Is VRBO a Safe and Reliable Travel Site? (2023)

Is VRBO a Safe and Reliable Travel Site? (1)

Vacation Rentals by Owner, commercially known as VRBO, is an online rental marketplace where people can either book or advertise accommodations.

Sites like VRBO, benefit both hosts and travelers. It is an alternative for property owners to profit from that extra space. As for travelers, they can benefit from VRBO rentals, which are more economical than the average hotel fees. Plus, travelers get to enjoy more spacious and aesthetically pleasing accommodations than what hotels can offer.

See Vacation Homes on VRBO

Naturally, whether you are renting or booking, the daunting doubt arrives on how reliable and safe is VRBO as a third party dealer. In short, it is a company you can place your full trust in; here is why:

Whether you are booking or offering your home, VRBO’s policies and services work in your best interest.


When you are away from home, you want to make sure to book a safe place to spend the night. This is why VRBO created the following policies:

Book with Confidence Guarantee

The guarantee assures travelers to have a fair and reliable booking process. For your safety, it includes the next regulations:

  • Fraud Screening. To prevent fraud, VRBO conducts account verification and background checks of members engaging with their services.
  • Assistance. In the case of last-minute cancellations, VRBO specialists assist travelers to find a place that suits their previous requirements. Also, if you cannot have access to the property or such was portrayed with unrealistic expectations online, you can get a re-accommodation by filing a report within the first 12 hours.
  • Damage Deposit. VRBO steps up in the case of property owners withholding wrongfully the damage deposit.

Secure Payment Forms

VRBO is PCI-DSS certified. This guarantees that your payment information is protected. Also, VRBO offers protection against fraudulent actions.

Users paying through HomeAway become automatically covered by the Book with Confidence Guarantee.

Beyond this, VRBO’s help center is available for any doubts or issues that you might have throughout the whole booking process.

Property Damage Protection

This is an insurance that covers travelers from paying fees caused by accidental damage to the property, such as damage in home accessories, electronics, or furniture. Sometimes this might seem like an unnecessary purchase, which is why the insurance is highly recommended for clients traveling with kids or pets.

The insurance is not included in the property fee. Users can purchase it here.

Property Managers

VRBO aims to create a safe accommodation-sharing community for both travelers and hosts. Here are some of the safety measures that hosts can take advantage of:

Rental Agreement

Rental agreements serve as a protection safeguard document for property managers. The agreement consists of a series of guidelines and rules that are expected to be followed by the guests. The document is shown along with the property advertisement at VRBO.

(Video) What SUCKS about VRBO!

ID Verification

To become a verified traveler, VRBO asks for travelers to confirm their identity. This enables trust and increases the chances of having their booking request approved. Nevertheless, VRBO values the privacy of all of its users, which is why sensitive-personal information is not disclosed with property managers.

As safe as they can be, users should be wary of any site that requires sensible information like billing or credit card details. While we assure VRBO is an honest and safe site, to avoid any scamming we recommend to take the next precautions:

Do a phone carrier lookup

This will reassure you the given phone number is valid. Fraud attempts often use VoIP (voice over internet protocol), which allows people to make phone calls through an internet connection and without the need for hiring a phone carrier.

Beware of Fake Emails

Whether you are hosting or traveling, check the email address from the user.

Direct Communication

As convenient texting and emailing can be, make sure to have a proper phone conversation before doing any payments. A phone call will give you a clearer insight into what to expect from the host/traveler.

Avoid Paying Directly From Credit Cards

Take advantage of paying methods like PayPal. In case of any claims or misunderstandings, you will be able to file a complaint firstly through PayPal. If you are unsatisfied with your complaint, you still have the option to make arrangements with your bank or with VRBO.

After reviewing the safety measurements for booking with VRBO, we can assure you that it is a reliable accommodation booking site.

The interface is very user-friendly, allowing you to easily find all kinds of accommodation offers. From luxury apartments to modest and affordable rooms, VRBO helps you find your ideal traveling accommodation. The booking process is simple, users just have to set up the arrival and departure dates, desired destination, and the number of people staying in the property.

VRBO is well aware of the importance of customer reviews, and how such play a big role in the company’s and property manager’s credibility. Through reviews, there is an opportunity for further communication, hence an improvement in the services provided.

At the bottom page of every property advertised on VRBO, users can see a five-star rating feedback commentary section. Beyond having direct communication with the property manager, reviews will allow travelers to know what truly expect from booking a property.

