“Airlines do it. Car rental agencies do it. Online vacation rental giants do it.”
What are they all doing?
They all have “hidden fees” tacked on to your transaction that drive up your bill!
What “Hidden Fees” do the online vacation rental sites add?
Before you click that BOOK NOW button on VRBO, HomeAway, Air BnB, you should know that all of the major online vacation rental sites charge what they call “guest service fees” or booking fees. They range from 5% to 16% of your booking total. Some generously cap your booking fee at $399.00. Others aren’t so generous and the fee can exceed $500 or $600!
Why do they charge a fee?
Great question. Here’s what VRBO/HomeAway says …
“The service fee is paid by the traveler when booking through the HomeAway websites. This fee helps cover the costs of operating the websites for owners and travelers. Some of the costs to run HomeAway include: facilitating secure transactions, developing our products and services, and providing 24/7 customer service.”
Now I don’t know about you – but that sounds like a lot of revenue from each booking just to cover their web site! I mean, really …! Hundreds of dollars from each transaction just to facilitate that transaction?
Where are the fees hidden?
Another great question! The mega rental sites will tell you they aren’t hidden. And to some degree they are right. They’ve hidden them in plain sight. With HomeAway/VRBO you’ll need to click the details text link. Air BnB has them as a line item in your quote.
How can I avoid booking fees?
If you’re traveling to St John, US Virgin Islands, you can connect directly with St John vacation rental owners and on-island managers to get the Lowest Prices and avoid the “guest service fees” charged by the mega rental sites! In fact, browse our listings and you’ll be doing just that … because we don’t charge owners a commission on bookings. And we don’t charge guests a service fee or booking fee! So start browsing knowing you’re dealing directly with St John vacation rentals by owners and on-island managers! BAM! You just save 5% to 16%!