Discover VRBO Holiday Homes: The Ultimate Guide to Vacation Rentals

VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) has been a key player in the vacation rental market since its inception in 1995. It was founded by a retired teacher, David Clouse, aiming to rent out his own property. Since then, VRBO has grown into a global platform, now owned by Expedia Group, offering millions of properties in numerous countries. It stands out for its specialization in entire home rentals, making it a favorite among families and larger groups seeking space and privacy.

Vacation rental market dynamics have evolved dramatically, with platforms like VRBO facilitating a more connected, accessible, and diverse way of travel. Property owners now have the opportunity to generate income from their homes, while travelers enjoy the comfort of a home away from home.

Historically, VRBO differentiated itself with a subscription model for homeowners, which has contributed to its extensive listing base and loyal following. The acquisition by Expedia Group and subsequent branding and strategy shifts have further positioned VRBO as a leading choice for whole-property rentals.

For property investors and real estate owners, understanding VRBO’s origin, its role within the larger vacation rental market, and how it compares to other platforms is essential. This knowledge helps in making informed decisions about where to list properties for short-term rentals to maximize returns.

Infographic detailing the history and growth of VRBO, highlighting its rebranding in 2019, its focus on whole-property rentals, and its significant presence in the global vacation rental market. Key figures include over 2 million listings worldwide and its ownership by Expedia Group. The infographic also outlines the initial vision by David Clouse and the platform's evolution from a subscription model to a broader online marketplace. - vrbo holiday homes infographic infographic-line-5-steps

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Why Choose VRBO for Your Next Vacation

When it comes to planning your vacation, the accommodation you choose can make or break your experience. That’s where VRBO comes into play, offering a host of benefits that cater specifically to the needs of travelers looking for the perfect holiday home. Here’s why VRBO should be your go-to platform for your next vacation.

Lower Fees

One of the most appealing aspects of VRBO is its competitive pricing structure. Unlike other platforms that may charge high service fees, VRBO often offers lower fees for both guests and hosts. This means more savings for you, making it possible to splurge a little more on your vacation activities or extend your stay.

Better Filters

Searching for the perfect vacation rental can be like finding a needle in a haystack. However, VRBO simplifies this process with its intuitive filters. Whether you’re looking for a pet-friendly property, specific amenities like a pool or hot tub, or rentals highly rated for cleanliness, VRBO makes it easy to narrow down your options. This user-friendly approach saves you time and frustration, ensuring you find exactly what you’re looking for with minimal effort.

User Reviews

Hearing from fellow travelers can significantly influence your booking decision. VRBO understands this and provides extensive user reviews for each property. These reviews offer honest insights into the guest experience, covering everything from the accuracy of the listing to the quality of customer service. By reading these testimonials, you can book with confidence, knowing exactly what to expect from your chosen VRBO holiday home.

Intuitive Interface

Navigating a vacation rental platform shouldn’t feel like solving a puzzle. VRBO’s intuitive interface ensures a smooth and straightforward user experience, whether you’re browsing on a desktop or using their mobile app. The clean design, easy navigation, and clear call-to-action buttons make the process of finding and booking your next vacation rental as simple as a few clicks.

In conclusion, choosing VRBO for your next vacation offers numerous advantages, from saving money with lower fees to enjoying a seamless search experience with better filters and an intuitive interface. Coupled with the reliability of user reviews, VRBO stands out as a top choice for travelers seeking quality holiday homes. With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why VRBO is a favored platform for vacation rentals.

Moving forward, let’s delve into the costs associated with VRBO compared to hotels and Airbnb, to further understand the value it brings to your travel experiences.

Comparing Costs: VRBO vs. Hotels vs. Airbnb

When planning a vacation, the cost of accommodation is often at the forefront of our minds. It’s not just about finding a place to stay; it’s about finding a place that offers the best value for our money. This is where VRBO holiday homes come into the picture, offering a unique blend of comfort, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. But how do they stack up against traditional hotels and the popular platform Airbnb? Let’s break it down.