Besides their feedback, review sites like TrustPilot, have given a four-and-a-half out of five stars rating to VRBO. Here is what real customers are saying:

“It was easy to read reviews, pick dates, and confirm our reservation. I like that it has lots of pictures and specific details about the homes and their locations.” — David, December 2019

“Easy to use and appreciate the follow-up emails communicating stay details.” — Lyners, December 2019

. . .

VRBO has created a platform to enable trust between hosts and travelers. The booking process is simple, reliable, and safe to use. Visit VRBO today to find out more about our great accommodation deals for your trip!

(Video) Vrbo: Pros and cons of vacation rentals

See Vacation Homes on VRBO

  1. Jacqueline Desilviaon February 26, 2021 at 6:28 am

    All I can say is that my experience with VRBO has been a nightmare. Do not rent with them! They canceled by room reservation 48hours prior to me traveling with my daughter to St. Thomas. I spent hours on the phone with them to help get me another room, they did nothing. I questioned their “guarantee ” and kept telling me they understand my frustration and are “escalating “the issue. They did nothing had to try on my own hours before my arrival to get a room. Paid double for the room since it was Sunday of presidents not book eith them!!!!!


  2. Sam Lynchon June 21, 2021 at 5:12 pm

    VRBO protects the owner of the home, but not the renter. I booked a place in NC in mid-March, meanwhile, the owner also put the property up for sale two weeks earlier. Property sold and he cancelled the reservation in June and I can no longer find a reasonable place on the lake in August. We had to cancel the whole trip including flights. I called VRBO multiple times and they were zero help. I won’t be using VRBO again.


    • Karlaon July 14, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Did you get a refund from Vrbo? We in a similar situation


      (Video) Is vrbo a legit site?
      • Sue Kingon August 3, 2021 at 8:27 am

        Nightmare …..they have taken tbe booming money of both clients now and will not pay us ..
        Goung to the FBO to report it avoid or yoy could end up like us ..Guests sittung in your home for Free


  3. Richard Adlemon June 23, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    My experience has been a nightmare too, I booked a property which I needed to cancel because of Covid restrictions, the owner have not refunded me even though I cancelled 7 weeks before the agreed cut off date for cancellation and ignored contact from VRBO requesting the refund. VRBO have told me I need to go to my bank to get the money back despite saying you can book with confidence and will refund you if the owner doesn’t.
    They are STILL listing the property knowing full well that the owner is a scammer leaving others vulnerable, this is disgusting and illegal practice to actively promote and sell a known scam. I now am unable to go on holiday this year because my money is tied up, I had planned to book a UK property through VRBO but now would not recommend them to my worst enemy, I would never book with them again as they are happy to let people get scammed as long as they get their cut


  4. Dennis Martinon June 27, 2021 at 10:38 am

    VRBO says they give a full refund on some properties if you cancel 4 weeks before your booking, some properties even shorter time period. We cancelled 6 months before and received NO refund. Beware of this. When I challenged this, I was told we could only get a refund if we had paid the full amount, not a deposit. Doesn’t say this in the fine print. BEWARE!


    (Video) Airbnb vs VRBO | Which is better?
  5. JOHNNYon June 29, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Don’t use VRBO! I used them and I would never use them again. Their customer service guarantee is BS. You call and all they do is transfer you from one to the other back and forth and hang up on you I’ve got 6 hours in phone calls now and nothing done.


  6. Nancyon August 17, 2021 at 8:40 am

    What responsibility does VRBO have when a host lies about their posting and charges extra money for something they are not proving? They won’t do a thing and they don’t post the bad review to warn others. We stayed in a place that advertised new furniture, bedding; etc. of course, that implies that the place is going to be clean. We were in a place with all mattresses stained with poo, pee or vomit and we don’t even know if it was human. The carpets were the same and the whole house was a mess (no one bother to clean, but we were charged for that). We reported the incident to Vrbo and provided pictures. We got a repose saying the property was a little dirty and that there was nothing they would do. Case closed. The review doesn’t even appear in the listing and the property has a 4.5-star review (which I am sure are posted by the friends of the host). We did not get what we paid for and apparently, we have no recourse thorough Vrbo. The host also requested a pet deposit right before she released the keys to us and will not return it after over a month telling us she will, but never does. This people are scammers and there is no way for us to warn others because our review is not showing.


  7. alshon January 6, 2022 at 2:12 am

    I booked an apartment with Vrbo this Christmas. I have paid and had all the confirmations and guarantees one month before the trip. And just one day before our arrival the owner said that didn’t receive any booking. I’m trying to resolve this issue and just spending time with different agents that are just lying. This website is a SCAM DON’T NEVER USE THIS SITE.


    (Video) Why Travel Advisors Should Avoid Booking Airbnb or VRBO properties.

