Are vacation rentals safe?
Of course, without a vaccine, there is no firm guarantee with regard to safety. It’s crucial to follow guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider your own level of risk, and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.
However, experts and the CDC have stated that private vacation rentals are a safer option than hotels right now due to minimized contact with other guests or staff. Airbnb also announced rigorous new procedures including an Enhanced Cleaning Protocol that all hosts must follow with strict policies on personal protective equipment, approved disinfectants, and waiting periods.
While they aren’t as strictly enforced as Airbnb, Vrbo has also developed new cleaning guidelines for hosts. The guidelines were created in consultation with Expedia Group partner Cristal International Standards and with the Vacation Rental Management Association. You can also read up on reviews for individual listings and some hosts note in listings the exact cleaning measures they are taking.
What’s the difference between Airbnb and Vrbo?
Airbnb offers both entire homes and apartments, as well as private rooms within shared homes. If you want to ensure you won’t be in a shared listing, you can set search criteria to only look for entire homes. Airbnb has more than 7 million listings worldwide. Cancellation policies are up to hosts and fall under either flexible, moderate, or strict guidelines.
Vrbo, which stands for vacation rental by owner, has been operating for over 25 years and is now owned by Expedia Group and encompasses what was once HomeAway under the same umbrella. Vrbo also rents both whole properties and private rooms in guest houses and B&Bs. Like Airbnb, there are plenty of filters to help guests narrow down their ideal stay or expand the search.
There’s no definitive answer on whether Airbnb or Vrbo is the better platform. It entirely depends on your needs, where you’re headed, and what listings are available at that time on either platform. To ensure you get the price rental at the best price, it may be wise to check both sites. You can read a full breakdown of Airbnb vs Vrbo policies here.
What should I look for in a rental?
Consider criteria like the items we use to select homes to recommend to readers. Right now, we recommend following expert advice and only looking for entire private homes. Also, read up on recent reviews and look for high overall ratings, Superhost status, and homes that participate in the Enhanced Clean program. Location, budget, and size will also vary depending on your needs. Of course, for tree-house rentals you’ll want to look for homes that are surrounded by treetops. On Airbnb, you can even set your filters to specifically search just by “Treehouse” under unique stays.