If you want to go on vacation and you don’t want to fork over a ridiculous amount of money on a hotel room that has a bed, tv, and bathroom then you need to think outside the box. That is where peer to peer vacation rentals come in handy.
I love to travel and I like it when each member of my family gets a room of their own and when we have a nice kitchen to cook meals in. Don’t get me wrong hotels are fun to stay in and they serve there purpose but I am not made of money and I know that there is always a good deal out there somewhere. You are going to be hard pressed to find a good deal on a hotel room.
I am a family man that has a wife and three kids and I really like having my own room with my wife and when we share a hotel room with three kids privacy will never happen and if you do get it you have it for maybe five minutes. If we have a sporting event and we only need to stay one night and no other family to share with then we will use the hotel and the kids do love the pool. But if we are staying more than one night and we have some other family to share with then the peer to peer rental option is the way to go.
You are usually paying the same amount for a multiple bedroom condo or house per night then what you are paying for a hotel room. To me it is a no brainer if you have someone to share with. Usually you have to rent for multiple nights. Of course you always have the exceptions but you usually have to pay for multiple nights especially if it is a nice place.
In the peer to peer rental world you have three main players and they are VRBO, Homeaway and AirBnb.
They primarily focus on home and condo rentals. So they do not rent out any rooms or shared spaces. They have an incredible amount of listings with over 2 million rentals world wide. Basically you have an home owner that wants to rent their home or condo to make a few extra bucks and you have a renter that wants to rent a place. You used to have to go through a rental agency or craigslist. Now the renter goes to VRBO.com and put in where they want to stay and the dates and then the website lists all of the available places to rent with pricing. All the money and everything is handled through VRBO. You have to remember that you are dealing with people on the other end and not some company so responses to questions may take some time. Before renting do your due dilignce and look to see everything that is out there to rent. Most of the listings have reviews so read them all and remember that some people are impossible to make happy. I have had good luck renting through them but I was very thorough and made sure I knew what I was getting into. To check out VRBO click here or below.
This is another peer to peer rental service that focuses on renting homes and condos. They have over 2 million listings worldwide. If this is starting to sound just like VRBO then you are correct. They actually own VRBO and so far every search I have done on both VRBO and Homeaway have produced the same results. It looks like Homeaway went on a buying spree a little while ago and bought a bunch of similar companies. So my review for Homeaway will be the same as it is for VRBO since they are owned by the same company. To check out Homeway Click Here or click the the graphic below
AirBnb is all the rage and for good reason. It’s a great way to travel on a budget or if you have a lot of money and want to stay somewhere exotic. It also fits into the peer to peer rental category, where you have an owner that wants to rent and a renter that needs to find a place to stay and AirBnb facilitates the listing on it’s website and handles all the transactions in between so you don’t ever have to see the person you are renting from because all the money stuff is handled by AirBnb. They are not owned by Homeaway so you will be getting a different inventory to pick from. You can rent rooms, condos, houses and even castles on AirBnb. Yes they do have castles listed and I would love to stay in one. The main difference is they rent rooms out. So if you have an extra room in your house and you would like to rent it out and don’t mind sharing a house with a stranger then this is a great way to go. I guess this could be considered a modern bed and breakfast. I had a friend rent out is 1 room loft and had really good success with it. So pretty much you can rent out anything. If you are on a budget and don’t mind getting creative of where you are staying then this is the way to go. I also know a lot of people that travel Europe this way. Hostels have there place but if you want to travel across Europe or any other foreign country then this is the way to go.
Now the question is which one should you choose. I am a fan of all of them but you have to take into consideration what exactly you are planning on doing. If you have a family and want to plan a vacation then I would absolutely go with VRBO or Homeaway. If you are by yourself or there is just two of you and you are not picky of where you stay then AirBnb is a great way to go.
Just remember that you are dealing with people on the other end and not some big company so be sure to check out all reviews before picking a place to stay and use some common sense. Now with all companies you may have issues with getting an actual representative on the phone if there is a problem with booking or deposit so just be aware of that. They have all had issues with that in the past but they are getting better.
Again use common sense when booking and know that if you try and book during a holiday or a busy time of year such as spring break that prices will go up and the earlier you book the better. The main times where I see most people have problems or complaints is during holidays or the busy season.
Just remember to be safe and have some fun.