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The vacation rental landscape is always changing, often for the better but sometimes for the worse. Recently, companies like HomeAway/VRBO and AirBnB are imposing higher and higher fees on guests, masquerading them as Guest Service Fees. These fees make a guest’s stay significantly more expensive, upwards of 12% of the reservation total.  Check out VRBO’s service fee below on a 2 night stay at one of our properties.

  • 2 nights $950.00
  • Property Fees $35.00
  • Property Fees$ 225.00
  • Tax $57.00
  • Service Fee $122.00
  • Subtotal $1,389.00
  • Refundable damage deposit $500.00
  • Total payment $1,889.00

These booking sites are also making it harder for the owner or manager to communicate directly with the guest.  All emails and phone numbers are now blocked from both parties until the booking is accepted!

One suggestion that might help you save money and circumvent these fees is to book directly through the owner or management company.  Travelers can usually find this information if they take a few minutes to look.  On some sites such as VRBO the guest can actually see the name of the management company and/or logo if they look further down on the VRBO listing page below the property information.  Here is a screenshot of this section.

VRBO Owner Information Section

If you know the name of the company you can usually put the name in your search engine and find the website.  Once found, add the phone number in your contacts or bookmark the website for future bookings.  Even if you don’t want to stay at the same home, most management companies handle numerous vacation rentals.  Hope these tips will save you some money on your next adventure!