Now that we’ve told you what HomeAway is and how it works, as well as how you can stay safe using it , it’s time to break down the pros and cons of HomeAway. Consider these pros and cons of HomeAway before deciding if you should sign up, or use another online property rental booking website.
- Save Money – Using HomeAway instead of booking your vacation accommodations with a standard booking site — or directly with a hotel — can save you a lot of money. Because the properties are often owned by everyday people, your fee for staying there is typically much lower than elsewhere.
- Secure Booking and Communication – HomeAway offers secure and confidential ways of communicating with your host or guest. This ensures that you can get to know them prior to your stay, and learn any necessary information. Payments are also made through HomeAway’s secure online system, and payments not made in this way are discouraged.
- Insurance and Guarantees – HomeAway offers many forms of traveller’s insurance, as well as several guarantees to its hosts and guests. This ensures, to the best of their ability, that no one is a victim of fraud or loses money through their website. For more information on the guarantees offered by HomeAway, visit our tutorial on how to use HomeAway safely.
- Rating System – HomeAway has a two-way rating system where both host and guest rate one another after the stay. There are thousands of reviews online for properties and guests, so if you’re a guest, you can make the right decision about where to stay. And if you’re an owner, you can decide if should accept a guest, prior to booking.
- Number of Property Listings – In terms of online property rental websites, HomeAway has one of the largest collections of listings (with over 1 million). With HomeAway, you are getting a significantly larger number and variety of options for your stay than you can get with any website like HomeAway, except for Airbnb.
- Security – Though HomeAway takes many measures to ensure your safety and security while using their website, it is still possible for someone to create a fraudulent account in order to scam another user or steal their money. Always be sure to exercise caution when using HomeAway or any website like it.
- Hosts Can Reject Guests – Unlike with a typical hotel or traditional booking website, hosts can reject a request to stay at their location. This means that, even if you really have your heart set on a particular listing, you may not be accepted to stay there. In addition, if you are trying to book something last-minute, relying on HomeAway may not be your best option for this reason.
- No Method of Comparison – Unlike with other booking websites, HomeAway does not offer users any means of comparing their listings with other websites. This means that you really can’t be sure of how much of a deal you are getting, unless you are looking at similar listings on other websites. If you are concerned about how to get the best deal on a rental property, check out TripAdvisor.com.
The bottom line: 8/10
HomeAway is one of the largest online rental property booking websites, and offers its users over one million listings to choose from. It is often a cheaper alternative to traditional booking methods, and offers many guarantees to users who choose to book with HomeAway. With a two-way rating system and 24/7 customer service, HomeAway can give any user a great experience with travelling. They can often find the perfect rental with exactly what you’re looking for, and often at a bargain, too.
When using HomeAway, however, you need to be cautious and make educated decisions about the property that you want to book. Read as many reviews as possible, and find out as much as you can about the property and the owner prior to booking; this helps to ensure your safety during your stay. Make sure you also consider looking at other websites to compare prices of similar listings. Finally, it’s a good idea to utilize HomeAway’s travelling insurance and guarantees if you run into any trouble while using the website.
Did you like this HomeAway review and think you may want to start using the service to book a place to stay on your next vacation? If so, check out our next tutorial on how to sign up for HomeAway.