Traditional hotels are not always the best option for traveling individuals or groups. Due to their affordability, privacy and extra perks (yard space, private swimming pools, hot tubs, air conditioning, kitchens, etc.), private vacation rentals have become increasingly popular with travelers.
Statista reports that the number of users in the vacation rentals segment is expected to hit 62.9 million by 2026.
The growth of this industry can be largely attributed to the accessibility of vacation rental websites. Whether you are looking for a summer rental, an urban apartment, a country vacation rental property or even a private island, you find it on one of the many rental sites.
What is the best app to find houses for rent? With the plethora of booking platforms available, choosing the perfect rental app or site can be overwhelming. Here are some factors to consider when deciding among different vacation rental websites.
Table of Contents:
1. Types of Rentals
The best rental sites provide a wide range of rentals to meet varied travel needs. On such apps, you can find anything from shared rooms and private rooms to guest apartments, high-end villas or even entire islands. Check the listings carefully to ensure that the rentals on offer are right for your needs.
2. Deposit, Payment and Fees
Credible vacation rental sites are forthcoming about the cost of a rental. What are you required to pay at the time of booking? Will you pay additional service fees upon arrival? Before making a booking, make sure the fees collected by the rental website or host are clearly listed.
3. Mobile Apps
A good vacation rental site should have a handy mobile app that makes it easy search for and book a rental. This apps should also make it easy and safe to communicate with the rental agency or host. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, you can communicate directly on the app.
4. Property and Host Reviews
Reviews from past travelers give future guests a good idea of what to expect from the property and the host. The best vacation rental sites feature reviews and ratings of the properties listed.
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5. Cancellation Policies
Every vacation rental app or site should have a clear cancelation policy for guests to read. Be sure to study the cancelation policy carefully before making a booking.
6. Where to List Property for Rent
As a host, you might be searching for the ideal vacation rental site where you can list your property and generate some passive income. Thanks to the easy-to-use home rental sites on the market, you can list your home within minutes and begin attracting visitors.
7. Best Short-Term Rental Sites for Travelers and Hosts
Here are some of the best sites for booking or listing a vacation rental.
- A. Airbnb
Airbnb is the most recognizable brand among the best vacation rental sites. It offers more than 7 million listings in over 220 countries and major cities around the world. The Airbnb website is easy to use and allows visitors to narrow their searches based on filters like price, privacy, house rules, cancelation flexibility and amenities. Guests can also book “experiences” such as visits to local attractions and activities such as skydiving, hiking tours or city tours.
For hosts, there is no cost to list a vacation home. However, a service fee is charged per booking. Depending on your location, this fee could be 3% to 15% per booking.
- B. Booking.com
Though it is better known as a hotel booking site, Booking.com is also a vacation rental site. Besides hotel or home rentals, the site also offers car rentals, flights, airport transfers and even experiences. For environmentally conscious travelers, Booking.com comes with a “travel sustainable” search filter that can be used to find eco-friendly rentals. Hosts list their properties for free and pay a service fee per booking.
- C. VRBO
VRBO has an easy-to-navigate vacation rental site with listings in numerous countries and cities. You can narrow down your search using filters like property type, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, safety features and accessibility. All the costs involved, including fees and taxes, are clearly listed on the VRBO website.
While Airbnb allows hosts to list all kinds of home rentals (including treehouses, cabins, beach houses and shared rooms), VRBO only allows the listing of private spaces.
Hosts have the option to pay an annual subscription or to pay per booking.
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- D. Expedia
Expedia offers both hotel listings and vacation rental homes. You can choose from a wide variety of rental types, including cabins, condos, apart-hotels, cottages, villas and private vacation homes. You can filter your search to show only listings that offer free cancelation or a pay-later option.
The website also allows visitors to book flights and car rentals, thus streamlining the vacation planning process.
Though rental listing on Expedia is free, hosts pay a service fee of between 10% and 30% for each booking.
- E. HomeToGo
HomeToGo is a vacation rental search engine that displays millions of listings all over the globe. When you type in your destination, the search result page shows listings from Booking.com, Airbnb, VRBO and other vacation rental sites.
A map is displayed alongside the results, showing you where the rental property is located.
HomeToGo is ideal for guests who want to quickly compare vacation home rentals across various platforms.
- F. HomeStay.com
Homestay is a unique vacation rental site that allows travelers to book rooms in owner-occupied homes. This is ideal for students or travelers on a budget who don’t mind staying with a local host.
However, since Homestay doesn’t carry out any background checks on the property owner, visitors need to do their due diligence before booking.Hosts pay a service fee of 3% per booking.
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8. Shopping for an Investment Property
Looking for the ideal vacation home to invest in as a rental property? Look for websites like TheShorttermShop.com, which offers a comprehensive search of vacation properties as well as educational resources about investing in short-term rentals.