Vacation Rental Guide / What is HomeAway Vacation Rentals? / HomeAway vs VRBO: Pros and cons for vacation rental owners

Two of the biggest names in the industry, HomeAway and VRBO, actually belong to the same company.

HomeAway vs VRBO

If you’re familiar with the industry already, you’ll have heard both names before. But you may not have known that they are the same company. No matter if you’re trying to book a trip and you don’t know which site to make your reservation on, or you’re thinking about listing your own property. We can tell you everything you’d like to know before joining the community.

How and When Did HomeAway and VRBO Join Forces?

VRBO is one of the original OTAs for vacation rentals. Having been around since 1996, Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) has come to be one of the world’s most trusted rental brands for hosts and travelers alike. HomeAway came around just under a decade after, in 2005. It then went on to acquire VRBO and another site,, in 2007. As of 2016, the company family now consists of 12 different websites including the three mentioned previously.

Pros and Cons of Using HomeAway and VRBO Websites

As they both belong to the same parent company, it’s no surprise that they also share the same features and homes.

homeaway vs vrbo

They currently boast more than one million listings for renters to choose from, and their search functions are often praised for being the best in the industry. Both sites even offer insurance policies which, although they may be expensive, are unbeatable by their competitors. With offerings in 190 countries (e.g. across 99% of the world), there are plenty of places to choose from, whether you’re a homeowner or a traveler.

Let’s have a look at some of the pros and cons to rent using HomeAway for owners or VRBO:


  • More than a million homes worldwide
  • Secure payment method for many properties (though not all of them)
  • Options for instant booking
  • Detailed profiles, including great descriptions, lots of photos, availability calendars, clickable maps and plenty of guest reviews
  • Paperwork: e.g. rental guarantee, damage insurance and cancellation insurance all available
  • Mobile-friendly – the website is optimized for mobile devices and tablets
  • Round-the-clock customer support.


  • Can be seen as an expensive option compared to other sites. Owners can either pay $349 for the year (with Instant Booking activated) or pay a 10% fee every time they receive a confirmation.
  • The costs for paperwork such as rental guarantee, damage insurance and cancellation insurance can quickly add up and be a turn-off for renters.
  • Like Airbnb, additional costs for guests such as service fees.