VRBO is one of several vacation rental sites such as Flipkey (Tripadvisor), AirBnB, Mauiownercondos etc. A few years ago Homeaway bought out VRBO. This past fall Expedia (yes, that big travel search engine) bought out Homeaway. As expected they are looking to increase profit margins for their shareholders.
They have announced big changes starting February 16th 2016 which include a proposed traveler service fee of 4-10% (scroll down to ‘More Travelers’). By comparison, AirBnB already charges guests 6-12% commission, and Flipkey also has a guest booking fee of 5-15%. To date, VRBO has been different, in that owners pay an annual rate to list their vacation rental but didn’t charge travelers additionally. So far they have not announced specifics on how this new fee will be implemented. However, there is sure to be confusion among owners and travelers.
What can you as a traveler do?
If you are planning a trip and already know your dates, consider shopping for a vacation rental now before this new fee goes into effect (overall rents are sure to increase). Most owners only require a deposit up front to hold the booking (though many have a cancellation fee, so do make sure you are sure of your dates before committing).
Another option, book directly with the owner. While we advertise on VRBO and AirBnB as well, you can also book directly with us through our website or by calling us.
What is the booking process at Maui Oceanview Condos? It’s very simple. Check our availability calendar, select a condo and then send us an email or call. We will confirm the availability, send you more information, or if you are ready to book, send you a rental agreement. You may pay by credit card (through VRBO/Homeaway or PayPal – we will send you an invoice) or US check (ask for a check discount). We strongly encourage you to call us, this helps us answer any questions about the condo or rental agreement/payment you may have.
We strongly recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance – please do your own research.