Submit a Comment


Is VRBO a Safe and Reliable Travel Site? ›

How safe is VRBO? VRBO is a safe way to book a rental property to stay in while you're out of town. It has an extensive help section with tips on how to book with confidence, decent customer service, and a few insurance policies that can help cover you in the event that something about your trip doesn't go as planned.

Can you trust VRBO? ›

Yes, Vrbo is a legitimate online vacation rental site. As with any vacation rental site, pay attention to amenities, reviews and cancellation policies.

How secure is booking with VRBO? ›

Vrbo's Book with Confidence Guarantee™ protects 100% of your payment and security deposit, and most of our listings are eligible for this coverage when you book your stay through Vrbo's online checkout.

How do you know if a VRBO is legit? ›

Common signs of a scam
  • Incorrect or unusual spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation.
  • More information provided than usual.
  • A request for you to communicate offsite.
  • A request to pay by certified check, cashier's check, or unsecured wire transfer.

What is safer Airbnb or VRBO? ›

Airbnb offers a specialized safety feature for solo travelers. It allows them to share their reservation itinerary with family and friends. The feature also offers safety tips and provides questions to ask hosts. Vrbo has fewer complications regarding guest safety since they only offer private rentals.

Is Vrbo owned by Airbnb? ›

Airbnb vs Vrbo General Facts and Figures

Airbnb was founded in 2008 and, as of December 2021, they boast 6 million active listings in more than 220 countries. Vrbo (originally known as Vacation Rental by Owner) was founded in 1995 and now is owned by the Expedia Group.

Is Vrbo worth the money? ›

Yes, listing your vacation home on Vrbo is a good way to make money. Not only is it one of the most popular vacation rental sites in the world (attracting 15.9 million visitors each month), Vrbo also cross posts its properties to fellow Expedia-owned sites. Think, Orbitz, and Travelocity.

What are the hidden fees with Vrbo? ›

A 5% commission fee is charged on the rental amount and any additional fees you charge the traveler (such as cleaning, pet, and boat fees). Bookings that originate from our expanded distribution partners may have higher fees.

Are Vrbo owners verified? ›

No, on Vrbo the host only sees whether the user is verified or not. This protects the guest's privacy, which is a valid concern, but it also opens the host up to potential issues as they can't verify the guest's ID or background themselves, or see which details have been verified.

What happens after you book on Vrbo? ›

If you accept the booking, the request is moved to your reservation list and the status updates to Booked. After you accept the booking, the guest's credit card is charged and an email notification of your acceptance is sent.

How do I make sure my rental is legit? ›

Here are some ways to avoid rental scams:
  1. Always request a tour. Don't rent a home without seeing it. ...
  2. Skip listings that look suspicious. Scroll past spam listings and be skeptical of listings that are priced below market for the area based on size and upgrades.
  3. Ask to speak to the property owner. ...
  4. Don't send money.
Sep 13, 2022

How do you know if a vacation rental is legit? ›

If it's a resort or hotel, call the front desk to verify the information. If it's a private home, check the name of the property owner in public records. Don't pay for rentals by wire transfer, prepaid or gift cards or apps like Venmo. These types of transactions can't be reversed if the rental offer is fraudulent.

How do I know if my Vrbo has cameras? ›

5 tips for finding hidden cameras in an Airbnb or Vrbo rental
  1. 1) Scan the Wi-Fi network for hidden cameras using Fing App. ...
  2. 2) Check for common IP camera names that may be hidden on the network. ...
  3. 3) Use the 'Find hidden cameras' feature from Fing Premium. ...
  4. 4) Check for items that look odd or appear to be out of place.
Feb 14, 2022

Why do people use Vrbo instead of Airbnb? ›

Vrbo tends to have lower fees.

Both platforms allow hosts to set their nightly rate, cleaning cost, and pet fee. As when staying at a hotel, occupancy taxes are added to the nightly price on both platforms.

How is Vrbo rated? ›

Overview. VRBO has a rating of 1.25 stars from 1,927 reviews, indicating that most customers are generally dissatisfied with their purchases. Reviewers complaining about VRBO most frequently mention customer service, credit card, and property owner problems. VRBO ranks 110th among Vacation Rentals sites.

Why are listings cheaper on Vrbo than Airbnb? ›

Vrbo is often cheaper than Airbnb because its service fee is typically lower. As a test, I compared prices between the same property on both Vrbo and Airbnb. Using a vacation rental in Kelowna, Canada, I went through the booking process for a two-night stay, and looked closely at each guest service fee.

