Any tips for using vrbo?

Old May 5th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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Any tips for using vrbo?

We are visiting family on Marco Island in late Oct and considering a condo. We will only be there 3 nights though, but the few I looked at online are still cheaper than the Marriott for three nights, and we will have the extra room (we have 2 small children) and the kitchen to have family over for breakfast or dinner. (The rest of our vacation will be at WDW, so a nice pool, etc. is not important)

I just wanted to ask for any tips when using vrbo.

Thank you! Have a great weekend!
EmilySD is offline  
Old May 5th, 2005, 05:17 PM
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Emily, congratulations on your decision. I think once you have private rentals, you will be hooked, like we were. Your only problem might be the "3 nights", since many rent by the week. But in October that might be negotiable.

Here is my process: I do exhaustive searches on (I type in "vacation rental" and the name of the city I want in the search window.) I look at everything that is available on VRBO as well. I only consider properties that have many good quality photos of the interior. Don't be fooled by exterior shots, some may be of tourist sites that are not on the property or of a beach that is a mile away. Beware of the difference between Beachfront, Beachview, near beach (if so, how near), Oceanfront (means no beach) or Oceanview (this could be a small glimpse of blue if you lean out the bathroom window.) If the property has a name, I type that into Google as well and add "reviews". That might bring up negative comments not on the owner's website. Pick a property whose interior feels comfortable and familiar to you. Check out the location carefully. Go to and type in the area you need to be near vs. the condo location to find out the distance and travel time. Finally, I would speak to the owner on the telephone with a pre-made list of questions. Go with your gut, if it feels right, go for it and good luck!
Maggi is offline  
Old May 5th, 2005, 05:40 PM
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Thank you for all the advice. I understand about the weekly rental, that's what I meant, the weekly rental was cheaper than three nights. Thank you again for your quick response, I appreciate it.
EmilySD is offline  
Old May 5th, 2005, 06:11 PM
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Maggi--great advice. I am considering using vrbo for a trip to Seaside in July; will definitely be using your tips!
Old May 5th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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In addition to Maggi's great list,
I suggest contacting vrbo. I asked them about 2 rentals I was considering
in Akumal, MX. One was a relatively new listing and the other has been with vrbo for 8 years. Sandy, the person who wrote me back told me there had been
no negative feedback about either, and answered questions about how PayPal
works. Her feedback was just the
"frosting on the cake" that made me feel better about the whole thing as I had already spoken with the 8 year
owner.You can e-mail them from the vrbo
website-it was [email protected].
razzledazzle is offline  
Old May 5th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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Type vrbo or into the "Search this forum" box to get more info on There have been many threads on the topic including a response from the guy that runs with hints on how best to use the site.

I have used vrbo to rent condos all over the country and in France with no problems. Don't hesitate to ask a question of the owner before deciding. I often ask for the exact address so I can mapquest the location before making a decision.

Definitely ask for a shorter rental term if you plan to go in the off season for only three days. The owner would rather have it rented for three days than none at all. Of course you can negotiate better when the date is closer and there is still availability. They may not want to go with a three day rental this far in advance.

When I rented in Paris, I ended up with a much cheaper rate than what was on the website because the owner had several apts for rent and the one I wanted was already filled so he gave me a bigger one for the price of the smaller one.

I always go with ones that have plenty of pictures.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:22 PM
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I have used vrbo to rent condos in Florida and have had no problems at all. I rented from two separate owners and both were terrific, very responsive to my questions and e-mails. I find that it helps if the owner lives within a few states of where you are renting so that they are more "in touch" with the upkeep of the condo and any changes in the area. I agree with Maggi about the photos. The more the better. Find out the exact address and map it to see how far/close it is to where you want to be. Another tip is to make sure you know all charges up front, such as a potential refundable security deposit. They do this in case a renter trashes the place. Also ask about any unlisted taxes/fees. Some owners are better than others about listing the details on their sites. The more details, the better!
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Old May 5th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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The GM of vrbo is Marvin Floyd- put his name in the search box here and his post will come up w/the best info and advice on how to go about picking a private rental house that I have seen anywhere. STAND YOUR GROUND AND GET A WRITTEN CONTRACT.
emd is offline  
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