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Booking A Vacation Rental: The Top 3 Sites to Search

May 21, 2009 at 10:10 AM | by | ()

Let’s quit being technical about it; the summer travel season is upon us. If you haven’t booked your trip yet, you might want to think about a vacation rental. For the same price as a hotel, or sometimes less, you can often score more amenities and space. Unfortunately, you usually have to clean up your own mess—no maid service for us slobs.

If this type of accommodation freedom sounds up your alley, we've compiled a few of the best sites to help you pick out your dream home away from home. Just make sure that you register your rental with HomeAway before you send your payment to the owner. It’s totally free, and you’ll be covered up to $5,000—just in case the place is a little less than what was described.

Vacation Rentals By Owner – VRBO
This is pretty much the go-to site when it comes to choosing a rental home, as they have over 120,000 in their listings. Just pick your location from their map, and relish in the ability to sort by bedrooms, how many the home sleeps, and photos of the property. It’s a bummer that you can’t search by price, but searching for the smaller units usually helps. There’s even a place for former guests to leave some feedback, so hopefully you can get some decent advice. The interface here is pretty basic; it kind of has a Craigslist vibe but with a little more color.

This site lets you search by date right from the main page, so you won’t be disappointed with availability once you find the perfect place. CyberRentals is pretty handy since it lists special deals separately, so you can book a steal from those homeowners that are desperate to rent their place. Here you can also search by price, but it’s a little tricky to figure out which places have reviews. There’s even a way to add properties to a favorites list, so you can come back after you picked out the good ones at work, and get down to booking something.

This just happens to be the world’s leading vacation rentals marketplace with over 145,000 places just waiting for you. You’re able to search by availability on a certain date, or you can just go with the map and narrow it down to your favorite leisure spot. This site has the most options available for search, and we really like the ability to select and compare properties. We need to ensure that our vacation villa has a hot tub and an indoor pool. For those that are little more frugal, you can search by price range and availability—so you’ll be able to find that cheap rental over Independence Day weekend in no time.

Related Stories:
· VRBO [Official Site]
· Cyber Rentals [Official Site]
· HomeAway [Official Site]
· Vacation Homes coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo of Hilton Head Rentals: Lee Coursey]

Archived Comments:

Local rental sites

I agree these are great sites but you may find more information from sites that concentrate on a specific area. A good example is the Ontario Canada cottage rental market. Sites like www.clrm.ca for example.


i agree with homeaway and vrbo due to their sheer size (in terms of number of property listings) I would not agree with cyberrentals, since it basically just uses properties that are already listed in homeaway. other professional websites i'd recommend would be zonder.com and domegos.com

Good Experience With HomeAway

I've only used them once, but had a great experience with HomeAway in Chicago on short notice. Got a beautiful condo and parking in a great location. That must have been when I flew to Austin for SXSW, or maybe it was when I flew to LA and had LS Transportation take me on a celebrity tour in a limo in Los Angeles. Both trips were fun... too fun to remember the details!


Villa Rentals is also a decent site

Check out ReserveMyHome Booking Site for Rentals

Yes, homeaway is a huge site but check out http://www.reservemyhome.com as a pure booking site for vacation rentals from Lake Tahoe to the Caribbean.

Thanks for sharing

Thanks for sharing such a nice and useful post. When it comes to planning a vacation, the first thing comes into our mind is the hotel reservation. Your post appears as helpful in that context. hotels in Perth

List for free on TripAdvisor

Good deal for Vacation Rental Owners - list your property Free on TripAdvisor for 60 days - no strings attached. http://www.flipkey.com/offer/ref609176

Vacation Rental Search

If you're looking for a vacation rental, rather than searching through each site, you can just use Otalo.com - which searches all the top vacation rental sites for you. Kinda like KAYAK, but for vacation rentals. http://www.otalo.com

It is also

It is also helpful to go through local classifieds to gauge the going rates and feel of the scene for home and villas for rent, particularly if you are going somewhere that caters to a lot of tourists. Rates changes depending on the time of the year, and to get the most accurate information is to go local.