20+ Differences between Airbnb vs VRBO (Explained)

Aside from hotels, there are thousands of vacation rental possibilities for those who want to stay at home rather than in a hotel.

There are many parallels between VRBO and Airbnb but also many distinctions between the two companies.

From tree huts to the undersea research ship seen in Blue Planet II, Airbnb is renowned as a Silicon Valley favorite. It hosts a wide variety of rentals. 

In addition, the company has seen its fair share of controversies, including worries about affordable housing and accusations that Airbnb hosts are eavesdropping on their visitors.

Nevertheless, as a significant participant in the vacation rental market since the early 1990s, VRBO has helped lead the way for home-sharing services. VRBO.

When it comes to vacation planning, the differences between these two services aren’t just superficial; they might significantly impact your final decision.


Key Differences:


  1. A more extensive host network with more properties is offered.
  2. Provides access to both individual homes and individual quarters inside larger establishments.
  3. There are more alternatives, and the average cost is lower.
  4. If a claim is not submitted, the security deposit will not be deducted from the credit card.
  5. Airbnb Experiences feature.
  6. Better for city tourists and adventure seekers.


  1. A less extensive host network, but one that features a greater number of luxury homes in its portfolio.
  2. Only rent “whole” areas and complete homes; have exclusive use of the full property.
  3. Cost of cleaning due in advance. Reduced prices for services.
  4. You are guaranteed to Book with Complete Peace of Mind.
  5. Excellent search filtering method, as well as the Trip Boards feature.
  6. Superior for high-end rentals, large families, and parties of people.

Comparison between Airbnb and VRBO

HistoryIn comparison to VRBO, Airbnb is a considerably newer firm. Air Bed & Breakfast was the company’s original name when it was founded in 2008, but Airbnb was born in 2009 following a name change. However, according to the most current figures, Airbnb is a major player, with an estimated 80 million monthly users. Every night, an estimated 2 million people stay at an Airbnb home.VRBO is Airbnb’s main rival. In operation since 1995, VRBO stands for Vacation Rental by Owner. VRBO has been a major participant in the travel business for a long time and continues to be so, with a presence in 190 countries.
AccommodationSingle rooms in shared areas can be rented on Airbnb. These hotels are ideal if you don’t mind sharing facilities in return for a reduced nightly fee.Due to VRBO’s concentration on private houses, it offers fewer listings than Airbnb. A home, a cottage, or an apartment are among the most common options available to people looking to rent. Sites like VRBO are more popular with travelers who wish to stay in conventional holiday spots since they have a larger inventory in touristic areas.
AdvertisementMore than 5.6 million properties in over 100,000 cities and 220 countries and regions are presently advertised by Airbnb. As a result, Airbnb has a distinct edge over its competitors.Airbnb has 5.6 million listings, but VRBO has over 2 million international rentals. It’s important to remember that while VRBO has fewer rentals, they exclusively feature whole homes, condominiums, or flats. So it’s safe to assume that users won’t be sharing space with the homeowner or any other guests.
Modifications and cancellationsIt is up to property owners to define their own cancellation rules for Airbnb on a six-tiered scale ranging from Flexible to Moderate to Strict to Long Term to Super Strict for 60 days. Therefore, it’s critical to thoroughly review each listing to ascertain its cancellation policy and specifics.Because VRBO hosts are free to create their own cancellation rules, it’s critical that guests thoroughly review the details of each listing before booking.

major differences between Airbnb and VRBO

What exactly is Airbnb?

Airbnb is a home rental network that connects homeowners with consumers searching for short-term rentals.

This company was originally founded in 2008 as Air Bed and Breakfast before changing its name to Airbnb in 2009.

In 2007, co-founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia came up with the concept while trying to find a way to rent out space in their San Francisco apartment. Airbnb was formed due to the hiring of Nathan Blecharczyk as CTO

Since Airbnb’s launch, it has long been considered a part of the sharing economy, along with Uber and TaskRabbit.

