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. 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 holiday. To help both guests and hosts, we’ve researched the top 10 vacation rental websites.
Read on to find out which of the platforms are best suited for your needs.
Airbnb is the top trusted vacation rental site. It offers hosts the opportunity to make money from listing their short-term rental properties and experiences.
It has the largest community of vacation rental hosts. Airbnb offers over 7 million listings to guests in more than 220 regions and countries around the world. For guests, it means a lot of options to choose from.
It is also one of the fastest-growing vacation home rental websites. Airbnb has the best brand recognition among hosts and guests.
For hosts, there is no fee to list a property. However, hosts should pay a 3% service fee per booking. Guest service fees are deducted from the booking subtotal and range from 0% to 20%.
HomeAway has more than 2 million rentals listed in 190 countries with 50 different sites to serve hosts internationally. HomeAway is owned by the Expedia Group, one of the world’s leading travel companies.
On this platform, hosts have the option of paying an annual subscription fee. Alternatively, they can take advantage of the pay-per-booking option. The annual subscription is $499 per year for unlimited inquiries and bookings. When opting for the pay-per-booking option, one should pay a 5% commission with a 3% credit card charge per booking.
Although HomeAway was rebranded to Vrbo in 2019, both vacation rental websites continue to operate successfully on the market.
Listing your property on HomeAway is an excellent way to increase the visibility of your business. Once you create a listing on HomeAway, it automatically appears on Vrbo as well. This means more eyes and, hence, more bookings for your vacation rental property.
It works both ways, and you can start to generate bookings on HomeAway, once listed on Vrbo.
Like HomeAway, Vrbo is also part of the Expedia Group and one of the most popular vacation rental sites for holiday seekers. Originally known as Vacation Rental By Owner, Vrbo provides vacation rentals in the United States. This makes it a good option for guests looking to travel to popular American tourist destinations.
To rent a property on Vrbo, hosts 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 3% credit card charge per booking.
Although Vrbo and HomeAway have 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, and treehouses), Vrbo and HomeAway allow hosts to list only private spaces. If you have a spare room to rent, keep in mind that you can’t advertise it on Vrbo and HomeAway.
Another difference is the type of audience Vrbo and HomeAway cater to. Since only private rentals are allowed on both vacation rental platforms, they attract older audiences who tend to travel with a family and are willing to spend more.
From a guest perspective, Vrbo and HomeAway are great for booking the entire property. It’s more convenient if you travel with family and kids. If you are into something more unusual and don’t mind renting shared spaces that are more affordable, Airbnb is the right website to check out.
Booking.com boasts more than 27 million properties listed on the platform with over 1.5 million nights booked daily. The site is primarily known for hotels and not vacation rentals. However, in recent years the number of vacation rentals listed on Booking.com has grown significantly.
Booking.com doesn’t have its payment system. Instead, it allows hosts to choose the payment options they prefer. As a result, Booking.com invoices hosts for the 15% commission owed on each booking. The costs are deducted from your account by direct debit.
If a guest cancels 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.
TripAdvisor was founded in 2000 and is one of the largest and oldest vacation rental sites. 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 more than 859 million reviews on hotels, restaurants, vacation rentals, and tourist attractions. It also owns a host of the best vacation rental sites for owners 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.
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. 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 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 yes, 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 rentals 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 full professional property management. 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 rentals 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.
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 what platforms you choose, 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 and Vrbo/HomeAway family sites and allows you to manage all the major aspects of your business hassle-free. With iGMS, you can: