When traveling hotels are very convenient but when the COVID pandemic happened we decided renting a condo or a home was safer. There was less turnover and we would not be constantly running into people in the elevator or the lobby. We have discovered that we really enjoy renting through VRBO so the T-day trip was no different.
We found a VRBO within our price range with a bedroom for each daughter and a king size bed for the two of us. It was a penthouse condo and while it was not beachfront we could see the ocean. It had been many years since my husband and I had visited the Outer Banks and the youngest had never been so we packed up to have an adventure.
VRBO stands for Vacation Rental By Owner. According to Wikipedia:
“The original VRBO.com website was created by David Clouse in 1995 in Aurora, Colorado in order to rent his Breckenridge Ski Resort condo. The website later became a service for homeowners to list their properties for short term rental. Prior to the Internet, vacation rental services were offered via classified ads, management services, and compilations of rentals based on various destinations. In its first 10 years, VRBO slowly grew to list over 65,000 rentals.
In 2006, VRBO was acquired by HomeAway, and on December 15, 2015, Expedia Group, Inc. acquired HomeAway. As of April 2019, the site listed more than two million properties across the world that travelers could rent. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vrbo)
Now, it goes by Vrbo and is pronounced (/vʌrˈboʊ/ “ver-boh”) and I could really tell the difference with my recent experience. Instead of directly dealing with the owner, I was dealing with a realty who has listed on VRBO. Gone was the connection to the people who loved their home and I was left dealing with someone that really did not care. There was conflicting information about what was provided and what wasn’t and instead of feeling like a guest in someone’s home I felt like I was visiting someone that really didn’t care if we were there or not.
The rental itself was really nice and roomy. There were two King size bedrooms and one bedroom with two double beds. You could comfortably have 2 couples and two singles. If you are like some people and want to pack people in here you could I guess. That’s not my bag, baby – I like my space. You could tell a new owner had just taken it over as the sign said established in 2021 even thought the building was not brand new. As many new owners do, there was a coat of fresh paint and upgraded appliances and furniture.
We could see a bit of the ocean through windows and on one side of the deck. The beach was just a few minutes on foot so we could take walks on the warmest parts of the day. I did not like having to go to the store for things like hand soap – seems like that would be included in any rental and there were a few pesky “water bugs” and not enough hot water for showers. Otherwise it was okay.
This is the risk of VRBO – it’s not a hotel chain so it is not consistent. We have found some jewels and we have rented some places that did not fit the photos we saw online. Luckily we never rented anyplace that was inhabitable and I can’t say that about every hotel I’ve ever used. LOL My BFF Bonnie loves AIR B&B so I may have to give that one a go next time.