However, from 2007 on, when it was originally proposed that paying visitors might sleep on an air mattress in the co-founders’ living room, the firm has grown considerably.

More than six million listings on Airbnb spanning more than 100,000 cities and towns and more than 220 countries.


Pros and Cons of Airbnb:


  1. Single rooms, flats, mansions, and even castles may be found on Airbnb, where hosts can offer a variety of properties for rent. 
  2. Listing a property for free is a perk for both guests and hosts. How much a guest pays for a night, a week, or a month is entirely up to the host.
  3. In addition to descriptions, images with subtitles, and user profiles, listings can include additional information about hosts.
  4. In addition to dates and locations, guests may use the Airbnb database to restrict their search by adding keywords price, property type, amenities, and the host’s language.
  5. Experiences and dining options are among the many services provided by Airbnb. 
  6. When someone searches for activities around their current location, they will get a selection of options provided by local Airbnb hosts, such as lessons and sightseeing. 
  7. In addition to the restaurant’s evaluations, guests’ experiences on Airbnb are included in the listings.
  8. Before delivering the money to the owner, Airbnb keeps the money for 24 hours after the visitor checks in. 
  9. For hosts, Airbnb offers up to $1,000,000 in insurance to cover damage done to the property that is not justified. It’s free, but it doesn’t cover all of your bases.


  1. Individual hosts post their listings; some may be more honest than others. To avoid disappointment, it’s a good idea to peruse the reviews left by past visitors.
  2. Property damage is the most common concern for hosts, even though most of their guests behave perfectly. 
  3. The Host Damage Protection program of Airbnb offers some security, but it may not cover everything, such as cash, artwork, and pets, among other items of high monetary value.
  4. There may be tremendous trouble for hosts whose houses have been destroyed, as well. Additional fees are imposed by Airbnb just like they are by hotels. 
  5. For every booking, Airbnb charges both visitors and hosts a service fee, which may be a lot. If appropriate, banks or credit card providers may impose additional fees.
  6. Value-added tax (VAT) may be imposed on hosts and visitors in a number of nations (VAT). Hosts may also have to pay taxes on their rental revenue, depending on where they live. 
  7. For tax purposes, Airbnb gathers information from hosts so that they may submit a Form 1099 and a Form 1042 for each year’s revenue.
  8. A prospective Airbnb host should examine their city’s zoning regulations to ensure that renting out their house is permissible before putting it on the market. 
  9. Hosts may also need additional licenses or licenses to operate their establishments.

What exactly is VRBO?

As the name suggests, VRBO specializes in holiday rentals of all kinds: houses, apartments, condominiums, villas, and so forth.

It was established in 1995 and allows property owners to market their properties to potential tenants in an online forum.

VacationRentals.com, another HomeAway-affiliated site, purchased VRBO in 2006 and is now part of the HomeAway network.


Reservations at VRBO:

  1. In many ways, using Vrbo is like using other popular booking sites like Airbnb. All of these factors are there for you to choose from while searching for a new home. 
  2. Pricing might be a bit of a stumbling block. 
  3. In contrast to Airbnb, you won’t know the complete cost of your stay only until you click on the main listing page, where you can view a breakdown of the total price and fees. 
  4. Unless you expressly filter by pricing
  5. At the end of each page, you’ll find a star rating for each property and the number of reviews left by other guests. 
  6. A “Trip Board” is a location where you can bookmark places you’re interested in but aren’t quite sure about yet, so you can return to them later.
  7. The homeowner will be able to answer any questions you have regarding the property and the check-in process once you’ve booked and the homeowner has accepted your booking.
  8. With Vrbo’s Book With Confidence Guarantee, every traveler is protected against fraudulent listings and has direct access to a team of reservation professionals.
  9. They can help with last-minute changes. 
  10. You may rely on the re-booking professional in case of last-minute cancellations by the owner or if your reservation is canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. 
  11. This is not a kind of travel insurance, and you will not be compensated for canceling your trip on your own unless you acquire supplemental travel insurance.

