Why you should bypass the VRBO fees and work directly with the owners

Renting a house for a family vacation can be a lot of fun and can be expensive as well. Add to that VRBO fees to find your vacation home and the expenses can get a little higher. They don’t have to.

Depending on where you are going and who owns the house, you can sometimes get away with not having to pay the VRBO fees if you speak with the owners. This typically works better if you are a repeat visitor.

Each year I take may family to the same vacation house and each year we let the owners keep our deposit and turn it over to the deposit on the next year’s rental. This does two things, one, it take VRBO out of the equation and saves a few bucks, I’m not 100% sure how much they get for the listing, and two, it locks me into that season’s rate as opposed to paying the increase that may come at year’s end.

Of course, you will have to want to stay at the same home. For many of us who vacation this way, we tend to fall in love with our vacation home rentals and if we do, we go back again and again.

Even if you don’t work with VRBO but instead rent from a local real estate agent that has the home under their umbrella, you can often get something for repeat business.

For years my extended family on my wife’s side would rent a large house in Garden City, SC., The house was big enough for four medium size families. After the first year, we got a break on the deposit the second year we booked and when we booked the third time, we didn’t pay a security deposit to hold the week.

Take the time to talk to your owners or the reality company who can also talk to the owners on your behalf. Saving money is important to all of us and when those savings are not coming at a cost to the owners, you can tend to get more of a break.