Which is Better?  VRBO or Airbnb?

Over the past few years, travelers have been moving away from staying in a hotel room. Instead, many travelers seek a more “staying at home” feel while away from their homes.

Whether you are looking to book a single room in someone’s house or the whole place itself, two of the more popular apps to achieve this are Airbnb and VRBO. Both have similar features and rentals available, so which is better? Before pitting VRBO vs. Airbnb head-to-head, let’s take a look at each company.


The idea for Airbnb was formed when founds Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia wanted to rent out space in their San Francisco apartment. They needed a way to not have a full-time roommate but find short-term renters easily. In 2008 Airbnb was born with the name Air Bed and Breakfast.

At its core, Airbnb’s goal is to connect homeowners to potential renters. Aimed initially at short-term rentals, due to the pandemic, Airbnb has become popular for long-term stays as well. Since its arrival, Airbnb has been at the forefront of the sharing economy.


Most people will think Airbnb was the first company of the two to be found, but they would be wrong. VRBO, or Vacation Rental by Owner for short, was founded way back in 1995. As the name might suggest, VRBO is focused on renting out different types of vacation homes, putting the homeowner in direct contact with potential renters. HomeAway acquired VRBO in 2006.

In order to compare these two popular sites, we’ll look at six key aspects of each.

VRBO vs. Airbnb Comparison

Accommodation Types

When looking at the different types of accommodations each site offers, Airbnb clearly has the advantage over VRBO. VRBO mainly works with renting out stand-alone homes only. On the other hand, Airbnb will have the traditional stand-alone homes, plus shared spaces (like renting out a single room in a multi-room home). They’ve also ventured into having hotel rooms available on the site.

With the above in mind, it comes as no surprise that Airbnb also holds an advantage in the sheer number of rentals available on their site. Airbnb boasts a robust 5.6 million rentals available worldwide, being available in over 190 counties. While also available in 190 plus counties, VRBO’s exact rentals available are not public knowledge.

Rental Selection

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