Difference Between Airbnb and VRBO (With Table)

Difference Between Airbnb and VRBO (With Table)

Although several hotels and motels can be great for vacations, they are not always the best option. There is a different option, also known as Vacation Homestays, that is somewhat like hotels but with many more options, there are two names currently providing great services.

The two options are Airbnb and Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO). Although Airbnb and VRBO provide accommodation and staying services, there are many differences that one can find.

Airbnb vs VRBO

The main difference between Airbnb and VRBO is that Airbnb charges a hosting charge of 3% on registered homeowners. On the other hand, VRBO charges up to 5% hosting charges on registered homeowners.

Difference Between Airbnb and VRBO

Airbnb is one of the most renowned lodging service providers that was founded in the year 2008. The founding team members of Airbnb include Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. Airbnb primarily works by online booking for homestay rentals. Furthermore, the booking can be done via both website and mobile application.

VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner. The concept is to help homeowners put their property on lease while providing lodging to people on vacation. VRBO was founded in the year 1995. VRBO, as per the current update, is owned and managed by the Expedia Group.

Comparison Table Between Airbnb and VRBO

Parameters of ComparisonAirbnbVRBO
HeadquartersThe headquarters for Airbnb is in San Francisco, California.The headquarters for VRBO is situated in Austin, Texas.
ExperienceAirbnb has been in the market since 2008 and has about 13 years of experience in the vacation lodging industry.VRBO has been in the market since 1995 making it more experienced.
Prime focusAirbnb focuses on short as well as long vacation stays.VRBO majorly focuses on long-duration stays.
Service fee structureOn confirming the reservation, a guest is charged within the range of 5% to 15%.For VRBO booking, a guest is charged a service fee of 4% to 9%. However, the fee does not exceed $499.
Booking plansAirbnb offers a pay-per-booking for its users.VRBO has two options. The first option includes pay-per-booking. The user can also opt for an annual subscription that offers unlimited inquiries and stays.
User-friendlinessTo book any stay at Airbnb, a person needs to create an account on the Airbnb website.VRBO offers great convenience to the users. A user can directly book a stay just by visiting the website without the requirement of creating an account.

What is Airbnb?

Thanks to the booking, Airbnb or Air Bed and Breakfast is now ranking at the top marketplace for short vacation stays. With Airbnb, an owner can list any property. The guests can check the listing and book the place if the price is satisfactory. Airbnb has a presence across more than 200 countries, with more than 4 million online listings.

Airbnb, on its own, does not own any places but helps out both owners and guests while charging them a small commission once the booking is confirmed. To do the bookings, Airbnb has both a website and a dedicated application that is very user-friendly.

The unique quality that has made Airbnb so popular is that shared bookings are possible with Airbnb. Airbnb revolutionized the concept of breakfast in bed and grew substantially, given the range of choices it offers guests.

Before booking, a guest can check out the experience section on the website and app. It gives insights about the place, the nearby attractions, and activities that can make the stay much more enjoyable. Guests not only get value for money for their stay, but they also get good customer service from the team at Airbnb.

What is VRBO?

One of the oldest marketplaces introducing the concept of vacation homestays is VRBO or Vacation Rentals By Owners. David Clouse is the person who started the website for VRBO in the year 1995. Recent records suggest that VRBO has more than two million listings worldwide.

VRBO was acquired by HomeAway in the year 2006. However, in 2015, Expedia Group took over and now owns the VRBO business. VRBO constantly lists to accommodate the growing requirements and competition in the market.

VRBO provides lodging services for all types of groups. They offer many staying options, like cabins, villas, and farmhouses. The only thing a guest needs to remember is that they need to book the whole apartment or house, as VRBO does not offer shared stays.

The no-sharing clause is a benefit and a downer for VRBO. People going on vacation who want to have privacy will find the no-sharing option great. Like other vacation rental services, VRBO procures its cut from house owners who want to list their property and from clients who are on the lookout for a good vacation spot.

Main Differences Between Airbnb and VRBO

  1. Airbnb allows guests to book places on a shared basis. On the other hand, VRBO requires its guests to book the full property on rental.
  2. Airbnb requires creating an account to book a place. VRBO does not require creating an account.
  3. Airbnb follows a pay-per-booking method for all its bookings. On the other hand, VRBO has options for pay-per-booking or an annual subscription for people who love traveling.
  4. Airbnb entered the market in 2008, while VRBO has been on the market for much longer as it started business in 1995.
  5. The service fee that Airbnb charges ranges from 5% to 15%. On the other hand, VRBO charges a service fee that ranges from 4% to 9%.


While both Airbnb and VRBO work in the same segment of the industry of vacation rentals, the way they operate their businesses is vastly different from each other by all means.

Right from the places to book to the fees they charge, both Airbnb and VRBO are quite distinctive. The clients that book services with Airbnb and VRBO are very different per their requirements.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/10963480211019110
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666957921000082
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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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