One of the fastest-growing trends in the travel industry is the vacation rental. Rather than booking a hotel room, guests will plan to rent private property for their trip. Many travelers now prefer to stay in individuals’ homes rather than chain offerings. This increase has necessitated the need for platforms whereby guests and hosts can meet. Regardless of the platform, there are some features that each has in common that will help everyone involved communicate to plan a successful trip.
Features of Vacation Rental Websites
Vacation rental websites, first of all, need to be intuitive. The private property owner or guest visiting the site need to be able to navigate easily, surveying all the amenities and viewing photos. Guests need to know that their host is open, helpful and willing to communicate before making the booking.
One of the benefits of privately owned rentals is the assurance that the guest will receive personal attention. If you choose a beach house for your holidays, you will have the comfort of a private or semi-private beach property.
There will be different types of rentals available across the platform, with easy access on the site. Booking will be straightforward, with payment possible on the website.
For owners, management of vacation rentals is simplified, with more successful advertising. There are even some that allow you to upload a free vacation rental listing.
FlipKey Vacation Rental Website
The FlipKey website works well for both property owners and guests. This site receives good reviews for its services and provides guests with an opportunity to review the properties and owners with whom they do business.
If you are a host, you will find that it is fairly easy to advertise your offerings on FlipKey. You’ll create an account and add relevant details, such as whether or not it is near a beach, and guests will be able to book immediately. Advertisements are part of the package.
As a guest, you can enter your destination in the search field. This, along with the dates of your journey, will pull up available listings in that area. You can use additional filters if you prefer non-smoking, pet-friendly, or within sight of a beach.
FlipKey gives guests the ability to contact the host personally and make payments. The platform also acts somewhat like a travel agent, giving you ideas of area tours and local points of interest.
With FlipKey, guests will find that they can find various categories of vacation rentals. Additionally, information about parking, the number of bedrooms, beach fees or access (and much more) is available on their platform. Furthermore, they register their top properties all over the world, which draws in even more interest from international guests.
VRBO Vacation Rental Website
When you use VRBO, you will be doing business with one of the original companies in the industry. Guests find that the site is easy to use, and owners find that is simple to upload and advertise their property. They were among the first to realize that many travelers would prefer the privacy and space afforded by renting out private property.
VRBO stands for Vacation Rental by Owner, and for over 20 years has been one of the first sites that property owners will use when they want to register their own home or other rentals for use by travelers.
VRBO and HomeAway merged a few years ago to form the largest rental platform in the US. However, VRBO has kept its own website separate. As hosting fees are the same for both sites, many hosts find that the bundling option gains more visibility for their properties because they are advertised in more places.
The site helps travelers save money on their lodging and dining while helping hosts make extra money by renting out their homes.
VRBO is a leading site for beach properties, too. Owners with private beach homes often have great success when they join the list of vacation rentals.
HomeAway Vacation Rental Website
HomeAway has a more international reach than VRBO. While the former does deal with overseas properties, its biggest market remains in the US. HomeAway has listings in nearly 200 countries.
Hosts find that HomeAway makes management of bookings easier, the site advertises the benefits of vacation rentals over traditional hotel rooms. HomeAway also advertises properties for hosts.
This platform acquired VRBO in 2006, when it was founded. Then in 2015, HomeAway was bought by Expedia. So, it’s clear this is a huge company, with a very global reach. It has nearly a dozen brands worldwide, including New Zealand, Brazil, Asia Pacific area, and most of Europe.
Travelers find that their options for overseas travel have significantly increased because of affordability of lodging through HomeAway and other vacation rental platforms. Some say they have been able to visit a beach on every continent because of the lodging opportunities.
Many people hoping to find spacious vacation property will turn to HomeAway to find a beach home for their family. The company also stresses the improved privacy travelers can find through an independent rental. Travelers have full use of the kitchen and living areas and enjoy the seclusion of a private home. And, with vacation rentals, this comfort is often more affordable than a cramped hotel room.
Airbnb Vacation Rental Website
Airbnb is one of the leading vacation rental platforms. Its biggest competitors are the merged HomeAway and VRBO. The company was formed to provide a networking opportunity for homeowners and travelers, making it easier for people to rent out their property, regardless of its size.
Airbnb focuses on helping hosts rent extra bedrooms, apartments, or even a whole house. Hosts can present all of their properties in one place. It gives people with bed and breakfast properties a place to recruit travelers.
Many privately owned B&Bs have only one or two rooms, and were built specifically for a little extra income. With Airbnb, travelers can find a bed and breakfast in remote areas where chain hotels may not have facilities. Or they can live like a local in a native’s apartment.
Airbnb offers customer service through telephone or email, so travelers and hosts alike have access to problem-solving. They have an effective help center which provides answers to most Airbnb management questions.
Most vacation rental websites allow travelers to leave reviews about the property they book. But, Airbnb also allows hosts to leave reviews about guests. This feature is very useful, allowing hosts to look for any reports of destruction or abuse and to judge a guest’s character before accepting.
Travelers often come to Airbnb because they expect to find non-hotel lodging in the form of single rooms or apartments. Of course, the platform also registers entire houses, villas, and other types of lodging such as beach huts, bungalows and tree houses!
The HolidayLettings website belongs to the TripAdvisor family of accommodation providers. They were founded in 1999 and now have more than 400,000 homes listed in over 150 countries. Owners or management can list any type of residence on the HolidayLettings site – from camper vans to cottages and more. While guests can contact with friendly hosts and make a booking via the platform.