What is the biggest difference between Airbnb and Vrbo? ›

Vrbo offers stand-alone vacation homes only. It doesn't generally offer “shared” spaces like private rooms or more unusual options like campsites. Airbnb offers stand-alone vacation homes as well as shared spaces and even hotel rooms.

Is Expedia and Vrbo the same? ›

From Expedia to, Orbitz to Vrbo, Abritel to FeWo-direkt, and Travelocity to Hotwire, Expedia Group has some of the most popular. Thank you for being a part of the Expedia Group family, and for helping us help families and friends make memories that last a lifetime.

What are host fees on Vrbo? ›

Vrbo Owner Fees: Frequently Asked Questions

Vrbo fees to owners are typically 8% per booking. This is made up of a 5% Vrbo manager fee and a 3% Vrbo payment processing fee.

Why does Vrbo have so many fees? ›

The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees paid by the guest. This fee helps cover the cost of secure transactions, product development, and 24/7 customer service.

Is it easy to cancel Vrbo? ›

Sign in to your Vrbo account. Select your account name and choose My Trips. Select the reservation you wish to cancel. From the Details tab, select Change or cancel trip.

Does Vrbo remove bad reviews? ›

Reviews that meet our content guidelines can't be edited or removed by owners or property managers.

How do you make sure you don't get scammed on Vrbo? ›

Use your credit card for payments

A credit card is the safest way to pay for any transactions online, including paying for a vacation rental on Vrbo. If you happen to fall victim to a scam, your credit card company will be able to reverse the transaction.

Does Vrbo charge everything up front? ›

The guest's first payment includes any percentage you've set, plus any applicable taxes and fees for the entire reservation. Note: If a booking request comes in after your last payment request is normally due, the full amount is required at the time of booking.

What is the Vrbo fee on my credit card? ›

A 3% payment processing fee is charged on the entire payment amount, including taxes.

Does Vrbo use cameras? ›

Vrbo has a policy that surveillance devices, which include video or audio recording, can't be used inside of a property. Security devices and smart doorbells outside of the property are allowed to record audio and video if they follow certain rules.

What happens if my Vrbo owner doesn t respond? ›

After you submit a booking request, the host has 24 hours to accept or decline. If they don't respond, we'll automatically decline the request for you.

Does Vrbo allow cameras in houses? ›

Surveillance devices, which use any form of capture device such as a camera or an audio recorder, can't be used inside of a property.

Do you have to clean Vrbo before leaving? ›

After each guest stays at a Vrbo rental, hosts must thoroughly clean their properties so that they're ready for the next guest to arrive, just as if it were a hotel room. Vrbo hosts may decide to clean and maintain their properties themselves, or they might hire outside cleaning services.

When should I book on Vrbo? ›

The busiest months for booking whole, private vacation rentals are January and February, so the race is on in high-demand locations. Vrbo advises travelers to book by these dates in 2023 for key travel seasons to have a wider selection of available vacation homes.

How do I check my booking on Vrbo? ›

Sign in to your Vrbo account. Select your account name and choose My trips. Select the reservation you want to view. View check-in and check-out details, property address, and other helpful information.

How not to get scammed by a fake landlord? ›

Keys to avoiding home rental scams
  • Do an online search of the rental company. ...
  • Got a good vibe? ...
  • Compare prices. ...
  • Take a tour. ...
  • Nothing sketchy yet? ...
  • Before you sign a lease, look for signs at the rental with the name of the property owner or manager. ...
  • Never pay with cash, wire transfers or gift cards.
Jun 12, 2019

Is online landlord legit? ›

7 Day Digital Landlord does not scam. The program allows business owners to rent digital storefronts online. This is a legitimate and legal way to make some extra cash. You can test it for free by taking a 60-day money-back guarantee.

How to spot a rental scammer on Craigslist? ›

Craigslist Rental Scams and How to Spot Them!
  1. The Typical Scam.
  2. Red Flag 1 - They're Not local.
  3. Red Flag 2 - Unbelievably Cheap.
  4. Red Flag 3 - “Email Only” In the Response Tab.
  5. Red Flag 4 - Advanced Payment.
  6. Red Flag 5 - Odd-looking Photos.
  7. Red Flag 6 - Hints in the Email.
Aug 29, 2016

How do I contact Vrbo? ›

What does premier host mean on Vrbo? ›

Premier Host is a free, invite-only program that recognizes owners and managers who consistently deliver great traveler experiences. As soon as you meet the eligibility criteria, you're automatically added to the program.

Why stay at a vacation rental? ›

Extra space to enjoy

This is especially beneficial for those traveling with children, large groups, or pets! Vacation rentals offer extra space that is hard to come by in hotels- like separated living, sleeping, eating, and outdoor spaces. This lets your group fully relax and enjoy each others' company peacefully!

