Friday, June 29, 2012

Do You Know VRBO?

You guys know that we've just been on our summer vacation, and today I wanted to share a handy website that I've used a couple of times in planning our trips. Have you heard of Vacation Rentals by Owner? It's a site where you can search privately owned properties when looking for a great place to stay.

With some of the listings, you deal directly with the owner, but the majority are run by management companies. Sometimes you may be staying in a personal residence that is being rented out, or it may be a company-owned property.

We have used VRBO twice in the last few years, and always check it out when we're headed somewhere new that we're not familiar with. The first time we booked with VRBO was on our 15th Anniversary trip to New York City. We decided the general area of town we wanted to stay in, and then searched for nearby listings.

We were able to stay in a flat in a neighborhood near Times Square. It was a 1 bedroom with bath and full kitchen and living area. The rate was much less than we would have had for a tiny hotel room elsewhere. The kitchen was a major benefit (although we ate out more than we planned to!), and we really felt like locals when walking through the neighborhood up to the flat, rather than tourists heading towards the hotels.

Our place was not lavishlike a fancy hotel, but comfortable,
and I guess spacious in NYC terms!

We also used VRBO for our beach vacation last week. Once again, we were able to get a 2 bed, 1 ½ bath condo with a full kitchen, washer & dryer in the room, and balcony overlooking the ocean, right on the beach, for less than we could have rented a standard hotel room for. We made 1 trip to the store for quick fix, easy meals and saved money by only eating out one time. I also really appreciate the washer and dryer-I love coming home from a trip with all of the laundry already done! 

Nothing super fancy, but perfect for our needs and budget. 

Best of all, this was our balcony.  Right on the sand!

My only caution is to always make sure you know what's included and not included...parking? towels? paper goods? etc.  Usually the listing is very upfront but the owner or contact person is very helpful
if you have any questions and need to contact them. 

VRBO is the first site we check when planning a trip. Have you ever used it?
Hmmm, maybe I need to check to see if VRBO is in Hawaii...

I think this is my last vacation post-I promise to get back to house projects next week!


  1. We use VRBO for our Colorado vacations every summer. Not been disappointed yet! I think we need to explore some beach options. (:

  2. Love this!!! I always hear about stuff like this, but never researched them. Thanks for the tip, and will definitely look here before any hotel...I can't stand hotels! And to have a washer/ dryer would be heaven sent...and what a view you had...I bet it must have been nice to wake up and hear the waves....I think I need a vacation at the beach myself. Hope you guys had a lot of fun.

  3. Thanks for the great tip! We usually bid on hotels and use to help out with bidding tips, but it would be nice to stay at a residence where we can cook our food! Love your blog. Hope you are enjoying summer with your family :)

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this! I had no idea this existed. Don't worry about the posts...we're all enjoying a virtual vacation with you.


  5. I can't even count how many times we've used it, and never been disappointed. From a log home on 17 acres with a pond and horses near Mt. Rushmore to houses on the CA beach, Santa Fe townhome right in town, mountain ski houses, cozy condos. I love the option of eating in for a quick breakfast or lunch and then having a nice dinner out. You can also search by 'Pets Accepted.' Can you tell I like it? :)

  6. We use VRBO also and love it. Your suggestion to verify what's included is great - it would be a huge bummer to get to a rental house and discover there are no sheets for the beds. Usually the homeowners will negotiate those details. I'm with Pam - eating breakfast/lunch in and then a nice dinner out is my fave on vacation too!

  7. I don't mind your vacation posts...especially when they're full of great info like this. I haven't heard of VRBO. Sounds awesome. My parents own several timeshares and we are sometimes able to use them as a family trip (with or without my parents) and can exchange them for one of thousands of locations all over the world...but that's their luxury at any time, not ours. So, since we don't own a timeshare, the VRBO sounds like a great idea.

    Funny, Justin and I took our 11th anniversary trip (almost 2 yrs ago) to NYC. It was our first trip EVER without kids since we married. (Gasp!) I blogged about it, of course. (It was my 2nd time there.) I know what you mean about feeling like a tourist. Would've been nice to feel more like a local. Lol.

  8. We have been using VRBO for the last several years with much much easier and affordable than staying in hotels!

  9. We've used VRBO as well and I love it. We've had really good experience with it. You can't beat the prices most of the time and I find it really easy to navigate. I didn't even think about using it for NY but that's a great idea.


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