3 Reasons to Book Direct and Save $$$$
1. YOU PAY ADDITIONAL FEES TO BOOK ON AIRBNB, TRIP ADVISOR AND VRBO.COM
Airbnb, Tripadvisor and VRBO all earn a large portion of their revenue from service fees or traveler fees that are paid by you, the guest.
Airbnb, for example, charges an additional 6–12 percent on the cost of the rental. Some cases have been seen where even higher charges have been applied.
On VRBO, that same fee can be even higher. According to VRBO, they say the service fee is between 5–12 percent for most bookings but can be above or below, based on the cost of the accommodation and term.
In addition owners also pay a fee and may well have increased their rental pricing on rentals advertised with these companies to cover this, resulting in you, the guest, potentially paying up to 20% over the price you could have rented the accommodation direct from the owner.
2. THE BEST VACATION PROPERTIES ARE NOT ALWAYS ON 3RD PARTY SITES
In a world where websites such as VRBO, TRIPADVISOR, BOOKING and AIRBNB appear to offer the best choice in the eyes of travelers, it is easy to assume that all the vacation rentals are on these websites. However, this is not true. In fact, in many popular destinations, less than half of the available vacation rentals may be listed on these sites. The most desirable vacation rental properties book easily, with many repeat bookings year after year, so property managers and homeowners do not need to incur the higher costs of listing their rentals on 3rd party sites.
3. BOOKING DIRECTLY WITH THE PROPERTY MANAGER OR HOMEOWNER HAS ADVANTAGES
Guests who book directly are likely to receive a number of additional benefits including special rates, onsite services, and increased customer support. When you contact the property owner direct, they have detailed knowledge about the destination and accommodation and can show you the best rental for your requirements. They may well be able to offer an alternative more suited to your circumstances particularly where children or guests with special needs are part of the group.
WAYS TO FIND THE OWNER OR PROPERTY MANAGER
When looking for vacation rentals on the internet, here are some ideas to find the property’s real property manager or owner: –
1. Look carefully through the description for any details that mention the name of the property, the management company or the owner. If the property name is given do a search in Google for that property to see if there is an owner’s website. The same can be applied if the property is located in a named complex.
2. Try a Google image search with some of the photos of the property as another method of locating the owners or property manager’s website.
3. If there is a map use the enlargement option to zero in on the location and look for the address. Many owners now have their property listed on Google Maps to assist guests arriving by car who can then use this to plan their route.
While it is true that large travel websites do provide lots of information, they rely on the owner or property manager to provide this. They do not have the intimate knowledge the owner or manager has and their current income structure relies on keeping you, the guest, and the owner, apart until after the booking transaction is confirmed.
You could save hundreds of dollars and enjoy a better vacation experience with just a little extra investigative work before you book.