VRBO Vacation Rentals Review and How To
Vacation Rentals by Owner
We love VRBO! Every year, my family and I go on a vacation. Or two. Or three! We love to travel together. There are fifteen of us in all, however, so we usually try to rent a large vacation house. Over the years, we’ve used numerous rental agencies, but a few years ago, I stumbled upon a website called “Vacation Rentals By Owner,” or VRBO for short. We've used VRBO numerous times for beachfront and oceanfront rentals, island vacation rentals, and for mountain rentals. If you haven’t tried renting through VRBO, mosey on over and give it a gander!
From my experience, I’ve found the rental prices offered on VRBO to be significantly cheaper than renting through an agency, so they’re great for budget travel. There’s no middle man – you rent directly from the property owner, so that fee is eliminated. The savings can amount to hundreds of dollars for a week’s stay.
Oftentimes, the more people in your party, the more money you can save. How? By renting a larger home. Sure, the overall rental fee will probably be higher, but you’ll get to split the cost more. For example, we rented a huge house for $3,000 per week. It had a private pool, a private dock on a saltwater canal, lots of room, and tons of amenities. Four couples were totally comfortable in the home, so we each had to pay just $750 for a week in paradise.
How to Use VRBO
Getting started on VRBO is easy! Just visit www.vrbo.com. And peruse the map. You can find rentals in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Canada, the South Pacific, and in every U.S. state, including Alaska and Hawaii. Every continent except for Antarctica is represented.
The selection of vacation rentals is truly amazing! You’ll find small houses, rustic cabins, condominiums, townhouses, apartments, penthouses, villas, chalets, cottages, and expansive luxury homes with pools, elevators, and gourmet kitchens. Some rental homes even come complete with their own golf cart and boat! For others, especially those outside the U.S., you can choose a budget vacation by staying with a local family. Not only does this save money, you’ll also have built-in guides to help familiarize you with the area.
In accordance with the variety of accommodations, you’ll also find a wide range of prices, including some for budget travel. For popular locales and vacation destinations, you’ll find such a unique range of listings that you’re sure to find something to fit your budget and your individual taste.
After selecting the area in which you’re interested, a listing of towns or regions will pop up. After choosing one of these, specific properties that are available for vacation rental will appear. You can sort these by number of bedrooms, number of guests allowed, and by the listings with photos. Actually, I’ve never seen a listing without photos of the property, but I guess they do exist.
Once you see a likely property, click on it. The owners provide a descriptive narrative of the property, often including nearby attractions. There’s also a table that informs you about the types of beds in the unit and the number of bathrooms, and whether or not it has air conditioning, a swimming pool, a hot tub, or wifi. Amenities like TVs, DVD players, kitchen utensils, outdoor grills, and appliances are also listed. The table will let you know if the sheets and linens are provided, too, and whether or not the unit is kid friendly and pet friendly.
Below the table, the rental fees are listed. Most prices are seasonal, so you can save money by vacationing in off-season weeks. You can also check the provided calendar to see which dates are already booked. Some owners don’t keep their calendar up to date, so it’s always best to contact the owner before making your final plans. Some owners also offer great deals during the off season, so be sure to ask about these.
You can contact the owner by email or phone in most cases, and from our experience with Vacation Rentals By Owner, the owners are very quick to respond to inquiries.
Vacation rental agencies always charge a security deposit, but many VRBO owners don’t. Another plus to renting directly from an owner is the amazing choice of “extras” often provided. These might include beach chairs, umbrellas, beach toys, large beach towels, coolers, floats, fishing gear, and other sports equipment.
The VRBO units are largely owned by those who use their vacation homes often, so the homes are usually well furnished with lots of conveniences. To rent a vacation unit in the height of the tourist season, however, you’ll need to be quick and plan ahead. The most attractive units usually get booked up fairly quickly. Even so, there are usually so many listings, you'll have an excellent chance of finding just what you're looking for on VRBO!
Read more about travel:
- find great vacation deals in the US and Caribbean
Cheap vacations, travel tips, great beaches, all inclusive, hotel package deals
- Family Vacation - Port Richey Vacation
My family and I just spent a week in Port Richey, Florida, for our family vacation. We had planned on going to the Redneck Riviera, but the oil leak changed that. I was trying to decide on a place for...
- Best U.S. Beaches for Families, with Videos
The United States is blessed with miles and miles of seashore on the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico. With all this shoreline comes many, many wonderful beaches. Some are great for surfing,...
- Bahamas Out Islands: Eleuthera, with Video Tours
Where do members of the British Royal Family go when they want to get away from it all on a tropical island? Eleuthera! Its an undeveloped natural island with rocky cliffs, pink and white sandy beaches,...
- Christmas Magic at Biltmore House, with Video Tours
Who says America has no castles? Okay, grantedwe dont have ancient stone fortresses with turrets and moats like Europe, but the Biltmore House is pretty darn close! In fact, its the largest...
- Horseback Riding Vacations: An Overview
Experience a cowboy vacation. The remuda. Herd cattle. Learn to rope. Some guest ranches have their own Old West town. There's a horse for just about everybody! Round up strays. Ever dreamed of being a...
- Paradise in the Bahamas: Atlantis - an Overview, with Videos
Paradise Island is in the Bahamas, just across a short bridge from Nassau. The island is named appropriately it truly is a tropical paradise! No written description does the natural beauty of this...
- Best Resorts in Nassau, Bahamas, with Photos and Video Tours
Nassau is the ultimate beach vacation experience. If youve never been, the first thing that will fascinate you is the impossible shades of the water. It ranges from baby blue to turquoise to the dark blue...
- Anna Maria Island Vacations: Best Beaches, with Photo Tour
Anna Maria Island is located just south of Tampa, in the Gulf of Mexico. It's just across the bay from Bradenton and Sarasota. The island is laid back and friendly, and it has some great beaches. There's a...
More by this Author
A humorous look at southern dialect, slang, and funny sayings. Written by a true southerner.
A photo tour of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, formerly known as the Georgia Agrirama.
Crabmeat is one of the most succulent and delicious of all types of flesh. In fact, it’s near the very top of my list, and I’ve spent years catching and cooking the shelled critters! I've come up with some...