What’s the Difference Between an Airbnb and a Vacation Rental?

Choosing the perfect type of accommodation for your next adventure can be overwhelming with so many options available, like Airbnb and vacation rentals. Fear not, fellow travelers, this blog post delves into the key differences between these two popular choices, guiding you towards the ideal home away from home for you on your next getaway.


Founded on the concept of peer-to-peer sharing, Airbnb connects homeowners directly with guests. You might stay in a spare room, an entire apartment, or even a unique space like a tiny home or a treehouse. Since you book directly with the property owners, they may accept or decline your request, and many of the accommodation standards are set by them, not Airbnb. This means you’ll see a lot of variances in quality, service and experience.

Vacation rentals on the other hand are properties typically managed by professional companies or individual property owners, and also offer a wider range of choices from luxury villas to cozy cabins. When you book with a local vacation rental company, you’ll experience the same degree of quality, service across all properties because you’re working with the same management team, and there are more standard rules and less flexibility than you might find with an Airbnb.

When you choose an Airbnb, embrace the authenticity of staying in someone's home. Each listing offers a unique experience, reflecting the host's personality and local flair, however consistency in amenities and services might vary. Communication with the host is often direct and personalized, which can be a plus for local recommendations and a sense of community, but might require more initiative as a guest. With a vacation rental, expect a more standardized experience, with consistent amenities and housekeeping services across properties managed by the same company. 


Both Airbnb and local vacation rental companies promise indulgence and comfort, but before you hit that "book now" button, consider this: while both offer stunning properties, a local and experienced management team can provide you with exceptional support and solve any problems that may arise during your stay versus an Airbnb host that may or may not have the service or hospitality skills to resolve issues in a timely manner. While this may not be an issue for every vacation, it's reassuring to know that there’s a professional team ready to help.

Local companies curate a collection of hand-picked properties, ensuring each meets their exacting standards for quality, amenities and location. Forget sifting through countless listings, they've done the legwork, presenting only the crème de la crème. Local companies often boast exclusive listings unavailable on Airbnb, hidden gems known only to those with deep community ties. Choosing a local company also means supporting local businesses, contributing directly to the community that makes your luxury escape possible.

Unlike Airbnb's self-service model, local companies provide dedicated concierge services, from pre-arrival planning to activity recommendations and in-stay assistance, you'll have a personal touchpoint to ensure every detail is flawlessly executed. Local companies offer established business structures and clear communication, ensuring a simple and transparent process from booking to checkout. They have a vested interest in maintaining their reputation and unwavering standards as a result. 

If you seek a truly personalized, meticulously curated, and worry-free luxury experience, from a local vacation rental company, give us a call at 888.598.6353 with questions or email reservations@eastwest.com for help planning your next adventure.