Why is my property hidden on Vrbo? ›

Your listing might be hidden because:

You hid the listing in your account. The listing has 3 or more expired reservation requests for the last 90 days. We've temporarily hidden your property to prevent more declines from affecting your listing performance. You have a low listing acceptance rate.

What to do when checking out of Vrbo? ›

Reiterate check-out time □ Close and lock all doors □ Turn off all lights and ceiling fans □ Place all garbage into containers outside □ Strip beds, leave sheets on laundry room floor □ Load all dishes and start dishwasher □ Turn off AC/Heater □ Close all outside gates □ Leave key on counter or in lock box □ Remember ...

Does Vrbo show addresses? ›

Property addresses are automatically released to guests 30 days prior to check-in on all confirmed bookings. If check-in is more than 30 days away, a countdown appears in the traveler's account, notifying them when the booking address is available.

What is Vrbo known for? ›

We started pairing homeowners with families looking for places to stay in 1995, and Vacation Rentals By Owner (Vrbo) was born. Since then, we've grown into a trusted global vacation brand with a unique selection of 2+ million whole homes all over the world. In other words, there's room for everyone.

Why is it called Vrbo? ›

We conducted research and learned that “ver-boh” is easier to remember and easier to say in other languages, so we decided to make it official by changing our brand name from an abbreviation to a word: VRBO is now Vrbo.

Does vrbo have a 48 hour cancellation? ›

Long Term (Bookings Exceeding 27 Nights): Cancellations are permitted for 48 hours after the booking, providing the cancellation occurs at least 28 days before check-in. Cancellations made before check-in receive a refund minus the first 30 days.

Is it safe to pay on VRBO? ›

The most secure way for guests to pay for a vacation rental is on our website. Guests who pay on our website are covered by our Book with Confidence Guarantee. We are PCI-DSS certified. This means that we've taken the required steps to ensure our systems are secure to protect sensitive payment card information.

Can VRBO cancel my reservation? ›

Vrbo Cancellation Policies Options Explained

While we'd all prefer that vacation booking plans go ahead smoothly, there is a myriad of reasons why a booking could be cancelled unexpectedly, from disaster weather conditions impacting travel to an unexpected accident.

How much is the annual fee for Vrbo? ›

Vrbo offers a 14-day window for canceling annual subscriptions should you switch to the pay-per-booking model. The annual subscription fee is $499. The yearly subscription could be a cost-efficient payment model if you have a high-value property and plan to earn more than $6,250 annually.

Can I get my money back from VRBO? ›

Your refund is issued based on the property's cancellation policy. If you cancel your reservation and are within the window to receive a 100% refund, the service fee will be refunded to you automatically when the cancellation is confirmed. Refunds take up to 5 days to appear in your account.

How do you deal with a bad VRBO? ›

Property not as described
  1. First, contact the host to make them aware of your concerns. ...
  2. Also, report the issue to us within 24 hours from check-in so we're aware.
  3. Write a review. ...
  4. If you are unable to reach the host during your stay, select Contact Us to contact Customer Support.

Do VRBO owners rate renters? ›

Hosts can rate their guests when they book and pay through our sites. When a guest submits a booking request and they've been rated by previous owners, their rating will display within the conversation for the owner. On checkout day, a marketplace feed card will display in the host's account to review their guests.

What if the host is unresponsive on VRBO? ›

If the host doesn't answer the first time you call, we recommend that you leave a voice mail and try to call again later. If the host hasn't contacted you and you're due to check into the property in less than 24 hours, please contact our customer support team and we'll try to contact the host on your behalf.

What is the VRBO service fee? ›

A 5% commission fee is charged on the rental amount and any additional fees you charge the traveler (such as cleaning, pet, and boat fees). Bookings that originate from our expanded distribution partners may have higher fees.

Is there a phone number to contact VRBO? ›

How do I report a scammer on Vrbo? ›

To report Phishing, Smishing or Vishing attacks, use our online Contact Us help form.

Can vrbo raise price after booking? ›

You can edit a quote to change rental dates and rates, add extra fees, specify sales and lodging taxes, and include damage protection. Quotes are only editable before the guest makes a payment.

Can a vrbo host cancel last minute? ›

Vrbo has a “book with confidence” guarantee that protects you from a last-minute cancellation. It promises guests rebooking assistance or emergency lodging if their reservation is “wrongfully canceled” at the last minute by the host.

Is there a 24 hour cancellation policy for Vrbo? ›

Flexible: Free cancellations can be made up to 14 days before check in or up to 24 hours before check in for bookings made less than 14 days before check in.


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