What's Up With VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, FlipKey, TripAdvisor and Expedia Service Fees?

It's vacation time!

Are you booking your Manzanita Rental through VRBO, HomeAway, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Booking.com or TripAdvisor?

There are a lot of travelers out there who use these well know Vacation Rental Listing sites. And a large percentage have loyal followings. Your "go to" site when vacation planning.

But do you know exactly what you're paying for? We believe in transparency, and making sure guests know the costs before booking. And before leaving on your well deserved vacation.

Don't be surprised to see Traveler Service Fees on your invoice.

We're living in an exciting time of changes in how people vacation, and particularly in booking a Vacation Rental. There are so many terrific choices in accommodations, and more springing up almost daily.

But with the good changes also comes with the not so pleasant changes. The large Vacation Rental listing sites are now almost all  charging travelers service fees to book through their site.

As a note, our own Oregon Coast Vacation Rentals, The Houses On Manzanita Beach, does list on these services. We do have guests who find us through these listing sites, and we welcome them! We're very happy there are lots of options for vacationers.

Today, we'll take a look and show where a traveler will find vacation rental booking fees.

Then what?

Many travelers are fans of particular Vacation Rental sites such as searches on Airbnb Manzanita and VRBO Manzanita. As long as guests are aware of all fees paid, that type of loyalty and familiarity can be great.

Other travelers might very well wonder if there are any safe, reliable alternatives to booking through these sites and paying service fees.


Follow along. After investigating booking fees, we'll have an additional blog post offering some great tips from professionals about finding wonderful alternatives.

Educate yourself before traveling

What's the difference between Traveler Service Fees and Booking Commission Fees?

Traveler Service Fees and Booking Commission Fees are two different fees. Traveler Service Fees are those fees charged directly to the person using a one of the familiar booking platforms to book their accommodation, be it vacation rental or hotel. Companies like VRBO, Airbnb, Booking .com and others charge rental and hotel owners anywhere from 3% to 25% of the total reservation in booking fees which often means owners increase rates to cover these charges. This often means you're not betting the best deal when booking through these types of websites.

Most vacations don't even realize they're paying a fee to these large online booking platform. Did you know that Priceline and Expedia (which includes travel companies HomeAway, VRBO, and others) share a marketplace of up to 95% of vacation bookings?

Airbnb Oregon Coast Leads the Way With Service Fees

No doubt about it. While fairly new to the vacation rental market, Airbnb is leading the way as a trend setter. The same is true for Manzanita Airbnbs.

Airbnb, to our knowledge, has always charged service fees.

Airbnb Service Fees:

On Airbnb's Question and Answer page "Welcome! How Can We Help?" you'll find the following Service Fee explanation:

To help cover the costs of running Airbnb, we charge guests a service fee every time a reservation is confirmed. The amount of this service fee varies and is based on a percentage of the reservation subtotal (before fees and taxes).

The exact amount of the service fee is displayed before guests confirm a booking. Service fees for guests typically range between 6-12% but can be higher or lower depending on the specifics of the reservation. The higher the subtotal, the lower the percentage so you can save money when booking large reservations.

FlipKey / TripAdvisor Continues Their Service Fee Policy.

FlipKey was recently acquired by the travel powerhouse TripAdvisor. FlipKey has been charging a service fee for quite some time, and currently both rentals for Manzanita FlipKey and Manzanita TripAdvisor charge guests a service fee.

You won't see their "Booking Fee" at first glance. Click on the widget to the right of the "Total" and it will expand to reveal detailed fees.

FlipKey and TripAdvisor Service Fees:

Under their "How Can We Help You?" Question and Answer page, you'll find the following Service Fee explanation:

TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals charges travelers a booking fee, which varies based on the rental rate. The booking fee ranges from 5% to 15% of the total booking value.

The fee is automatically added to your invoice upon booking.

VRBO Oregon Coast / VRBO HomeAway / VRBO Expedia Recently Added Service Fees.

As some of you might already know, VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) and HomeAway were owned by the same entity, and both recently acquired by the huge travel corporation Expedia. So you're basically receiving the same search results whether searching for Manzanita VRBO, Manzanita HomeAway, or Manzanita Expedia.

As such, many of their policies have recently changed. In February 2016 guests found Service Fees added to their total bill.

VRBO and HomeAway Service Fees:

From the VRBO "Help Center" page, you'll find the following explanation:

The service fee is a fee charged to the traveler and is calculated on a sliding scale of 4% to 9% of the rental amount, excluding the deposit or taxes. The charge applies to the cost of the rental and will not exceed $499. The service fee helps cover the cost of running the HomeAway websites, including features such as 24/7 customer support and marketing efforts to ensure a quality experience on our sites for both travelers and owners.

In Summary, not all listing site service fees the same:

Are you confused at this point? Well, don't worry! We've created a handy Infographic to give you a quick overview.

Confused with all the Service Fee and Booking Fee discussions? Just send us a note, and we'll be happy to help!

If you're looking for ways to find a great Vacation Rental without Service Fees, check out our blog post about finding alternatives to the listing sites. But whether searching for Manzanita Vacation Rentals, Manzanita Airbnb, Manzanita VRBO, Manzanita TripAdvisor, Manzanita Expedia, or any other searches for a Manzanita vacation accommodation, be sure to read the fine print and educate yourself before booking!

Looking for things to do Oregon Coast style? Check these out:

Who doesn't love a terrific Oregon Kite Festival?

You'll want to stop by Hug Point State Park.

What are the best things to do in Arch Cape?

Definitely visit the Tillamook County Fair!

Happy Travels Everyone ~

Thank you for reading our blog about life around our Manzanita area, and the Oregon Coast!

Interested in staying with usContact us for information about our oceanside vacation rentals on beautiful Manzanita Beach, Oregon.


The more the merrier! Feel free to share using the links below ~

Oceanfront Vacation Rentals

Phone Number: (503) 354-4287

Since 2015

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The Houses on Manzanita Beach  |  540 Ocean Road, Manzanita OR 97130  |  (503) 354-4287  |  info@vacationrentalsmanzanita.com

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