Listing your vacation rental home on online travel agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb or Vrbo is one of the easiest ways to reach more travelers and drive more bookings. OTAs are typically a low-cost way to promote your property at scale, saving you money on ad spend. Other benefits of OTAs include increased exposure to reach new potential guests, improved reputation through association with trusted OTA brands, and the ability to build trust with travelers who can access reviews from previous guests.
By promoting your home on multiple vacation rental listing sites, you will increase your visibility, secure more bookings, and generate more revenue. Keep reading to discover our picks for the top online travel agencies.
Top online travel agencies
An online travel agency is a digital marketplace that allows travelers to research and instantly book accommodations, transportation, tours, and activities. For vacation rental homeowners, OTAs provide amplified visibility to a higher volume of potential guests that would be difficult to reach on your own. OTAs offer services and tools for vacation rental hosts, such as advertising, managing bookings and reviews, and streamlined communication with guests. Here are some of the top online travel agencies for listing your vacation rental online.
Airbnb is one of the leading OTAs that connects vacation rental hosts with travelers searching for accommodations and experiences in specific destinations. As one of the largest vacation rental listing sites, Airbnb is a household name whose brand reputation can help you reach more travelers. Since it was founded in 2007, Airbnb has hosted over 1 billion guests and currently has 6 million active listings worldwide. While it’s free to list vacation rentals on Airbnb, most hosts pay a fee of 14-16% for each booking’s subtotal.
- No listing fees
- A host-only fee ranging from 14-16% is deducted from the total host payout (can be higher depending on location and if you’re an Airbnb Plus host)
- AirCover provides hosts with $1 million in insurance coverage
- Becoming an Airbnb Superhost can increase your visibility and earning potential
Vrbo (originally known as VRBO or “vacation rentals by owner”) is one of the top vacation rental listing sites in the US. Vrbo recently merged with HomeAway and is now part of the Expedia Group. With over 2 million properties worldwide, Vrbo’s platform has 42 million unique visitors each month of travelers looking to book a stay. Its audience tends to be larger families or groups looking for vacation homes, cabins, and cottages.
- To list properties on Vrbo, hosts have the option to pay a $499 annual subscription or a pay-per-booking option (5% commission and 3% payment processing fee per booking)
- Hosts can only list private accommodations (no spare rooms like Airbnb)
- Vrbo provides hosts with $1 million in liability insurance coverage
- The Premier Host program gives you and your properties special recognition and increased visibility
Booking.com began as a small Dutch startup in 1996 and has grown to be one of the leading online travel agencies today. Booking.com connects travelers from all over the world to vacation rentals and hotels, transportation options, and experiences. There are over 6.2 million listings for vacation rental homes, apartments, and other unique accommodations available on the site.
- No listing fees, but hosts are charged a commission fee for each booking based on the total value of each reservation
- Hosts can request damage deposits from guests to cover any potential damage
- Booking.com runs background checks on guests, performs fraud scoring, and blocks problematics guests to protect hosts
- Hosts receive protection against liability claims from third parties up to $1 million for every reservation
Tripadvisor is a travel guidance platform that helps travelers plan and book trips. They were originally known as a comparison and review site for hotels, restaurants, and other attractions, but have since become a booking platform for accommodations including vacation rental homes. With over 463 million monthly active users spanning 28 different languages, Tripadvisor is a great platform to reach potential guests from all over the world.
- No listing fees, but a 3% commission is charged per booking
- Listings are also shared across Tripadvisor’s family of brands, including FlipKey and HouseTrip
- Hosts can communicate with guests directly through Tripadvisor’s platform
- Hosts can integrate their property management software or reservation system with Tripadvisor
Niche vacation rental listing sites
Leveraging niche vacation rental listing sites is a great way to diversify your channel mix, increase your exposure, and drive higher nightly rates (these travelers are often willing to pay more for personalized service). Niche vacation rental booking sites offer accommodations to travelers with certain needs or interests. These could be vacation rentals for families with children or pets, luxury homes, or locations with a desired climate. Some popular niche listing sites include:
American Snowbird is a booking site that caters to travelers looking to ditch the cold. It showcases snowbird vacation rentals across the United States, the Caribbean, and Mexico.
BringFido is the world’s leading pet travel and lifestyle brand, connecting pet owners with more than 500,000 pet-friendly places, including vacation rental homes.
Kid & Coe
Kid & Coe is a vacation rental listing site featuring hand-picked rentals across the globe. Accommodations include private family homes, professional vacation rentals, and hotels suitable for families.
Amplify your reach with AvantStay
Managing listings across multiple OTAs is the best way to be sure you maximize earnings, but it can be tedious and complicated. Why not work with an expert who will take charge and give you instant access to all of the top online travel agencies?
When you partner with AvantStay for vacation rental management, we handle every step of your listing creation and promotion to get your home maximum exposure. Our in-house photographers and stylists collaborate to capture every aspect of your home and its key revenue drivers during a complimentary professional photoshoot.
Next, we create an aspirational, bespoke listing built to show off your home to the world. Our Listings & Distribution team has cultivated strong relationships with leading online travel agencies, which allows us to enhance your property’s listing performance against market competitors. Your listing will be optimized for maximized visibility and conversions across more than 65 distribution channels, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Plum Guide, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, and more.
By leveraging our industry-leading reach, you’ll connect with more guests, land more bookings, receive better reviews, and earn more revenue.
Interested in learning more about AvantStay’s vacation rental management services? Our team is ready to help. Get started with our vacation rental management experts today!