Vrbo is short for Vacation Rental By Owner, Vrbo specializes in vacation rentals of all types: houses, apartments, condos, villas, etc. The site was founded in 1995 and allows homeowners to advertise their property to renters. In 2006, Vrbo was acquired by HomeAway and joined the HomeAway network which includes .
Like Airbnb, anyone can post a listing on Vrbo, and the site offers a range of rental types including houses, apartments, castles, tents, treehouses, and more. However, unlike Airbnb, you can only rent entire homes on Vrbo, which means it has fewer rentals than Airbnb.
Rather than listing smaller spaces like single rooms, Vrbo only lists larger spaces — whole Guesthouses, condos, or apartments that customers will have to themselves, rather than sharing with the homeowner or other guests. In fact, “don’t share” became a marketing point in a 2016 ad about Airbnb vs. HomeAway. So while Vrbo offers fewer rentals, users can rest assured that the space they find will be completely theirs.
Vrbo also offers a review section that allows users to rate their stay at a particular property. However, the site also allows homeowners to post a response to the reviewer, which is displayed under a given review. This means not only can Vrbo users find out more information about the experience of staying at a property, but they can also gain more insight from homeowners before they start the process of booking a stay.
Where Vrbo shines over Airbnb is its suite of filters. Users can search by location type — beachside, lake view, mountain view, ski rental, and more — as well as more granular property types. While Airbnb also filters based on location type and property type, Vrbo’s filters are more comprehensive and robust.