Price Trends

Over the years, we’ve seen a significant shift in how travelers choose their accommodations. More and more, travelers are looking for spaces that offer a home away from home, without breaking the bank. VRBO, with its wide range of options, has become a go-to for those seeking value. Generally, VRBO listings tend to be priced competitively, especially when you consider the added space and amenities they offer compared to hotels.

Which? Research Findings

Research conducted by consumer organizations like Which? has shed some light on the cost-effectiveness of vacation rentals. Their findings suggest that vacation rentals, including those listed on VRBO, can offer significant savings over hotels, particularly in sought-after destinations. This is attributed to the competitive nature of the market and the direct relationship between property owners and renters.

Average Costs

While it’s challenging to pinpoint exact numbers due to the variability in location, season, and type of accommodation, a few patterns have emerged:
– For short stays, hotels might sometimes appear cheaper at first glance. However, when you factor in additional costs like dining out for every meal (since most hotel rooms lack kitchens), the scales often tip in favor of VRBO rentals.
– For longer stays or larger groups, VRBO holiday homes usually offer a much better deal. With full homes or apartments at your disposal, you can split costs more effectively, enjoy home-cooked meals, and often find locations that hotels can’t match.
– When comparing VRBO to Airbnb, the costs can vary widely based on the specific property and location. However, VRBO tends to focus more on whole-property rentals, which can be more cost-effective for families and larger groups wanting privacy and space.

The Bottom Line

Choosing between VRBO, hotels, and Airbnb will depend on your specific travel needs, preferences, and budget. However, for those prioritizing space, privacy, and the feeling of living like a local, VRBO holiday homes often emerge as the clear winner in terms of value. They not only provide a more personalized and comfortable experience but also offer the potential for significant savings, especially for longer stays and larger groups.

We’ll explore the evolution of vacation rentals from HomeAway to VRBO, providing a deeper understanding of how this platform has become a preferred choice for travelers worldwide.

The Evolution of Vacation Rentals: From HomeAway to VRBO

The vacation rental industry has seen a lot of changes over the years, but one of the most significant shifts was the transformation of HomeAway into VRBO. Let’s dive into this fascinating journey.

HomeAway’s Beginnings

HomeAway was founded in 2005, born out of a simple idea: to connect homeowners who wanted to rent out their properties with travelers looking for accommodations that felt like home. This concept quickly caught on, and HomeAway grew to become a giant in the vacation rental market.

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But the story didn’t stop there. In 2006, HomeAway made a pivotal move by acquiring VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner). VRBO was already a popular platform, established in 1995 by David Clouse in Aurora, Colorado. Clouse’s goal was to rent out his Breckenridge Ski Resort condo, but he ended up creating a platform that would transform the vacation rental industry. By the time of the acquisition, VRBO boasted over 65,000 listings.

A New Chapter: The Rebranding to VRBO

In March 2019, a significant rebranding occurred. VRBO, previously known as Vacation Rentals by Owner, underwent a transformation. This wasn’t just about a new logo or a change in the website’s design. It was a strategic move to streamline the brand and make it more accessible to users worldwide. The rebranding included a new pronunciation (VER-boh), capitalization, and a focus on a more user-friendly experience.

VRBO logo - vrbo holiday homes

This change was more than cosmetic. It reflected a deeper shift in the vacation rental market. Travelers were looking for more than just a place to stay. They wanted experiences, comfort, and the feeling of being at home, anywhere in the world. VRBO’s rebranding aimed to meet these evolving consumer demands.

Why This Matters

The evolution from HomeAway to VRBO is a testament to the dynamic nature of the vacation rental industry. It shows how companies must adapt to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of travelers. For property owners and guests alike, VRBO’s journey from a simple idea to a global platform offers valuable insights into the market’s future.

As we consider the transformation of HomeAway to VRBO, it’s clear that this evolution has played a crucial role in shaping the vacation rental industry. It’s not just about a name change; it’s about adapting to the needs of modern travelers and property owners, ensuring a seamless, enjoyable experience for all parties involved.

Keep in mind how these changes have influenced the way we think about vacation rentals today. VRBO holiday homes have become synonymous with quality, reliability, and the promise of a memorable stay, thanks in part to the platform’s rich history and continuous innovation.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to find the perfect VRBO holiday home, focusing on the tools and features that make VRBO a top choice for travelers seeking the ideal vacation rental.

