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Vacation Rental Site Reviews

Otalo is a vacation rental search engine, we do not take listings directly. We search the vacation rental sites on the web for rentals and then automatically include them in our index if they pass our quality standards. If you'd like to include your vacation rental in our search index, you just need to list it with one of the vacation rental listing sites below and then we will include your property on Otalo for FREE! Here are a few of the sites that we like and are running a special right now...

Special Deals

FlipKey just launched a great program that lets you list your property for FREE and only pay 3% when it is actually rented out. We think that's one of the best values out there, considering FlipKey is now part of the TripAdvisor travel network - which means your property gets access to over 50 million travelers that use TripAdvisor each month!

Roomorama is one of the newcomers on the scene, with one of the strongest international audiences - over 62% of their user-base has traveled to 10+ countries. The Roomorama service is completely free to the property owner - they add a surcharge on top of your rent to the renter. Which we think works pretty well. Click here for more info!

HomeAway, the largest VR website, is currently offering $50 off an annual listing for friends of Otalo (and yup, *you* are a friend - just enter the code OTALO50). They are the big daddy of VR with over 495,000 listings and are #1 in VR traffic in the US, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain, and Brazil with over 48 million visitors/month.

Reviews

Below is a list of the top vacation rental sites on the web - Otalo automatically includes properties on most of these sites in our search index in addition to crawling the web far and wide for smaller vacation rental listing sites. If you are trying to figure out which service to list your property on, review the information we list below, and then check out our section below on how to choose a vacation rental service.

Annual Cost # of Listings Global Traffic Rank Primary Region Gurantee Insurance Founded
Flipkey/TripAdvisor.com 3% 200,000 #239 Worldwide n/a No 2007
VRBO.com $349 200,000 #2,652 Worldwide Yes $39 1995
HomeAway.com $299 495,000 #4,876 Worldwide 1 Year $39 2005
airBnB.com 3% 160,000 #5,874 Worldwide n/a Free 2008
HolidayLettings.co.uk £329 120,000 #8,609 Europe 1 Year No 2000
Homelidays.com €249 87,000 #11,573 Europe 30 Day No 2001
Niumba.com €120 130,000 #27,416 Worldwide n/a No 2006
VacationHomeRentals.com $119 13,300 #29,788 USA 30 Day $29 1999
9flats.com 15% 93,000 #35,786 Worldwide n/a Free 2011
Wimdu.com Free 80,000 #45,131 Worldwide n/a Free 2011
Roomorama.com Free 30,000 #48,722 Worldwide n/a No 2010
AlwaysOnVacation.com $199 65,000 #50,299 USA 1 year $125 2005
VillaRenters.com 10% 8,000 #78,942 Europe/Asia n/a No 2003
OwnerDirect.com 10% 5,000 #131,204 Worldwide No No 1994
CyberRentals.com $329 170,000 #138,888 Worldwide 1 year $59 1994
WeNeedAVacation.com $262 4,000 #149,201 USA East 1 Year No 1997
PureHolidayHomes.com £177 18,000 #162,860 Europe No No 2009
PerfectPlaces.com $120 48,000 #168,244 USA/Europe No No 1996
CorporateHousingByOwner.com $279 500 #186,418 USA 1 Month No 2006
Rentalo.com $199 14,000 #199,550 USA No No 1999
GreatRentals.com $329 170,000 #223,370 Worldwide 1 year $59 1994
Holiday-Velvet.com ?% 5,500 #227,351 Europe n/a No 2007
InterHomeUSA.com 10% 30,000 #281,076 Europe n/a No 2001
PerfectGetaways.co.uk £145 4,000 #315,511 Europe No No 1999
VacationRentals411.com $75 25,000 #321,940 USA No No 2001
VacationRentalDirect.com $99 8,000 #396,353 USA No No 2002
VacationRoost.com Prop Mgr 433,072 #475,517 Americas n/a n/a 2006
FindRentals.com Prop Mgr 40,000 #482,666 USA n/a No 2002
Beachhouse.com $180 5,000 #522,901 Americas No No 1998
AdventurePads.com Free 1,000 #846,446 Spain Free No 2009
Villa4Vacation.com $99 2,500 #1,115,441 Worldwide No No 2005
RedAwning.com 15% 4,000 #1,217,656 USA n/a No 2010
ClearStay.com Prop Mgr 10,000 #1,279,126 USA n/a No 2007
VacationsFRBO.com $79 14,000 #1,334,543 USA 1 Year No 2005
MauiOwnerCondos.com $295 200 #1,926,753 Hawaii None No 2000
Campaya.com €2/inq 50,000 #1,986,664 Worldwide n/a No 2002
EspañaBreaks.com €55 4,300 #2,000,663 Spain 1 year No 2003
PerfectFloridaVillas.com £75 300 #2,251,691 Florida 3 Month No 2006
HolidayCube.com $200 2,000 #2,528,157 Asia No No 2009
MediaVacationRentals.com $164 3,000 #3,174,255 Europe No $250 2000
USAResortRentals.com Prop Mgr 6,000 #4,265,911 USA n/a n/a 2006
LuxuryVillaFinder.com €165 2,000 #4,377,669 Worldwide No No 2007
VacationAtMyHome.com $399 5,000 #5,429,506 USA 1 Year No 2007
HomeGetaways.com $99 13,000 #5,696,352 USA No No 2006
SkipJump.com Free 19,000 #5,837,659 Americas n/a No 2003
PackLate.com 10% 1,000 #6,088,984 USA n/a No 2009

