What is a Vrbo?

Vrbo, an acronym for Vacation Rentals by Owner, is a leading online marketplace connecting travelers with unique and diverse vacation rental properties worldwide. Founded in 1995, Vrbo has grown to offer over 2 million vacation rentals in over 190 countries, providing travelers with a vast selection of accommodations to suit their individual needs and preferences.

How Does Vrbo Work?

Vrbo’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for both travelers and homeowners to navigate the platform. Travelers can browse through a vast selection of properties, filtering their search by location, type of property, amenities, price, and more. Once they’ve found the perfect property, they can contact the homeowner directly or book instantly through the secure Vrbo platform.

For homeowners, Vrbo provides a simple and effective way to list and rent their properties to a global audience. The platform handles all the administrative tasks, including payments, communication with guests, and reviews. Homeowners can create detailed property listings with photos, descriptions, and pricing information, ensuring that their properties are showcased to their full potential.

Key Features of Vrbo

  • Extensive property selection: Vrbo has over 2 million vacation rentals in over 190 countries, so you’re sure to find the perfect property for your needs.
  • Direct communication with hosts: You can communicate directly with the property owner or manager, so you can ask questions and get personalized recommendations before you book.
  • Advanced search filters: You can refine your search by location, property type, amenities, price, and more.
  • Secure booking and payment process: Vrbo uses secure booking and payment systems to protect your financial information.
  • OneKey rewards program: You can earn rewards points on your bookings, which can be redeemed for discounts on future stays.
  • Premier Partner program: This program recognizes and rewards property owners who provide exceptional guest experiences.
  • Mobile app: The Vrbo app makes it easy to browse and book rentals, manage your bookings, and communicate with hosts on the go.
  • Travel insurance: Vrbo offers optional travel insurance to protect you against unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellation or interruption.
  • 24/7 customer support: Vrbo has a team of customer service representatives who are available 24/7 to assist you with any questions or concerns.

What Makes Vrbo Unique?

Vrbo distinguishes itself from other vacation rental platforms in several key ways:

  • Focus on Entire Homes: Vrbo exclusively lists entire homes, ensuring that guests have the entire property to themselves, providing a more private and comfortable experience compared to shared accommodations.
  • Diverse Property Types: Vrbo offers a wide range of property types, catering to a variety of travel styles and preferences. From cozy cabins in the mountains to luxurious beach villas, there’s a Vrbo rental to match every traveler’s dream vacation.
  • Direct Communication with Hosts: Vrbo facilitates direct communication between guests and property owners, fostering a more personalized and responsive experience. This direct connection allows travelers to gain insights into the property and the surrounding area from the hosts’ firsthand knowledge.
  • Extensive Search Filters: Vrbo’s advanced search filters enable travelers to refine their search based on specific criteria, such as property type, location, amenities, price range, and accessibility features. This comprehensive filtering system ensures that travelers can find the perfect rental that matches their exact requirements.
  • Secure Booking and Payment Process: Vrbo employs secure booking and payment systems to protect both guests and property owners, ensuring a safe and transparent transaction process.

Benefits of Booking with Vrbo

  • Home-away-from-home Experience: Vrbo rentals often provide a more spacious and comfortable living environment compared to traditional hotel rooms, allowing guests to feel more at home during their stay.
  • Cost-Effective Options: Vrbo rentals can be more cost-effective, especially for larger groups or families, as they offer more space and amenities compared to hotel rooms.
  • Local Insights and Recommendations: Vrbo hosts often provide valuable insights and recommendations on local attractions, restaurants, and activities, enhancing the overall travel experience.
  • Unique and Diverse Properties: Vrbo’s extensive selection of properties includes unique and unconventional accommodations, offering travelers the opportunity to experience something truly special.
  • Personalized Service and Communication: Direct communication with property owners ensures a more personalized and responsive service, addressing any questions or concerns promptly.

Vrbo Fees

Vrbo charges a service fee to both travelers and homeowners. The service fee for travelers is typically around 5-15% of the total booking cost, while the service fee for homeowners is typically around 3-10% of the total booking cost.

Vrbo Safety

Vrbo takes a number of steps to ensure the safety of its users, including:

  • Verifying homeowner identities. Vrbo verifies the identities of homeowners using a variety of methods, including ID verification and background checks.
  • Offering a secure booking platform. Vrbo uses a secure booking platform to protect travelers’ payments and personal information.
  • Providing a guest guarantee. Vrbo offers a guest guarantee that protects travelers in the event of a property cancellation or other issue.


Embrace the world of unique and memorable vacation experiences with Vrbo, your gateway to over two million vacation rentals across the globe. Discover the privacy, comfort, and spaciousness of entire homes, tailored to your travel style and preferences. Embark on unforgettable journeys with Vrbo, your trusted partner for creating lasting memories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does Vrbo do?

Vrbo is an online marketplace that connects travelers with homeowners, providing a vast selection of vacation rentals across the globe. With over two million properties in over 190 countries, Vrbo caters to an array of travel styles and preferences, ensuring a memorable and personalized vacation experience for every guest. 

Why do they call it Vrbo?

Vrbo is an abbreviation of “Vacation Rentals by Owner”. The company was founded in 1995 and was originally called HomeAway. In 2015, Expedia Group acquired HomeAway and rebranded it as Vrbo. 

Is Vrbo the same as HomeAway?

Vrbo and HomeAway are both owned by Expedia Group and offer similar vacation rental services. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms. Vrbo is focused exclusively on entire homes, while HomeAway also offers vacation rentals of individual rooms and apartments. Additionally, Vrbo has a stronger focus on luxury properties, while HomeAway caters to a wider range of budgets.

What is a Vrbo account?

A Vrbo account allows you to search for and book vacation rentals, save your favorite properties, and manage your bookings. You can also create a Vrbo account to become a host and rent out your own vacation property. 

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Razib is a skilled writer with 5 years of experience specializing in technology, finance, automotive and real estate. A BBA graduate from 2014, Razib's passion for these industries shines through in his informative and engaging content. His ability to break down complex topics and stay current on the latest trends makes him a valuable resource for readers seeking to understand these dynamic fields.

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