How to Find the Perfect VRBO Holiday Home

Finding the perfect VRBO holiday home doesn’t have to be like searching for a needle in a haystack. With the right approach, you can easily pinpoint a vacation rental that meets all your needs. Let’s dive into how you can leverage VRBO’s features to find your dream holiday home.

Filter by Reviews: One of the most reliable ways to ensure your stay is up to your expectations is to filter properties by user reviews. Positive feedback and high ratings from previous guests are strong indicators of a property’s quality. VRBO’s intuitive platform allows you to quickly sort homes based on their review scores, making it easier to find highly recommended stays.

Cleanliness Ratings: Cleanliness is more important than ever. VRBO understands this and provides cleanliness ratings for each listing. This feature allows you to filter your search results to include only homes that meet high hygiene standards. Look for properties with top cleanliness ratings to ensure a safe and comfortable environment during your stay.

Star Ratings: Similar to reviews, star ratings give you a quick overview of a property’s overall quality. Use VRBO’s filter to sort properties by their star ratings, helping you to focus on the homes that offer the best experience according to other travelers.

Location-Specific Searches: Whether you’re looking for a beachfront villa or a cozy cabin in the woods, VRBO makes it easy to search for holiday homes based on specific locations. Simply use the search bar to look for “vrbo holiday homes near me” or enter your desired destination to see a list of available properties in the area. This feature is particularly useful for tailoring your search to fit your travel itinerary.

By taking advantage of these filters and features, you can significantly streamline your search for the perfect VRBO holiday home. The key to a successful vacation rental experience lies in knowing exactly what you want and using the available tools to find it.

We’ll discuss how to make the most of your VRBO stay, from communicating with your host to ensuring the property is well-maintained throughout your visit. Stay tuned for practical tips on enhancing your vacation rental experience.

Making the Most of Your VRBO Stay

When you book one of the many VRBO holiday homes for your vacation, you’re stepping into a space that promises comfort, privacy, and the feeling of a home-away-from-home. To ensure your stay is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, there are a few key areas to focus on: guest communications, housekeeping, and maintenance coordination. Let’s dive into each of these to help you maximize your VRBO experience.

Guest Communications

The foundation of a great VRBO stay is clear and open communication with your host. From the moment you book until you check out, don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns. Here’s how:

  • Before Arrival: Confirm your check-in time and ask any last-minute questions. It’s also a good idea to ask for local recommendations.
  • During Your Stay: Should issues arise, inform your host immediately. They’re there to help ensure your stay is comfortable.
  • After Your Stay: Leave a review and provide honest feedback. Your insights help hosts improve and guide future guests.

Good communication sets the stage for a positive guest experience and demonstrates your host’s commitment to your satisfaction.


A clean and well-prepared space is crucial for a memorable stay. Here’s what to look for and how to address any concerns:

  • Upon Arrival: Check the cleanliness of the space. If it’s not up to standard, contact your host right away.
  • During Your Stay: Treat the home with respect. While you’re not expected to deep clean, leaving the space tidy is appreciated.
  • Before Departure: Follow any check-out instructions related to housekeeping. This might include stripping the beds or taking out the trash.

Maintenance Coordination

Even in the best-maintained homes, issues can pop up. Here’s how to handle them:

  • Report Promptly: If something breaks or isn’t working, let your host know as soon as possible. They should provide clear instructions on how to address the issue or offer to fix it themselves.
  • Be Understanding: Maintenance issues are often unforeseen. A bit of patience and flexibility can go a long way.
  • Follow Up: If the issue impacts your stay significantly, discuss this with your host. They might offer a partial refund or another form of compensation.

By focusing on these three key areas, you can ensure your stay in vrbo holiday homes is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible. The goal of VRBO and your hosts is to provide a comfortable and memorable experience. With a bit of preparation and proactive communication, you can make the most of your VRBO stay.

As we move into the next section, keep these tips in mind to enhance your vacation rental experience and ensure a pleasant and comfortable stay in your chosen VRBO holiday home.

