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What Are Vacation Rental Properties?

Vacation rental guide guesty

Vacation rental or short-term properties are accommodations that travelers can rent on a short-term basis. These accommodations range from high-end luxury properties to spare bedrooms in other people’s apartments and can include homes, condos, villas, apartments and even tents, yurts and boats.

Some vacation rental properties offer full service, similar to hotels, while others offer guests complete and total independence.

Why do people stay in vacation rental properties?

While some travelers still prefer hotels, vacation rentals are fact becoming a popular alternative to that familiar option. Vacation rentals generally offer more competitive rates than hotels as well as a more intimate, private setting.

Many vacation rentals are equipped with kitchens, giving guests the opportunity to save money during their travels by cooking in-house rather than dining out for each meal.

Additionally, today’s travelers are increasingly seeking to immerse themselves in the cultures of the cities they visit, a pursuit made much easier when staying in a unique, local home instead of a standard hotel room.

While some see the vacation rental option as risky, worried the properties may not be as they were described online, reviews from previous guests help travelers make their booking decisions.

How do people find vacation rental properties?

People find short-term and vacation rental properties the same way they find hotels, through OTAs (or online travel agencies). Sites like and TripAdvisor offer an entire category of vacation rental homes and platforms like Airbnb cater exclusively to this type of accommodation.

Many professional vacation rental property management companies also have direct booking websites through which guests can reserve their properties. A simple google search should be sufficient to help travelers find vacation homes in the destination of their choosing.

Who runs vacation rental properties?

Vacation rental properties are run either by the property owners or professional property managers that the owners have hired. Owners hire property managers because running a successful vacation rental property requires a lot of effort.

Professional property managers generally have portfolios of listings that they manage on behalf of multiple homeowners and earn a commission for every booking.

Vacation Rental Property Restrictions

In some cities, negative feedback from local residents and competing hospitality businesses have resulted in bans or over regulation of vacation rental properties, though these restrictions are not always heavily enforced.

Some major cities that have imposed restrictions on short-term and vacation rentals include New York City, Paris and Barcelona.

Read more about Vacation Rental Management: The Basics

What is Vacation Rental Management?
Vacation Rental Management Responsibilities
Vacation Rental Management Mistakes to Avoid
Vacation Rental Management Rates