* Traffic rank calculated as of June 2013 by Alexa represents where the sites rank globally in traffic compared to all sites on the internet. A number of 1 would represent the site in the world with the highest traffic (which happens to be Google.com). * Insurance is for $5,000 of damage coverage.

If you operate a vacation rental website, click here to include your properties in Otalo (and the review list above).

How To Choose a Vacation Rental Service

There are thousands of vacation rental listing sites on the inter-webs. But which of these sites should you list on? Since we've seen more vacation rental sites than you can shake a stick at, we thought we'd provide some reviews about these sites so you can find the best site for your needs!

Listing Fees

There are two fee models that vacation rental sites can charge: Flat Fee and Percentage. A Flat fee means that you will pay a flat fee per year for listing your property. These fees can range from $79 to $379/year depending upon the site. Sites like Homeaway, VRBO, and VacationHomeRentals work this way.

The Percentage model means that it is free to list your property, but you will have to pay a % of the rental income for any rentals that come through that site. This percentage can run from 3% to 15% depending upon the site. Sites like Airbnb, Wimdu, and 9Flats work like this. Many of these site also add on a fee for the traveler when they rent your place. You have no risk by listing on these sites, if your place doesn't get rented, you don't have to pay.

Some sites are beginning to offer property owners a choice between these models. Flipkey/TripAdvisor does this. This gives you ultimate flexibility as an owner.

And some sites do not charge the property owner a fee at all, they add a service fee on to the traveler when they rent your vacation home. This fee can be between 6-12%. The question here is will this scare off travelers from renting your place when they see the high fees? Our guess is probably not.

Which way should you go? If you have a house that is in high demand, and you expect lots of bookings, then a flat fee will be more economical. If you're not sure, then a percentage is the way to go. The advantage of a percentage-based vacation rental site is that since listing is free, you can advertise on as many as you like, giving you lots of advertising with no additional cost.

Payment Processing

Flat-fee vacation rental sites generally charge the property owner additional fees to process payments, including credit cards. Percentage fee sites rarely charge for this, it is part of the process for them. In fact, percentage-fee sites usually offer much more automated management tools for no cost.

Multiple Sites

Check to see if a vacation rental website will "Syndicate" your property across multiple sites. When you list with Flipkey, for example, your property will appear on FlipKey.com as well as TripAdvisor.com. When you list with HomeAway.com, your home will appear on a network of international vacation rental sites controlled by HomeAway. You really want to get your vacation house in front of as many travelers as possible.

Budget

Whether you choose a flat-fee or percentage-fee site really comes down to whether you think you can rent your place out fully or not. If your property has a great track record of selling out your available rental nights, and you have the money up front, then an advertising then an ad site like HomeAway or Flipkey may be right for you. If you're not sure as to the demand for your specific property, or are new to the market, or don't have the up front cash, then a Merchant site like Airbnb or Wimdu may be right for you.

Take a $200/night rental that mainly rents during the summer. If you fully rent it out for 12 weeks during the summer you would take in $16,800. If you advertise on three sites like HomeAway, Flipkey, and WeNeedaVacation, you would pay around $870 in annual fees. If you advertised on Airbnb, Roomorama, and Wimdu, you would pay around $500 in fees - and get more service (they handle all the payments, communication, and insurance).

Insurance

Take a look if the site offers insurance, which is important for a property owner. Many of the merchant sites include insurance in their service at no additional cost.

Some of the things you should think about: What is your budget? Some sites are free and some cost over $350/year. Where is your property? Some services focus on the US, or Europe, or the UK. Do you want to manage your bookings on the service? Do you want phone support? Do you want to offer traveler insurance? Do you want a guarantee? Do you want a smaller site, where your property will stand out? Or a larger site that will attract the most visitors (although Otalo will help do both!)

Sites like HomeAway may be on the higher end at $350/year, but they are the easiest to use and usually deliver better results than other sites. They are the largest site and generate the most traffic. And we happen to have a discount coupon for $25 off! Sign up here with HomeAway for your $25 off coupon (enter code G307)!