August 31, 2018

Avoid additional FEES and get the best rate on your next vacation rental : You don’t mind paying a few extra hundred dollars on your next vacation rental, do you? According to HomeAway & VRBO you don’t. They have actually said that “travelers don’t mind paying a service fee”. I’m not sure what reality they are living in, but it is not even close to a real world reality.

All major vacation rental websites now require additional booking or traveler service fees when you book online through them. This means that you will pay more than the posted rental rate for a home.

In August 2017 HomeAway & VRBO rolled out a new Service Fee that they are charging to travelers who book through their websites. While they say the fee will range between 5% and 15%, they calculate the fee based on the rent and any other fees charged (cleaning fees, etc.). It is not assessed on taxes or security deposits. So, if the rental rate is $3,000 and there is another $400 in fees for cleaning, linens, pet fees, etc., the Service Fee will be based on $3,400.

Flipkey/Tripadvisor/Holidaylettings charges all renters a booking fee of 5-15% of the rental rate
Homeaway adds a 5-16% traveler service fee for all online bookings
AirBnB charges travelers a 6-16% guest fee for all bookings
VRBO adds a 5-15% traveler service fee for all online bookings charges the guest 0% service fees!
Google it. Copy the listing title, the owner or company name, or some descriptive text from the listing into your browser. More and more owners are building their own listing websites that charge $0 booking fees. Also check some of the new fee-free listing sites that aim to replace the former Homeaway/VRBO model, such as:
The owner may be able to provide adequate information so you can use checks, bank transfers, or other methods with confidence and save an additional 3%.
Why spend more on your vacation rental than you need too. Most of the owners/agents that advertise on have been with us for a number of years. We recommend that you buy a travel insurance policy before you book, that covers private rental accommodation if you need to cancel your vacation for any reason. 



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