The role of vacation rental sites and marketplaces is increasing. Each day they attract millions of visitors who seek accommodation for their vacation. For hosts, vacation rental sites are the perfect place to reach their target audience at the right place and time.
The vacation rental industry is growing faster than ever, and hosts stand to make a lot of money if they run their listings in an optimized way. So, if you are looking for new ways to maximize the number of bookings, you should start by advertising your properties where your potential guests are.
As a guest, you might want to find the best home away from home for your next vacation. To help both guests and hosts, we’ve researched the top 10 vacation rental websites.
Read on to find out which of these platforms are the best vacation rental sites for you.
Airbnb is not only one of the most popular vacation rental sites but also the top trusted vacation rental site and one of the most recognizable vacation rental brands. It offers hosts the opportunity to make money from listing their short-term rental properties and experiences, whether entire homes and primary residences or vacation home. Airbnb is regarded as one of the best vacation rental sites.
It has the largest community of vacation rental hosts. As one of the largest vacation rental companies, Airbnb offers over 6 million listings to guests in more than 100,000 cities and towns across 220 regions and countries around the world. For guests, it means a lot of options to choose from on the Airbnb rental site. It is business-friendly, family-friendly and offers unique accommodations with a range of amenities. These include air conditioning, hot tubs, bathroom amenities, and more.
It is also one of the fastest-growing vacation home and short-term rental websites. Airbnb has the best brand recognition among hosts and guests in the short-term rental market.
For hosts, there is no fee to list a property. However, hosts should pay a service fee per booking. Depending on where your property is based, you will either pay a fee of up to 15%, or the guest will pay a fee of up to 15% while you pay up to 3%. Hosts can then opt to charge a cleaning fee, a security deposit, and extra guest fees.
As an Online Travel Agency (OTA), the Airbnb rental site acts like a search engine for vacation rental types. Hosts therefore need to rank highly on the search results page in order to secure as many rental site bookings.
Previously known as VRBO (vacation rental by owner), it recently merged with its sister site HomeAway, to relaunch as Vrbo. Vrbo is part of the Expedia Group and specializes in providing vacation rentals in the United States. This makes it an excellent option for hosts who own or manage vacation rentals in the USA. It’s also one of the most popular vacation rental listing sites in the world.
To rent a property on Vrbo hosts either pay per booking or an annual subscription of $499 per year. If a host opts for a pay-per-booking option, he/she pays a 5% commission with a few service fees and a 3% credit card charge per booking.
Although Vrbo has a lot in common with Airbnb, there are some major differences to consider. While you can list different types of properties on Airbnb (including shared rooms, cabins, beach houses, and treehouses), Vrbo only allows hosts to list private spaces. If you have a spare room to rent, keep in mind that you can’t advertise it on Vrbo and should consider other vacation rental sites.
Another difference is the type of audience Vrbo caters to. Since only private home rentals are allowed on Vrbo, it offers the perfect vacation rental properties for older audiences who travel with a family and are looking for kid-friendly spaces.
Booking.com boasts more than 28 million properties listed on the platform with over 1.5 million nights booked daily. The site was originally known as a hotel booking site, only listing hotel rooms and not vacation homes. However, in recent years they have entered the vacation rental game with a bang as the number of vacation home rentals listed on Booking.com has grown significantly. Hotel rooms still represent a fair proportion of Booking.com’s business, but
Booking.com doesn’t have its own payment system. Instead, it allows hosts to choose the payment options they prefer. As a result, Booking.com charges hosts a 15% commission on each booking. The costs are deducted from your account by direct debit.
If a guest makes a cancellation on a reservation, Booking.com doesn’t charge any fees. However, a guest can receive a bill from a hotel or another property that they have booked.
If you need to cancel a reservation on Booking.com, contact the hotel or property directly to discuss your situation. You may check it on your own, it has handy hotel reservation software.
TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 and is one of the oldest and best sites for vacation rentals. As a result, it has great brand recognition making it an ideal place to list your rentals.
TripAdvisor is also a famous comparison website. It features approximately 1 billion reviews on hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals, and tourist attractions in major cities and beyond. It also owns a host of the best vacation rental sites for homeowners including FlipKey, VacationHomeRentals, and HouseTrip.
TripAdvisor charges a 3% commission per booking. Once you list your property on TripAdvisor, it will automatically be featured on FlipKey as well. This means more visibility and exposure for your vacation rental.
