How To Build A Vacation Rental App Like Vrbo

How To Build A Vacation Rental App Like Vrbo?

Vacation rental platforms have totally reinvented the travel and hospitality industries by giving travelers the opportunity to choose personally tailored and unique accommodations. Among these platforms, Vrbo stands out as the leader. Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner) is a platform that was created in 1995, and today it is one of the best vacation rental applications. With the Vrbo app property owners can post their homes and travelers are able to find one-of-a-kind vacation rentals such as rustic cabins, seaside villas, and high-end apartments.

Vrbo differentiates itself from other vacation rental sites like airbnb by primarily offering entire homes and apartments, which are aimed at travelers who value space, seclusion and private access to their vacation apartments. The vrbo mobile app provides guests and hosts with hassle-free management of their bookings and communications directly from their mobile devices. As travel grows in popularity and the demand for special-themed lodgings increases, Vrbo has firmly established itself as the foremost destination for vacation rentals.

The success of the Vrbo platform has pushed many more technology start-ups and travel app development services to work on similar applications. If you want to build an app like Vrbo, this guide will cover the main steps and considerations, including how the app works and the cost to build it.

How Does A Website Like Vrbo Work?

how much does an website like vrbo works

A website like vrbo works as a marketplace wherein the owners of the properties can list their vacation rentals and tourists can book the rentals. The process typically involves:

Listing Creation: The property owners create their profiles and then set up a listing for their rentals which contain details such as pricing, availability, and amenities.

Search and Filter: The travelers scroll through the listings, using the filters to narrow down their choices based on location, price, amenities and more.

Booking: After searching for an ideal accommodation, users can book it using the rental booking system which is integrated into the platform.

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Payment: Generally, payments are processed securely through the app and the platform gets either a commission or a service fee.

Communication: The Vrbo mobile app is a platform for communication between the travelers and the property owners, which allows them to talk about details, ask questions, and organize logistics.

How To Build An App Like Vrbo?

how to build an app like vrbo

To develop a Vrbo-like app, you must draw up a comprehensive plan that covers various stages of development, from initial research to post-launch support. The process includes the following main steps:

>Market Research and Analysis

Knowing your market and identifying sites similar to Airbnb and Vrbo is very important. Through market research, you can identify customer needs, market gaps, and differentiators for your app. This will enable you to define the main features, UI, and USP of your app properly.

>Determine Your App’s Objectives

Establishing the purpose and objectives of your vacation rental app is paramount. Decide on the services and features you are interested in, such as the specialized filters, the advanced communication options, or the unique pricing models. Aligning your app’s goals with users’ needs and market trends will guarantee that it maintains the relevance and competitiveness.

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>Design the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)

Creating an intuitive and user-friendly design that is accessible for both hosts and travelers should be a primary focus for a successful Vrbo vacation rentals app. Focus on making the rental app booking process easy, smooth navigation, and creating an engaging experience. A good UI/UX will therefore lead to customer satisfaction and return usage.

>Pick the Right Technology Stack

The choice of the proper technology stack is important for successive development of vacation rental apps. You should take a look at using front-end technologies like React Native or Flutter and back-end technologies like Node.js or Ruby on Rails. Your choice of technology stack should correspond to the features of your app, degree of extensibility, and performance considerations.

>Develop the App

For the development stage, you can either go for the option of hiring dedicated developers or you can work with a professional vacation rental app development company. This stage involves writing a front-end and a back-end of the app, connecting to third-party services, and setting up secure payment gateways.

Key Features To Include In App Like Vrbo

Key Features To Include In App Like Vrbo

>User Profiles

Both the hosts and the travelers should have their own profiles so that they can easily manage their listings, bookings, and communication. Profile feature offers the opportunity to update personal details, view booking history, manage preferences, and also improve engagement. Profiles of users help build trust, as guests can see previous host reviews and ratings, guaranteeing safety in a booking.

>Property Listings

A comprehensive listing system enables hosts to add detailed descriptions of their properties that include high-quality photos, descriptions, prices, and availability. This feature should have a user-friendly interface and support rich media to exhibit the properties realistically. For the convenience of users, it should have a search and filter function so that they could narrow down their options and find the ideal accommodation among the vacation rentals like Airbnb or Vrbo.

>Search and Filter

The search and filtering feature is one of the key elements for improving the user experience as travelers can easily find suitable properties by the criteria such as location, price, amenities and dates. This function adds up the user satisfaction level and helps your app to stand out among other short term rental apps, thanks to the smooth and user-friendly search process.

>Booking and Payment System

An integrated rental booking system is irrefutably critical to provide secure and convenient bookings. The platform should include multiple payment methods, offer clear pricing, and maintain data security. A booking and payment system that is well-designed increases user trust as well as provides a smooth experience; such an app will stand out against other vacation rental sites.

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It is necessary to have such features as in-app messaging or chat functions for the purpose of successful communication between hosts and travelers. This function allows both parties to share the flow of information, ask questions and arrange the logistics in a secure and convenient manner just like Airbnb app and Vrbo. Efficient communication improves user experience and helps resolve problems quickly.

vacation rental app like vrbo

>Reviews and Ratings

By providing a review system, hosts and travelers can leave reviews and ratings based on the experiences they had. Thanks to this option, trust is enhanced, as users can make informed choices based on their previous encounters. By having this functionality your platform is aligned with the other best vacation rental apps, therefore credibility and reliability of your app are improved.


Push notifications keep the users updated about the crucial matters like booking confirmations, payment reminders, and check-in alerts. This function helps to reinforce user engagement and also guarantees that travelers and hosts are updated and ready for the trip, leading to an improved overall experience on your rental app.

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How Much Does It Cost To Build An App Like Vrbo?

The cost to create an app like Vrbo depends on many factors including the complexity of the app, features, platforms used and the location of the development team. In straightforward terms, building an app similar to Vrbo is estimated to cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.

>Basic Version

Essential features like user profiles, listings, booking, and payment in the basic version can range between $50,000 and $70,000.

Mid-Range Version

A more complex app having features like chat within the app , reviews and notifications , might cost between $70,000 and $100,000.

>Advanced Version

A fully-featured app with robust functionalities, including AI-based recommendations or AR property tours, may cost more than $120,000.


Developing a vacation rental app like Vrbo is an inspiring and profitable chance but comes along with its own challenges and obstacles. To succeed in creating an app like Vrbo you need to deeply comprehend the market, the competition and the target market needs. Sticking to the mentioned instructions and deciding to hire dedicated developers can largely enhance your chances of launching a successful application. A thoughtful and well-executed app has the potential to become a favorite choice for travelers that are looking for unique and unforgettable stays.

vacation rental app like vrbo


Q1. How long does it take to create a vacation rental app?

Ans. The development timeline can range from 3 months to 6 months for a simple app, and up to a year or more for a complex, feature-rich app.

Q2. Is it possible to create a vacation rental app if you don’t have technical skills?

ANS. Indeed, when you choose to work with a well-established travel app development company or hire dedicated developers, their experience becomes a great asset for your project.

Q3. What is the business model of an app like Vrbo?

ANS. Apps like Vrbo normally make money from service charges, bookings commissions, premium listings, and advertising.

Jitendra Jain

Jitendra Jain is the CEO and Co-founder of Inventcolabs. He is among the most endeavoring leaders in the space of advanced computing and information technology. He has been at the forefront of the tech innovation taking place at Inventcolabs, and his domain insights, ideas, and viewpoints on the latest IT trends and traits impact change through his words and works in motion.