Vacations During COVID: Know The Cancellation Policies on VRBO and Airbnb

One of the biggest concerns any traveler has is their health safety. Both companies are still open, accepting reservations, and have made alterations to their policies during this pandemic time.

The experts have agreed that using these vacation rental options is the safer method of seeing your dream location. Private rentals have less interaction between guests, staff, and local people than hotels do. Plus, you get the comforts of home during your stay.

Just so you know, HomeAway is now part of Vrbo and does not exist as a separate entity anymore. All reservations and searches are sent to the VRBO homepage.

Airbnb during Covid

Due to government restrictions and the possibility that hosts may contrct the disease Airbnb has made many changes to its policy. Those changes seem to be for this pandemic time period only. Here are those changes:

#1. Reservations booked on or before March 14, 2020, for dates between that day and July 31, 2020, can get their money back under the extenuating circumstance policy created by Airbnb. Or you can get travel credit but you may need to provide documentation to receive this benefit.

#2. Reservations made after March 14th are made under the regular cancellation policy and there are several options- flexible, moderate, and strict. Which one you will fall under depends on when you booked your stay and which one you qualify for.

#3. Airbnb has instituted a new cleaning program for all of its hosts. It is called the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative and it includes a 5 step set of guidelines to make sure all homes, apartments, etc. are clean, safe and healthy to rent.

This is not a mandatory program for hosts to follow but they can review the guidelines regardless and follow the plan. If they do participate, their profile gets updated to show that their rentals are practicing Covid safe protocols. You will be able to see this update very easily when you check the hosts out as you consider different places to stay. Remember if its your first time using Airbnb then you can save with our Airbnb coupon codes worth up to $50 on your first time usage of their platform.

Vrbo during Covid

Vrbo has been in business for over 25 years and knows a thing or two about renting vacation homes, apartments, and so on. Home Away seems to still exist in the UK but uses the Vrbo website, etc., to make bookings, other than that the two companies are all under the Expedia Group ownership.

This company has made some changes to its operation due to Covid and those changes are as follows:

#1. New search filters have been added to help their potential guests find rentals that align with their government’s travel and stay restrictions. One of those changes is their ‘staycation’ landing page which encourages travelers to find rentals closer to home.

#2. The company also instituted a new emergency cancellation policy for the period between March 13th and June 30th but has remained in force throughout July. You will have to check to see if it is still operating since this is November. But hosts are not forced to honor the new cancellation policy although they are rewarded if they do.

After March 13th and July 1st, the normal cancellation policy should apply and Vrbo has 5 categories your booking may fall into- relaxed, moderate, firm, strict, and no refund. It is up to you to check to see where your reservation falls.

#3. Vrbo has also instituted a new cleaning policy for its hosts to follow. These guidelines were constructed with the help of government, travel, and medical experts and are fairly extensive.

What this means is that your stay at a Vrbo supported vacation home should not be unsafe or threatening your health. Since Vrbo has millions of available rentals, the policies are not mandatory a sit is impossible to inspect all the available spaces for rent.

Hosts who comply will be given a badge indicating they are following the rules but if those hosts misrepresent their participation or cleanliness, they lose the badge. Vrbo first time user can now save with their coupon codes.

HomeAway during Covid

This used to be a sister company to Vrbo and was also owned by the Expedia Group corporation. As we said earlier, it is no longer in operation as a separate company but has been merged with Vrbo.

If you have seen this brand name in operation in different countries it is only because it was more famous than Vrbo was in those countries. other than that, the two brands are exactly the same and use the same websites, landing pages, and reservation system.

What to do when you want to book a reservation

Whether you book through Airbnb or Vrbo there are still several steps you must take to ensure that you can get away and enjoy your time off from work. here are those steps:

  1. check with your local government- make sure that there are no travel restrictions to the state or country you want to visit
  2. also, look for any self quarantining regulations that must be followed upon your arrival in those vacation locations
  3. go to the Airbnb or Vrbo websites and review their policies- their websites are easy to navigate and you may find the right links under your trips web pages.
  4. if all looks good, search the sites for your next vacation rental
  5. make your reservation and plan for your stay- make sure to check out the cancellation policies before you book your stay

Some final words

Both Airbnb and Vrbo are doing what they can to make your next dream vacation be safe and healthy, even if you have to stay close to home. These two travel options are seen as the better options over staying at a motel or a hotel. They may even be cheaper.

Do your research to see if either company and their new policies work for you.  Despite the pandemic, you can still enjoy a great vacation if you follow the right procedures and regulations. Double-check to make sure the hosts of those locations are doing the same. That way you will have a great time worry-free.