Contrast Between Airbnb and VRBO


  • Airbnb- Airbnb’s host network, which boasts literally millions of listings, is what sets it apart from the competition.

    There are currently over 4 million listings on Airbnb in 191 countries, which the company stated as recently as 2017. You don’t have to be a millionaire to start renting out your home through Airbnb.
  • VRBO- Airbnb’s host network, which boasts literally millions of listings, is what sets it apart from the competition. As a matter of fact, in 2017, Airbnb reported that it hosts more than 4 million listings in 191 countries.

    It is possible for anyone to become an Airbnb host and rent out a variety of accommodations ranging from large houses to modest apartments.

    The sole listings on VRBO are larger places such as complete houses, condominiums, or flats, which consumers may rent to themselves rather than share with the proprietor or other visitors.

    A 2016 ad for Airbnb vs. HomeAway used the phrase “don’t share” as a selling pitch.


  • Airbnb- There are several ways for Airbnb customers to learn more about a possible rental property on Airbnb.

    An active review culture is also in place on the site, allowing guests to offer feedback on anything from the veracity of the property’s description to its cleanliness. It’s possible to look through the site’s review area if you have a specific worry while renting an Airbnb.
  • VRBO- VRBO also has a review section where guests may give feedback on their experience at a specific rental. Aside from that, the site lets homeowners respond to a reviewer’s comments, which are shown alongside the review.

    As a result, VRBO users will be able to learn more about a property’s amenities and amenities before they begin the process of making a reservation.


  • Airbnb- The earliest version of Airbnb was only a location to advertise and search for short-term rentals in 2008.

    Airbnb has grown into a one-stop shop for all of your travel needs. In addition to rentals, the firm has a “experiences” component that allows consumers to find nearby activities.

    Airbnb experiences range from beach yoga to wolf-trek hunters in the woods, and they’re all featured on the site. The service teamed with Resy in 2017 to allow users to book restaurant reservations straight through the site.
  • VRBO- VRBO’s filter set distinguishes it from Airbnb. Search results can be narrowed down to certain types of properties, such as beachfront, lakefront, mountain front, ski rental, and more.

    For example, if you want to stay aboard a boat, you may do a search for that type of accommodation. Compared to Airbnb, VRBO’s filters are more extensive and robust in terms of geographic and home types.


Costing at Airbnb:

  1. In addition to the price of the accommodation, Airbnb tenants are responsible for paying a guest service fee, which may reach a maximum of 14.2 percent in most cases. 
  2. Additionally, Airbnb adds a service charge of around 3 percent to each transaction, which the host is responsible for paying. 
  3. Experience-providing hosts are required to pay a 20 percent service charge on top of their earnings.
  4. The cost of a night’s stay on Airbnb is determined by a number of elements, including the room’s location, the host’s level of hospitality, and the facilities provided. 
  5. The prices are not only vulnerable to market inflation, which will be especially noticeable in 2021, but they may also vary substantially based on the demand in the specific region. 
  6. At this time, the cheapest room rates are approximately $50, which is often less expensive than staying in a hotel.
  7. However, depending on the region, they might be tough to come across.
  8. The daily rates that are typically charged on Airbnb in 2021 serve as an excellent illustration of how much location matters. 
  9. For instance, the average cost of a night’s stay on Airbnb in the top 50 cities in the world ranged from $646 in Key West, Florida, to $200 in Bend over the same time period. 
  10. The service fee for traveling to well-known places will almost always be much more.


  • Airbnb – Both hosts and visitors are charged by Airbnb. Typically, guests are charged between 5% and 15% of the entire cost of the reservation.

    When a booking is made through Airbnb, hosts are charged a 3% fee. And Airbnb will charge a 20% service fee if you’re organizing an event.
  • VRBO – Homeowners and guests on VRBO are charged fees like they are on Airbnb. A service fee of between 6% and 12% is customary for guests. For homeowners, calculating the cost is more difficult.

