If you travel regularly, you probably have used Airbnb at least a couple of times. And Airbnb is great, don’t get me wrong – it has even changed the way many of us travel. But if you’ve been looking for an alternative, you may have come across Vrbo. Similar product, offering home stays as opposed to hotels.
If you haven’t used it, you might be wondering is Vrbo better than Airbnb? Is it a worthy alternative?
Sit tight young grasshopper, as we tackle this thorny travel subject!
The pros of Airbnb
The main reason to use Airbnb is the sheer choice of accommodation wherever you’re heading in the world. Even if it’s an obscure town there is probably at least a couple of half decent Airbnb options, and they’re likely much cheaper than the local hotel. Or if not cheaper, a bit more appealing.
Airbnb also offers that home from home. A house or apartment with a kitchen, your private space and the opportunity to maybe even meet the locals – if that’s what you’re after.
And, the other great thing about Airbnb is that you can book long stays too. Long term travellers and the growing set of digital nomads have long praised Airbnb for helping them find a foothold in a new town. In fact when considering hotels vs Airbnb, it makes sense that Airbnb has seen a huge growth of popularity.
Airbnb has also embraced the travel experience, with options to book local guides and experiences – and more.
But where there are pros, there are also cons…
The cons of Airbnb
Nothing is perfect, so yes there are plenty of problems with Airbnb. So where do we start?
Low quality, or quality not as advertised is a common complaint for people using Airbnb. High prices, or escalating prices, especially in popular travel hangouts – and sometimes even straight up scams with people offering accommodation that isn’t even theirs.
Airbnb also adds a number of fees for cleaning, service and tax, which can sometimes multiply the cost for a nights stay by x2 or more.
So onto the golden question… Vrbo vs Airbnb? Which is best?
The pros of Vrbo
Vrbo offers almost exclusively homes and apartments to rent, meaning you are getting a home from home. There isn’t an option for shared housing like you get on Airbnb. But like Airbnb, you get to choose from a variety of apartments and homes in some of the most popular cities around the world.
Also Vrbo prices in most of the fees in the highlighted price. So if you see a price, when you click the listing, it won’t suddenly jump 10% with extras such as cleaning.
I also like how you don’t actually need a Vrbo account to book, you can just pop your details in and voila – away you go.
The cons of Vrbo
While Airbnb offers extras such as experiences and rooms in shared spaces, Vrbo doesn’t. So if you’re looking for the cheapest possible option, it probably won’t be on Vrbo.
And if you are looking for monthly rentals, there isn’t usually a long stay discount on Vrbo vs Airbnb. So if you’re looking for a home for a month or three, it will probably be cheaper on Airbnb. In theory.
And when it comes to choice – we’ve gotta hand it to Airbnb. There are still more options on Airbnb vs Vrbo. That’s not to say there isn’t much to choose from on Vrbo though – there is usually plenty. But it’s handling a different audience segment…
So, is Vrbo better than Airbnb?
The truth is, both have their benefits and neither is better than the other overall. We feel like Vrbo might shade Airbnb for fairly priced holiday homes in popular destinations – some great options if you’re travelling as a family, or staying somewhere for a few weeks. But Airbnb is still strong for hiring a room in a shared space, or longer stays – such as one month plus.
Take a look at Vrbo and see for yourself.
We think Vrbo is a great site and we have started to use it regularly, often after searching Airbnb. So far our experience has been excellent, but watch this space.
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