AIRBNB AND VRBO: A COVID-SAFE HOME AWAY FROM HOME



It’s no secret that traveling in the year 2021 isn’t recommended, encouraged or a responsible option due to the continual presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, sometimes travel is an unavoidable, necessary part of human existence in the 21st century. In times of mandated travel, the smart and safe option for lodging is a vacation home rental through popular (and trustworthy) rental companies like Airbnb and Vrbo.

Vacation rentals come in all shapes and sizes with a range of amenities and accommodations. The main perks of a vacation rental versus those of a hotel are encapsulated in three words: privacy, price and duration.

Home rentals promise tenants a secluded and socially distanced opportunity while traveling. Much of the appeal of a hotel is the presence of cleaning services, in-room dining and the overall presence of a staff meant to make one’s stay the epitome of comfort. However, in the time of a global fear of germs, a limited stream of traffic into one’s lodging is key to a safe, comfortable and easy stay away.

In the comfort of a home rental, one doesn’t need to worry about the presence of strangers in the bedroom (especially strangers who may not follow all pandemic protocols). Yes, this means that vacationers have to do the cooking and cleaning on their own, but in the era of near-impossible travel, household chores are a minor discomfort. In larger groups, making responsibilities fun is easy—turn the completion of duties into a game, a competition amongst housemates or a reward system for kids!

Taking care of one’s “home away from home” together can be a great opportunity for bonding, and depending on the duration of one’s stay, it won’t take as much time as one expects. Moreover, cleaning and cooking for one’s self ensures a lack of contact with any person who may be COVID-positive.

The absence of typical hotel service amenities offers another perk to clients: a decrease in price. Airbnb, a leader in the vacation home rental market, is renowned by travelers for providing an equally amenable and luxury experience in terms of location and furnishing to that of hotels—and at a much lower price.

The phenomenon of vacation rental companies overtaking hotel business due to lower pricing is so well-known that Forbes dubbed it the “Airbnb Effect.” Due to the “Airbnb Effect,” many vacation home rentals are equal to or lower in price than hotels in the area. Consequently, the more booked hotels are in popular areas during peak seasons, the cheaper vacation home rentals become—meaning renters can get more bang for less buck.

As seen on Business Insider, the ratio of vacation rental price to hotel price is affected by region and country, meaning that the price of a rental home is not guaranteed to be lower than that of a hotel. However, one of the most advantageous qualities of vacation rentals as a place of lodging in the pandemic is the flexibility of one’s travel duration.

In order to be safe while traveling during the pandemic, one should allot adequate time to quarantine (or receive a negative test result) upon arriving at the destination. Vacation rentals give travelers the opportunity to do exactly that, as they are able to be booked for longer periods of time than hotels at a cheaper price. Moreover, as many vacation rentals are equipped with a kitchen, they are the perfect place to settle down for an extended stay.

Due to the socially-distanced nature, lower rate and flexible duration of the Airbnb and Vrbo systems, one can travel in a safe manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s even becoming a popular option for professionals, students and families to book a vacation rental for months at a time, as many can study and work from anywhere! While all COVID protocols should be strictly adhered to, one can still see a different part of the country while maintaining work, school and family life.

With all of the amenities of an actual home (or at least more than that of a dorm room), services like Airbnb and Vrbo give clients a true home away from home.