Many families are researching options beyond hotels for their upcoming vacations. Vacation home rentals have surged in popularity in recent years, offering spacious accommodations and home-like amenities at competitive rates. One site at the forefront of this industry is VRBO.
VRBO (which stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner) has become a go-to platform for listing and discovering short-term vacation home rentals since its debut over 25 years ago. Originally founded in 1995 as Vacation Rentals by Owner by David Clouse, VRBO was created as an online marketplace for homeowners to list their properties directly to vacationers. This allowed families to bypass traditional hotel stays in favor of unique houses, condos and cabins in popular destinations worldwide.
Over the past two decades, VRBO has cemented itself as a leader in the alternative accommodation space. They have built a robust portfolio of over 2 million properties listed across 190 countries. To date, they have facilitated over 400 million vacations for its network of homeowners and travelers.
One of the key advantages of VRBO is the breadth and variety of rental accommodations available. Given that listings come directly from owners, users can discover everything from sprawling beach houses to cozy ski chalets, city condos to quaint cottages and more. Listings contain detailed descriptions of amenities, location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, accessibility features and much more. Travelers can filter rentals based on criteria like property type, location, size, budget and amenities to find their perfect match.
With over 2 million listings, travelers can find a VRBO rental property virtually anywhere they want to vacation. Some of their most popular destinations based on listing volume include traditional vacation hot spots like Florida, California, Hawaii, the Carolina beaches as well as major cities like New York, Chicago and Austin. International destinations like Italy, Spain, France and Canada also make the list.
Another advantage of booking vacation homes through VRBO is direct contact with homeowners and property managers during the rental process. Travelers can inquire about specific rental details, local attractions, pet policies and more before confirming their reservation. Some rentals may also include access to amenities or perks that typical hotels can’t match like private pools, media rooms, golf carts and more.
While early criticism of vacation home listings often centered around inconsistent quality or rental terms, VRBO has invested heavily in products, programs and policies to address these concerns. They offer a Book with Confidence Guarantee allowing travelers to report issues to VRBO for investigation and potential rebooking assistance if a property falls below expectations. They also provide a Damage Protection service that covers accidental damage to many properties for additional peace of mind. To ensure quality listings, they offer Homeowner Standards that rental owners and managers must adhere to covering property descriptions, terms of service and more.
Looking ahead, industry analysts predict vacation home rentals – and demand for sites like VRBO – will continue rising steadily in the years ahead. PwC reports alternative accommodations are expected to grow at twice the rate of traditional hotels in the next several years. With over half of their travelers repeating use for future vacations, VRBO seems poised to capitalize on shifting travel preferences – especially for multi-generational family escapes that their spacious offerings cater towards perfectly.
So whether you dream of watching the sunset over the ocean, stargazing from a cozy mountain hideaway or creating cherished memories in a spacious home away from home, VRBO offers the world’s largest selection of incredible rental properties to choose from. Why settle for a boring hotel room when exciting and affordable vacation home rentals are just a click away? The vacation of your dreams awaits…happy travels!
The top 10 booked destinations on VRBO:
- Florida – With popular vacation spots like Orlando, Miami, Key West and endless beautiful beaches, Florida is likely a top destination for VRBO bookings.
- California – Another state with abundant vacation rental options from LA to San Diego to Northern California wine regions and more.
- Hawaii – Picturesque beaches and tropical locales make Hawaii a perpetual favorite vacation rental destination.
- Smoky Mountains – This region spanning Tennessee and North Carolina offers mountain cabins and natural beauty drawing VRBO visitors.
- Outer Banks, North Carolina – Miles of beaches and family-friendly amenities are a recipe for VRBO success.
- Colorado – Ski resort rentals near Denver, Aspen and more bring VRBO bookings to the Rocky Mountain state.
- Texas Hill Country – An up and coming VRBO destination between Austin and San Antonio offering rentals near vineyards, state parks and more.
- Coastal Maine – Quaint New England beach towns and dramatic shores attract VRBO travelers.
- Poconos Region – Woodsy cabins near lakes and outdoor recreation tempt VRBO guests.
- Lake Tahoe – Both the California and Nevada sides of stunning Lake Tahoe are hotspots for vacation home bookings.
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