Expedia is one of the largest online travel shopping platforms offering secure booking options for accommodation, air tickets, car rentals, cruise ships, and vacation packages.
It offers a variety of accommodation types in addition to vacation rentals such as hotels, villas, motels, guest houses, etc. Users looking for vacation rentals specifically can filter their search results based on the “sort by” functionality.
HomeToGo is one of the most popular vacation rental search engines for finding rentals listed across different platforms, such as Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com.
By typing in your destination and budget, HomeToGo will bring up hundreds of available listings that you can click on and browse. After clicking on a listing you’ll be redirected to the original listing page on the source website.
The advantage of HomeToGo for guests is that you’re able to quickly compare listings across multiple short-term rental platforms to choose the one best suited for you. For hosts, making your listings available on the HomeToGo platform increases their visibility and booking potential.
Like HomeToGo, Tripping is also a search engine that aggregates hotel listings together from different booking platforms, allowing users to browse offerings from multiple OTAs at the same time.
Tripping offers a map that appears alongside listings on the search results page. It displays hotels and hostels in addition to vacation rental properties, so users can filter their search options using the “Accommodation Types” filter.
Like HomeToGo, one of Tripping’s greatest perks is the wide range of properties it displays to users. For guests that offers a greater variety of options, and for hosts, it expands your visibility.
Homestay.com offers vacation rentals and private room rentals in over 160 countries. With more than 55,000 rooms available, Homestay.com has served more than 200,000 guests since 2013.
The main difference compared to other vacation rental websites is that a guest can stay at a host’s place without any monetary remuneration. For example, a guest and host can exchange their homes or a host can stay at a guest’s place later on the next trip.
Stays can be provided on a barter basis as well (for example in exchange for housekeeping or work at a host’s property).
Hosts should pay a 3% service fee per booking. If a host offers additional services, such as laundry or cleaning, he/she should discuss cleaning fees and the price with guests before they decide to book.
atraveo is one of the biggest vacation rental sites and offers plenty of accommodation options mostly across Europe. This site has currently more than 300,000 vacation home rental listings.
Hosts are charged a 15% service fee on confirmed bookings (plus VAT if applicable). There’s no fee to list a property.
OneFineStay is a vacation rental site backed by the Accor hotel chain. The site currently offers more than 5,000 high-end vacation rental home listings in popular locations, such as London, New York City, Rome, Paris, Los Angeles, San Francisco, etc.
To list a property on OneFineStay, a host should send an application. The OneFineStay team will review it and decide if the property is a good match. If it is, OneFineStay will offer a full-service property management solution.
OneFineStay operates on an income-sharing model. Hosting income depends on many factors, such as the size, design, and location of the property. In addition to managing your property, OneFineStay promotes it through its network of vacation rental sites and marketing channels. This allows you to extend your reach to a wider audience of travelers on the lookout for luxury stays.
Interhome has provided vacation rentals since 1965 and this is one of the oldest vacation rental websites. The vacation rental platform currently offers 95,000 holiday homes and apartment rentals in 31 countries.
Fees depend on the country, region, and type of services provided by the Interhome team. Hosts can opt for hiring professional property managers. However, you may also manage your property yourself.
Launched in 2011 in Hamburg, Germany, 9flats is a popular vacation rental site serving hosts and guests in 104 countries. Many of the properties listed on 9flats are in Europe.
The company charges a service fee of 12% for listings that accept an instant booking and 15% for listings that don’t accept an instant booking.
Finding the best vacation rental site where you can list or book a property might be a challenge. There are plenty of options for hosts and guests to choose from. If you are looking for a vacation rental for your next holiday, determine your needs and budget first.
If you are a host in search of a platform on which to list a property, start with your goals, and identify your target audience. This way, you’ll be able to shape your offer and select the most suitable place to list your rental.
If you want to maximize your earnings, a good idea is to list your rental on several top vacation rental sites. Explore each of the options in more detail and then decide which of them looks the most promising in terms of bookings and revenue.
No matter which vacation rental booking sites you choose to list on, managing multiple listings on various vacation rental sites can eat up all your time. To maintain full control over your business, consider using vacation rental software. A solution such as iGMS has integration with Airbnb, Booking.com, and Vrbo and allows you to manage all the major aspects of your business hassle-free. With iGMS, you can:
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