When we first started booking short term vacation rentals, we usually used VRBO or Airbnb because we really didn't know any better. But over the years we've discovered that we can save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by booking direct.
Here's a real life example of the kind of savings you can expect. Let's suppose you want to book Casa Buena Vida for a week for Thanksgiving (and right now you can still do that) from November 20-27. This is what it would cost you on various platforms:
Book Direct: $3.234
VRBO: $3,873 ($639 more)
Airbnb: $4,123 ($889 more)
Houfy: $3,234 (same price - see below for more information)
Not all properties can be booked direct, but here are some tips we've learned over the years that have helped us connect directly with owners:
- See if the property is available on https://www.houfy.com/. That platform currently has no fees and they essentially connect you directly to the owner. But the downside is not a lot of owners list their properties there.
- If the property has a name, search for that name and its location in your favorite search engine. You'll often find the owner's website or Facebook page where you can contact them directly. If you search either Casa Serenidad or Casa Buena Vida, our website will show up at or near the top of the search results.
- If that doesn't work, try searching for the owner's name and location.
- Search Facebook or other social media sites for the name of the property and/or owner.
Good luck! And if you have questions or run into problems we're here to help - even if you're booking another property.