TripAdvisor and Airbnb are two of the most well-known vacation rental sites and each have unique components to them. So, how do you choose the right one for your vacation? Let us help you understand the basics of each site. Read on for a comparison between the two vacation rental companies featuring top guest and host concerns.


Vacation Rental Inventory: What can I expect from TripAdvisor & Airbnb

TripAdvisor has vacation rentals in 190 countries. It lists more than 630,000 different rentals to choose from, whether you’re looking for a beach house in California or a log cabin in the Swiss Alps.

Airbnb lists over 2,000,000 rentals for both short and long-term stays. There are rentals in 34,000 cities and over 190 countries. They even list over 1,400 castles! Since its inception in 2008, this company has really grown globally in a short amout of time.


Host Fees & Payments: How Much Does It Cost To Join TripAdvisor & Airbnb

On TripAdvisor, signing up to list your home as a rental is free, but hosts pay a 3% fee to TripAdvisor per booking. The site also allows hosts to create extra fees to charge guests, so hosts can easily make up for the 3% lost to TripAdvisor.


Guest Fees: Will I Be Charged To Book My Vacation

Guests on TripAdvisor are charged a tax and an owner fee for each booking made. Owners are also allowed to charge extra fees for things like hosting a large group, allowing pets, and providing items for guests. These prices are up to the owner of the rental and can vary in range.

Airbnb charges guests a service fee (which ranges from 6%-12% depending on location and length of stay) and allows owners to charge a cleaning fee. The cleaning fee is completely up to the owner of the rental, and may not even be charged.


Cancellation Policy: Can I Get A Refund?

Since TripAdvisor isn’t a travel agency, it does not disburse refunds to guests. Any cancellation and subsequent refund must be processed through the third party booking agency, if used. To cancel a vacation rental booked through a homeowner, you must refer to the agreement you signed with the owner or manager of the property. If you are given a refund for a rental that you paid for through TripAdvisor, your refund will be credited to your bank account. The bottom line: if you book a hotel through a third party, contact the third party for a refund. If you booked with a homeowner, refer to your contract and then contact the owner for more information.

Airbnb uses four different types of levels for refunds. Refunds and cancellations are either: flexible, moderate, strict or super strict. The specific type of policy for each rental can be found on each listing's "Pricing" section under "Cancellation." Make sure you know what each means before booking your rental.


Do TripAdvisor & Airbnb Have Good Customer Service?

TripAdvisor is known for having a great support for its customers. Whether you’re a guest looking for more information, or a host who is unsure how to go about part of the hosting process, TripAdvisor’s website has an entire section dedicated to being a help center. If you don’t find what you need there, you can always call the customer service number at 1-781-800-5000.

A portion of Airbnb’s service fees go toward providing customer support 24/7. With that in mind, You can access the Airbnb support center through their app, or you can contact the support team by phone at 1-855-424-7262.


Reviews: How Do Guests Rate Their Experience?

Guests review their experience after they have stayed at the rental. The reviews are displayed on the same page as the rental listing’s profile, so users have easy access to guest feedback. Only guests who are verified to have signed the rental contract are allowed to review a listing, so rest assured the reviews are all authentic. Guests use a comments box to write a review and then rate the entire rental on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being exceptional.

Airbnb also provides guest reviews on each listing’s profile. Reviews are written in the comments box by verified guests who are prompted to review the rental after completing their stay.. Users reviewing the rental also rate the accuracy, communication from host, cleanliness, location, check-in, and value of the rental by assigning 1 to 5 stars per section. With this type of specific review, prospective guests can see where rentals fall short or exceed expectations.


Pet Friendly Rentals: Do TripAdvisor & Airbnb Have A Pet Policy?

TripAdvisor guests can easily find pet-friendly rentals by using the filter option on the browse rental feature. Once guests have clicked on pet-friendly as a filter, those types of rentals will appear and users can sift through them. Owners are allowed to charge a pet fee, but there are some who choose not to do so. This fee would be an added charge on top of the base price and service fees and taxes for the rental.

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Airbnb provides many pet-friendly rentals. To determine if a home or apartment allows pets, guests can read the amenities under each selected property. Sme Airbnb hosts charge a pet fee that will be considered separate from the total fee of the rental. It will be displayed upon checkout. When the owner and guest decide on a price for the pet to be allowed in the rental, the owner will make a ‘Special Offer to the guest and the guest will fulfill the payment.


Trip Advisor & Airbnb Tax Policies: What Do I Need To Know As A Homeowner?

TripAdvisor will send each host who earns at least $600 in vacation rental payout a Form-1099-K. If you use PayPal to collect money from guests, then you will need to get in touch with PayPal directly, as TripAdvisor does not issue 1099 forms to these users.

As a host, your payout from Airbnb may be subject to U.S. income taxes. Hosts may fill out a Form W-9 if they have earned over $20,000 and had 200 or more reservations. Airbnb will provide those hosts with a Form 1099-K which will show their reportable earnings from the previous year. You can also consult a tax professional if you are unsure of whether or not you need to include your vacation rental income on your taxes.


Browse Listings in Top Travel Destinations

San Francisco The Villages
New York City New Orleans
San Diego Fort Myers Beach
Seattle Chicago
Sarasota Cape Coral
Key West Nashville
Miami Beach Panama City Beach
Clearwater Beach Destin
Honolulu Gulf Shores
Las Vegas London
Myrtle Beach Fort Lauderdale
Savannah Boston
Amsterdam Los Angeles
Kissimee Paris
Palm Springs Miami
Daytona Beach Siesta Key
Portland Ocean City
Austin Gatlinburg
Santa Cruz Indian Shores



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