    To post a rental on VRBO, users must pay a charge. Pay-per-booking, which charges hosts 8 percent of each booking they get through the site, and a flat-rate subscription.

    If you’re renting for fewer than six weeks a year, VRBO recommends this option for new renters or those who pay a flat $499 price upfront for the year.


  • Airbnb- As a result of Airbnb’s streamlined regulations and clear explanations, the decision to click “book” is less of a challenge. Depending on the booking dates, it’s easy to tell if you’ll get a full refund or forfeit your entire booking cost.
  • VRBO- However, VRBO’s policies aren’t as clear or straightforward. When it comes to cancel at least seven days in advance, you may get up to a 50% refund (less the service charge) with “14/7,” which means you get a complete refund when you cancel 14 days or more in advance.

    There are some similarities between these regulations and Airbnb’s, although it is difficult to compare them.

Customer Service 

  • Airbnb- As an alternative, there is no customer service team or direct phone line for non-emergencies at Airbnb.

    A reimbursement request will need proof that a dispute with the host has been resolved. First, you’ll need to fill out an online form and get a case number; you’ll then hear back from the department when “further investigation” is complete.
  • VRBO- Travel insurance may be added to a VRBO reservation by guests. In the event that you have to cancel your trip, you will still receive a refund for the amount that you paid in advance.

    With children or pets on board, you may also acquire damage protection insurance to avoid additional costs in the event of a collision.


Costing at VRBO:

  1. Vrbo’s price is relatively competitive when compared to other rental sites for the same type of property in the same neighborhood.
  2. For as little as $79 per night, you may stay in a tiny house in Austin, Texas, or you can spend a lot more money and stay in a home designed by a well-known architect or even a castle.
  3. You may expect to pay anything from $50 per night to $500 per night, depending on the location and time of year you’re seeking.
  4. But you’re unlikely to find a property for less than $50 per night or more than $500 per night.
  5. When evaluating a hotel’s cost, it’s a good idea to compare it to other hotels in the region. 
  6. On Vrbo, for example, even shoebox-sized hotel rooms in New York City normally start at $100 per night, while some flats in all five boroughs are cheaper than that. 
  7. Standard-quality listings on Airbnb and similar services are generally less expensive than hotels on a per-night basis. 
  8. Vbro’s base pricing does not include any additional fees, similar to Airbnb. 
  9. Those fees may quickly mount up, so keep that in mind while searching for properties with a budget in mind.

How They Work

  • Airbnb- Travelers will like the variety of search options provided by Airbnb. Basic search criteria include things like the location, dates of arrival and departure, and the total number of people traveling in your party (and pets).

    Airbnb provides a number of additional complex criteria for consumers who want to narrow down their search even more.
  • VRBO- In the same vein, Vrbo takes a similar stance. To begin a search, enter the place, dates, and number of guests you’re looking for. Any outcomes that meet these specifications are shown on the platform.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who is the CEO of Airbnb?

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky create a vision and strategy. The Gebbia brothers were Airbnb’s first hosts in 2007. Since then, Brian has supervised Airbnb’s expansion to over four million Hosts who have welcomed over 1 billion visitors in 220+ countries and regions.

When was VRBO founded?

VRBO was created in 1995 and purchased by HomeAway in 2006; Expedia Group bought both in December 2015.

Vrbo went from a classified listing business to an e-commerce firm with more freedom to spend on technology and marketing to improve the vacation rental search and booking process.

What is HomeAway?

In June 2006, HomeAway was started as a vacation rental listing platform with offices in Austin, Texas.

With more than 1.2 million paid vacation rental listings across 190 countries, HomeAway is delighted to be the world’s leading vacation rental website.

What is Expedia Inc.?

Online travel agency Expedia Inc. is owned by Expedia Group, a Seattle-based American firm that sells travel goods and services over the internet.
You may book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruise ships, and holiday packages using the website and mobile app.

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