Hi and welcome to our firsthand Vrbo Reviews. On the 17th of January 2020, we started testing Vrbo.
We wanted to see what the competition of Airbnb holds. Curious as we are, we signed up and kicked-off our first-hand review of Vrbo.
In this article we will walk you through the whole experience and process. Nobody paid us to write these lines. And no one told us what we can say and what we cannot say here.
This is a genuine article and we share our experience with Vrbo as we go. We start with the sign up process, and we end who knows where. Let us find out together.
So, without further ado, here is what we cover (and will cover)
- Sign Up Process
- Looking for Rentals on Vrbo
- The Vrbo App – iOs and Android
- First Impressions
- Look & Feel
- What does Vrbo mean?
- Is Vrbo legit? Other sources
- First Booking with Vrbo (coming soon)
1. Sign Up with Vrbo
As we are writing these lines, we are in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. I noticed a few nice flats and houses with Vrbo here in Colombia. This got me interested in the first place.
So, I signed up with Vrbo.
As expected, the sign-up process is incredibly easy.
- First you need to chose between “Traveler Login” or “Owner Login”. Since we want to use for travelling, I chose “traveler login”.
- Add your email address (or sign up with Expedia, Facebook or Google)
- You receive an email to confirm you email address. Check your email and confirm.
After this straight-forward login process, I setup my account. I uploaded a photo of mine where you can see my face. I added my phone number, home location and a short description about myself.
2. Looking for Rentals on Vrbo
Straight forward, yet again.
The search is very simple as expected. Add your dates, destination and off you go.
I found the filters are very cool and handy. For instance, I really enjoy the filter of “nearby activities” and even “virtual tour”. So apparently some apartments, flats, houses, villas have virtual tours of their property.
As I was scrolling for accommodation in Santa Marta, Colombia I noticed a lack of reviews and ratings. This is a pity, really.
I asked about this and Vrbo is much stronger in Europe. After all, this is a travel blog about Europe. So that is really good news.
Therefore, I tested other destinations in Europe with Vrbo.
For London, Paris and Amsterdam they have a lot of ratings.
As mentioned, I did my first rental search for apartments and houses near Santa Marta, Colombia. I noticed right away, a few properties did not have a price. Odd. It states “View details for price“. I was curious and had a look.
After having a closer look, I could not find any explanation why the price was not shown in the first place. It doesn’t look different.
Receiving a follow up email
One day after my sign up with Vrbo and my direct search for accommodation, I received a follow-up email. It was about my search.
“We’ve saved your search so you don’t miss out on your dream vacation”
It is a simple, friendly reminder and accommodations they found based on my previous search. Very handy, really. It does not feel pushy at all like I experienced with many other platforms.
This email could be improved a bit, I feel. It could mention average prices, for instance. Or some kind of more helpful information that makes me want to keep doing my research.
The second day after signing up, I received another, more detailed email. It showed how Vrbo works.
It also reminded me to get the App on. Good thing, because until now the Vrbo app was actually not in my mind. Yet, it makes perfect sense.
The third email was yet the coolest one: 12 cool and interesting cottages for a vacation. They sent beautiful cottages from Belize to Portland, from Hawaii over New York City to the Bahamas.
I liked that they included averages prices per night.
3. The Vrbo App – iOs and Android
Obviously, there must be an app. Many of us know that situation; sitting in a bar or restaurants with friends, chatting and dreaming of vacation. Pulling out the phone and having a quick look what accommodations in your desired destinations would cost like?
Simple, and we have all done it.
You can download the Vrbo app for Android and iOs here.
You have to text yourself a link to download the app. I could not find the Vrbo app in the android store nor in the Apple App Store.
4. First Impressions
I think this section is quite an important one. I want to share here my very first impressions I have with Vrbo as they might fade and change once we have our first booking finished.
Obviously, my first impression is very positive. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been intrigued to get started, right?!
Let us have a closer look.
4.1 Look and Feel of Vrbo
First of all, it looks very clean and professional. Comparing to the Airbnb brand, it looks more professional without the social part.
4.2 What does Vrbo mean?
Vrbo stood for Vacation Rental By Owner. Back in March 2019, Vrbo did a rebrand. Since then it is spelled Vrbo instead of VRBO. With the rebrand we Vrbo does not really stand for “vacation rental by owner” anymore, it is more like a generic brand name.
It is pronounced “Verbo” or “Ver-boh“.
The platform is specialized in vacation rentals of all types; from houses, apartments, condos, villas, you name it. I also found you can book bed-rooms.
4.3 The Reviews of VRBO – legit?
I also did my research on how legit is VRBO.
The online reviews are mixed. All the way from “scam” to “best experience ever”. I guess I have to do my own testing to find out more. And I will share it right here!
That being said, I checked the online VRBO reviews on consumeraffairs.com, trustpilot and tripadvisor. I even read this big guide on explaining the difference between VRBO and Airbnb.
Users state repeatedly that VRBO is legit, yet there can be issue with home owners. I will for sure dive more into that in the process.
Have a look at the ad below. Quite a funny one.
More of our Accommodation Guides
Besides testing Vrbo, we have also handwritten several unique guides on where to stay in Europe:
This article is updated as we go and explore VRBO.