Frequently Asked Questions about VRBO Holiday Homes

When it comes to planning your vacation, choosing the right platform for booking your stay is crucial. VRBO holiday homes offer a unique experience, but you might have questions about how it compares to other options like Airbnb or hotels. Let’s dive into some of the most common queries.

Is it cheaper to list with Vrbo or Airbnb?

Listing fees vary between VRBO and Airbnb. VRBO offers two pricing models: a pay-per-booking option and an annual subscription. The pay-per-booking option is great for those who rent out their property less frequently, as it charges a percentage of each booking. The annual subscription is cost-effective for those with high rental frequency, charging a flat fee for unlimited bookings.

Airbnb charges hosts a flat service fee for each booking, which is typically around 3% of the booking total.

In summary, whether VRBO or Airbnb is cheaper for listing your property depends on how often you plan to rent it out. For frequent rentals, VRBO’s annual subscription might offer better value. For less frequent rentals, Airbnb’s model could be more cost-effective.

Why do people use Vrbo instead of Airbnb?

Privacy and space are the main reasons. VRBO specializes in whole-house rentals, making it ideal for families, large groups, or travelers seeking more privacy. This focus on private accommodations ensures guests can enjoy a space entirely to themselves without the worry of shared spaces, which are more common on Airbnb.

Moreover, VRBO’s intuitive filter functionality and user review system make it easier for travelers to find properties that meet their specific needs, such as pet-friendly options or homes with exceptional cleanliness ratings.

Is Vrbo cheaper than a hotel?

Cost-effectiveness is a significant advantage of choosing VRBO holiday homes over hotels. On average, VRBO rentals offer more space, privacy, and amenities like full kitchens, which can lead to savings on meals and entertainment. For longer stays, VRBO properties can be significantly more cost-effective, offering lower nightly rates for extended bookings compared to hotels.

Additionally, the experience of staying in a VRBO holiday home can offer a more personalized and unique stay, often in locations where hotels might not be available or would be significantly more expensive.

In conclusion, VRBO holiday homes provide a compelling alternative to traditional hotel stays, offering privacy, space, and often better value for money. Whether you’re a property owner considering where to list your vacation rental or a traveler planning your next getaway, understanding the differences between VRBO, Airbnb, and hotels can help you make the best choice for your needs and budget. As we continue to explore vacation rentals, the perfect stay is out there, waiting for you to discover it.


After diving deep into VRBO holiday homes, it’s clear that finding the right vacation rental can significantly enhance your travel experience. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot for a weekend escape or a spacious abode for a family gathering, VRBO offers a wide array of options to suit every traveler’s needs. But the journey doesn’t end with finding the perfect listing. Ensuring a memorable and hassle-free stay is where Weekender Management steps in, especially if your travels take you to the beautiful Northwest Arkansas.

Weekender Management is not just another property management company. We’re your full-service partner in making every vacation rental experience in Northwest Arkansas seamless and stress-free. Our expertise in managing VRBO holiday homes means we’ve got everything covered—from ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness to providing that personal touch that makes your stay unique.

Why choose us? It’s simple:

  • Local Expertise: Northwest Arkansas is our home. We know the best spots, the hidden gems, and how to enhance your stay beyond just providing a place to sleep.
  • Quality Assurance: Every property we manage meets rigorous standards. We handle all the details, so you can focus on enjoying your stay.
  • Personalized Experience: We believe in making every guest feel special. Our team is always on hand to assist with any needs or questions you may have.
  • Peace of Mind for Property Owners: For those looking to list their properties on VRBO, partnering with us means knowing your investment is in good hands. We take care of everything from marketing to maintenance.

Northwest Arkansas is a region brimming with culture, natural beauty, and adventure. By choosing a VRBO holiday home managed by Weekender Management, you’re not just booking a vacation rental; you’re unlocking the door to an unforgettable experience. Explore the vibrant arts scene, indulge in the local cuisine, or simply unwind in the comfort of your home away from home.

For travelers and property owners alike, the choice is clear. Let Weekender Management enhance your journey in Northwest Arkansas. Discover how we can make a difference in your vacation rental experience by visiting our service page.

Unlock the full potential of your property or find your ideal VRBO holiday home in the heart of Northwest Arkansas. Happy travels!

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