Difference Between Booking Direct and Vrbo

The vacation rental service is a gigantic growing industry. Vacation rental platforms provide various options for accommodation and are not only limited to hotels. The platforms have brought about exposure and opportunity to this sector. The two main types of renting options are through booking direct or through Online Rental Agents like Vrbo.

Booking Direct vs Vrbo

The main difference between booking direct and Vrbo is that booking direct means reserving the stay with a professional management company direct without the involvement of any third-party platform or group while Vrbo is an Online Travel platform that provides a hassle-free reservation procedure.

Booking Direct vs VRBO

Booking direct caters to exclusive features like first-hand interaction with the customers and the opportunity of direct communication. It provides the personal data of the travellers and thus can be used in the promotion of new offers and discounts before and even after travel. It gives space to form a personal connection with the staying place and ambience.

While Vrbo is an Online Travel agent platform that provides renting of entire villas, houses, and properties. It is the best option for people looking for an entire house and encourages personal space. It has exclusive refund and cancellation policies which make the booking procedure simple and hassle-free and less time-consuming.

Comparison Table Between Booking Direct and Vrbo

Parameters of ComparisonBooking directVrbo
FunctionProcess of reservation and booking of rent or service directly Process of reservation and booking of rent and service through Online Travel Agents platform
AdvantagesCan be personalized, better communication and interaction Control over the terms and conditions of the room or service provides exposure and has a mix of marketing and management
DisadvantagesTime consuming and less exposure opportunity Less communication and less availability of data
PriceThe customers need to pay only the rest fee and is cost-effective The customers need to pay a service fee apart from the rent fee
Customer serviceBooking direct connects customers to a live person to solve the queries and doubts Vrbo connects the customers to a chatbot or give pre-designed answers on raising queries

What is Booking direct?

Booking direct is the term used to refer to the process of booking rooms, hotels, tours, and activities directly and not through some indirect booking method, third-party involvement, or Online Travel Agents (OTAs). Direct bookings develop better relationships with the customers and provide maximum opportunity for interaction. There is no involvement of any third-party booking agent or interface.

Since direct booking provides the details of the guests, the hotels can create trip anticipation through various offers and discounts. Also after the trip is over, post-trip messages will not only keep the old customer, but he might refer his acquaintances.

A traveller through direct bookings is likely to drop suggestions during interaction which can be a beneficial insight to work on and boost the sales rate. Direct bookings are cheaper and affordable than other third-party-based bookings. There is no commission and service fee involved, and the travellers pay only for the room and nothing extra.

Direct booking provides the personal data of travellers. This can be used as an opportunity to make the experience and stay unique, personalized, and authentic if put to effective planning. Some hotels provide extra discounts to the customers who book direct and this is a wonderful marketing strategy to encourage direct booking.

What is Vrbo?

VRBO stands for Vacation Rentals by Owner. It is an online rental marketplace for vacations which was launched by the company HomeAway in 1995. It was later acquired by Expedia Group in 2015. Initially, it allowed the homeowner subscription model on an annual basis and later included options like the per-rental fee option and property listing option for short-term rental purposes.

Vrbo allows the refund of the traveller’s service fee if the stay is cancelled. It also has strict laws if the property owners try to influence the travellers in any way. Entire homes are listed on Vrbo, so travellers do not need to share rooms with other guests. Vrbo works best for short-term tenants.

Vrbo provides exposure to listed rented places to a larger audience. Renters can search the properties through location or zip code search. It also allows renters to ask questions and doubts about the property. The best feature that Vrbo provides is the protection against fraud deposits.

Vrbo lists entire homes and properties on the site and families going for a trip or wants an exclusive individual space, would have all the checklists met at Vrbo. Vrbo also provides a detailed breakdown of the costs and expenses and hence caters transparency between both ends.

Main Differences Between Booking Direct and Vrbo

  1. Booking direct would be cost-effective as the travelers would pay only for the rental fees while booking through Vrbo would cost more as charges like service fees are included.
  2. Booking direct provides information about the ongoing deals, discounts, and offers while booking through Vrbo does not give information about all the offers to the customers.
  3. Booking direct can be time-consuming and involve numerous procedures while booking through Vrbo is faster, easier and hassle-free.
  4. Booking direct gives prior knowledge about the property to the travelers while booking through Vrbo does not give much information and highlights only the good points.
  5. Booking directly helps the travelers contact a live person for queries and develop a personal connection while booking through Vrbo answers the queries through a pre-curated chatbot.


Every traveller has a different motive while planning a stay while on a vacation. Direct booking provides transparency and exercise control over the reservation while Vrbo being an OTA platform, provides a mix of marketing and management strategy and has maximum exposure.

Communication is the key to any business and interaction is essential. Booking direct may not have maximum exposure while Vrbo does not guarantee loyal customers. It is crucial to evaluate all the platform options before making a choice and identifying and ensuring protection against spam and fraud.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=P2VnDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA145&dq=booking+direct+and+vrbo&ots=mVVsS6Ul8M&sig=sM–o9g2gy15rK5KHDneaP9zq4U
  2. https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=411835
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