentals By Owner

VACATION RENTALS BY OWNER

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Global

Vacation Rentals by Owner or VRBO is a website specializing in private vacation homes that are for rent. Established in 1995, VRBO was founded by vacation rental owners who self-manage their second homes. This website provides rental home listings from over 100 countries and more than 150,000 listings.

The bright vivid property pictures are great at VRBO along with the details of the property. But, we were a bit disappointed in the search capability. VRBO allows you to only input a destination name and amenities or a VRBO #. We couldn't figure out what the VRBO# was for but identified several homes we were interested in and then tried to further sort them by price but with no luck.

VRBO lists icons to help you identify what you're looking for but unfortunately we found these a bit confusing as well. We really wanted to be able to sort within our price range and narrow down our search quicker than VRBO would allow.

With 150,000 vacation homes spanning the globe you can count on finding the right vacation rental anywhere in the world. Based on some of the search challenges this might take you longer than those companies ranked higher. VRBO has the most impressive count of vacation rental homes but the search capability and listing layout creates some frustration. If you haven't found what you're looking for at a higher ranked provider you should consider searching VRBO if you have some extra time on your hands.

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2.5 stars
Home Exchange

HOME EXCHANGE

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Rental Locations:

Global

Originally started as a resource for teachers to swap homes during school vacations, Home Exchange expanded to include more than 65,000 members in more than 150 countries.

It is important that you understand that Home Exchange does not work like a typical vacation rental service. The primary function of Home Exchange is just like the name suggests: you trade homes with someone in a destination you'd like to visit, allowing them to stay in your home while you stay in theirs.

The primary advantage to this arrangement is cost: for a 12-month membership fee of $150, you have access to all of the members in the Home Exchange network. You don't pay to stay in the home you visit, and they don't pay to stay in yours. For longer arrangements, it is up to the homeowners to determine if there are any requirements for utilities, maintenance, and other costs.

Of course, if the thought of having someone stay in your own home - or staying in someone else's - makes you uncomfortable, Home Exchange is probably not a good fit.

Thinking of giving it a try? Home Exchange does have a guarantee where you can get a second year of membership for free if you don't have a completed exchange in your first year of membership. That's not quite as good as a refund, but at least it gives you double the chance of making an exchange happen.

You should be aware that it can be challenging to make exchanges happen. For example, if you would love to stay in an Italian villa but you live on a farm in the middle of Kansas, you'd have to find someone interested in Midwestern farm life. Obviously your chances of an exchange are higher if you live in a popular destination like New York City or a house on the beach. Also, many home exchangers prefer to select travelers without children, so if you have a large family you may find limited options for exchange partners.

In short, Home Exchange offers a unique service that might be a great fit for people who have flexibility in their travel requirements and who are open to sharing their home with others. But, for travelers who are looking for a more traditional arrangement - paying to stay in the location of their choice during specific dates - another vacation rental site would probably be more useful.

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Many owners are making their homes available for rent through vacation rental websites that allow vacationers the opportunity to see pictures and learn about the property, location, and dates available. You may also contact the property owner through the website and discuss the terms of the agreement and payment arrangements.

However, not all vacation rental websites are the same. Using one with the specific qualities you want will save you lots of time and energy. Some of the important attributes you should look for before finding your next vacation rental property include:

  • Search. How easy is it to search vacation rental properties and find exactly what you're looking for?
  • Properties. How broad is the listing of vacation rental properties? For example, if you're looking to stay in Fort Myers Beach will you have 2 or 25 homes to choose from?
  • Locations. Where are the vacation rental properties located? If a website has limited listings in certain regions, knowing that in advance will you save time and frustration.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Vacation Rentals available today. We hope this information helps you find the perfect vacation home that meets your needs!

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Ocean Reef Unveils 3 New Beachfront Vacation Homes in Destin

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