Imagine going on a vacation where your accommodation is a lot more than a rest. It’s a pivotal part of your overall travel experience. Rental platforms such as Vrbo and Airbnb have transformed the way we plan our vacations, offering us the opportunity to reside in homes that are as interesting and unique as the destinations themselves. 

Comparison and Difference Between Vrbo and Airbnb

Many people ask ‘ Is Vrbo better than Airbnb ‘? Well, both platforms are unique in their own ways. The right choice is entirely dependent on the travel preferences. 

Airbnb VS Vrbo

Download Airbnb: Appstore or Google Play

Download Vrbo: Appstore or Google Play

Airbnb VS Vrbo Accommodation type 

Airbnb has a wide range of options to choose from - you can rent the entire house, a private room, and a shared room. On the other hand, with VRBO you only have the option to rent out the entire property. It could be an apartment, villa, cottage, and more. 

However, if you are looking for a home to rent for a family get-together or any other function, both options are good choices. But for a budget-friendly option, you should stick with Airbnb. You can also search for ‘ Airbnb plus ‘ properties. 

Winner: Airbnb 

Related: Top 6 Apps Like Airbnb

Airbnb VS Vrbo Search functionality 

The Airbnb website has some nice visual elements like prices and notable locations. Whereas, in comparison to Airbnb, Vrbo’s map looks a bit old-fashioned. 

Keep the aesthetics aside for a second. The sort functionality and filter of Vrbo are a lot better than Airbnb. For instance, Vrbo allows you to filter by user reviews including properties that are highly rated for cleanliness and properties that are rated for 4 stars and above. 

In Vrbo vs Airbnb, vrbo’s filters are a lot more intuitive. The ‘ pets allowed ‘ filter of this platform is a requirement for many travellers. It is properly displayed on the initial screen of the Vrbo. On the other hand, the house rules of Airbnb are hidden in the menu’s order limiting the users to filter and search guest ratings. 

Winner: Vrbo 

Airbnb VS Vrbo Selection Criteria 

In December 2022, Airbnb had 6.6 million active listings whereas the number of vrbo was certainly lower. There are a lot of differences when people search for both platforms in the same region. 

Let’s say, the search for Airbnb properties in Forks reveals 42 listings with a wide range of accommodation styles and preferences. A similar search on Vrbo revealed just one active available property. 

The difference between VRBO and Airbnb is Airbnb dominates when it comes to the number of listings. 

Winner: Airbnb 

Airbnb VS Vrbo Booking process 

Both the vacation rental platforms have a property host that does not help you book ‘ an Airbnb ‘ but a rental through ‘ Airbnb ‘. For this reason, the booking process might be a bit different for those who are used to staying at the hotels. 

In Vrbo vs Airbnb properties, you first need to send a booking request in which you further need to include the price quotation and detailed requirements you want to the host. 

The host then reviews the request, compares it with other hosts, and then accepts/denies the request. In other words, you need to wait for confirmation from the host before your booking is finalized. 

A hassle-free option of ‘ Instant book ‘ is also available in some properties through which you can book without getting any approval from the host. 

Winner: Airbnb 

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Airbnb VS Vrbo Cancellation Policy 

Both the rental platforms allow the property managers to set some cancellation and change policies. Since these policies vary from property to property, there is no fixed way to know which one offers flexibility overall. 

When it comes to the cancellation policy, the Airbnb reviews are much better than the vrbo reviews. They explain, implement, and present the policies in an impeccable manner. 

Airbnb has various preset flexibility policies that are the perfect combination of flexible and strict policies.

Airbnb Cancellation Policies:

  • For a full refund, you need to cancel the reservation five days before the stay. 
  • Cancel your reservation 30 days before the stay to get a full refund 
  • Cancel the booking between 7 to 30 days before your stay to receive a 50% refund 
  • If you cancel your reservation in less than 7 days of the day, no refund will be given to you.


Vrbo Cancellation Policies:

  • Cancel the booking at least 60 days before the stay to get a full refund 
  • Cancel the booking at least 30 days before the stay to receive a 50% refund


The policies of both platforms are somewhat similar to each other but the problem with vrbo is that it only allows custom policies. This clearly does not mean that vrbo policies are less flexible than Airbnb properties. It just means they are comparatively harder to comprehend

Winner: Airbnb

Airbnb VS Vrbo Long-Stay Discounts 

You can enjoy the benefits of long-term stay discounts on both vrbo and Airbnb. These discounts play a crucial role in making a huge difference when you are staying for a week or more than a week. 

Winner: Tie 

Airbnb VS Vrbo Pricing and Fees 

Is vrbo cheaper than Airbnb? Well, it’s not easy to compare the pricing of both services because they are distinctive and unique in their own terms. They charge service fees above the base rate, which is the way they make money. 

However, by comparing both platforms, the average base rate is found to be 20% across both of them. Airbnb and vrbo allow the hosts to decide whether they want refundable security deposits for the guests or not. However, there is a layer of intricacy and additional expenses for guests but there is no system that one charges more than the other.

Winner: Tie 

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Airbnb VS Vrbo Cleaning fees 

Both platforms carry a one-time cleaning fee which is used by the hosts to cover the cost of cleaning their space. The hosts set the amount, not the platform, so the fees vary from property to property. 

When it comes to the presentation of fees, vrbo wins. Vrbo displays the total price of the booking ( excluding tax ). Guests can make use of the vrbo price filter for narrowing down the search filters with the total price. Hence, they are always able to see the total price and breakdown of fees before booking on the vrbo website or application.

Winner: Vrbo  

Airbnb VS Vrbo Safety 

When it comes to travelling and booking a stay, safety is the utmost priority of all. People are always concerned about whether there is a carbon monoxide detector or not, do the listings match the photos when it comes to condition and cleanliness, and are the hosts responsive or not. 

Airbnb Host Features 

  • Host reviews 
  • Ability to connect with a host through the rental platforms and host background checks 
  • Every booking is associated with Aircover which provides protection against host collections 
  • Answer to queries regarding check-in and check-out problems 
  • 24-hour safety phone number 

Vrbo Host Features 

  • Property Description guarantee 
  • Property access assistance 
  • Payment protection 
  • Emergency rebooking help
  • 24/7 customer service 

Winner: Tie 

Vrbo vs Airbnb - Which Is The Best App For Travelers in 2024? 

Overall Winner: Airbnb 

Travellers who prefer experiencing new adventures are recommended to consider Airbnb as it offers a wide range of low, mid, and high priced vacation rental properties. From single spaces to shared rooms, you can have it all. 

However, vrbo reviews are not as positive as Airbnb's because it is restricted to big families and circles of friends. Only private spaces can be booked by the guests. It has fewer listings hence, fewer choices for guests.