The most crucial VRBO etiquette rules. The appropriate behavior for booking on VRBO. Avoid embarrassment and be an ideal guest.

VRBO rules for guests

What VRBO etiquette is

VRBO etiquette is the set of rules to stay at an accommodation booked on VRBO. It includes the proper way to book, check-in, check out, and the appropriate behavior.

As a guest, know VRBO etiquette rules to avoid any embarrassment.

As a host, VRBO etiquette helps you manage your guests’ expectations.

General VRBO etiquette principles

VRBO is an online service to book accommodation from private owners. It is possible to rent many types of accommodation, from homes to larger villas.

VRBO etiquette for guests has two main goals.

First, to match the guests’ rights with the appropriate expectations. In most cases, VRBO hosts do not offer the same services that are available at a hotel. 

Second, to make sure that, as guests, we maintain the appropriate behavior and respect our hosts.

VRBO etiquette rules

1) VRBO booking etiquette 


On VRBO, guests need to make a booking request first. The hosts have to review the request and approve or deny the booking. 

Nowadays, most VRBO listings are automatically and immediately approved. Others require manual approval by the host. The manual approval phase is usually fast. However, it may take up to 24 hours. 


Before the booking, it is perfectly acceptable to send messages or requests to your host. Ask for the information that you need to make an informed booking. Such as information about the accommodation, how to reach it, or the area. 

It is against VRBO etiquette to ask hosts for superfluous information. Such as any information that is already present on the listing page, or general information about the destination that is commonly available online.

A single message is preferable to a long sequence of requests.

Similarly, it is perfectly acceptable to make inquiries after the booking and before your arrival. For example, you can contact your host again a few days in advance to confirm the booking. 

However, you should avoid sending multiple requests to your host. Do not make hosts feel like your personal travel guide.

2) VRBO check-in etiquette

Normally, VRBO hosts do not have a reception.

Hosts and guests have to arrange a short meeting for the check-in. Be punctual at the check-in meeting. If you cannot make it in time, notify your host in advance. Similarly, notify your host of any circumstance that can cause a delay. Such as a flight or train delay, or road traffic. 

VRBO check-in meetings are usually short. Expect between 5 and 10 minutes. The host will show you the accommodation. You can ask for any additional information. It is best to respect your host’s time and keep the check-in short.

Often, you can speed up the check-in process by sending a copy of your ID in advance. 

Sometimes, the check-in happens without meeting the host. The host can give you an access code, or a location to pick up the keys.

3) How to manage your belongings in a VRBO

Sometimes, hosts rent their private homes. Thus, it is possible that not all the spaces and storage are available for your use.

Make sure to respect the host’s privacy and personal space. 

4) How to dress in a VRBO

In most cases, VRBO listings offer exclusive use of your accommodation. Thus, feel free to dress as you want.

However, sometimes the accommodation has areas in common with other guests or the hosts. In such cases, it is best to be neat and dress appropriately. Avoid staying in the common areas barefoot or in your underwear.

5) Respect the host’s rules

Guests are supposed to respect the rules set by hosts. 

Eating and drinking are usually allowed. However, some hosts might ask you to avoid the consumption of alcoholic drinks. Do not smoke in a no-smoking VRBO accommodation.

It is a good norm to limit noise and music. Further, some hosts might forbid parties on their property. 

If you break something during your stay, notify the host. Usually, hosts do not charge you for normal wear and tear, such as breaking a drinking glass. 

Similarly, notify your host of any malfunction or incident.

6) VRBO etiquette for kids

In a vacation rental, your kids should respect the same rules as if they were at home.

Some hosts may want to keep their listing for adults only. Check the host rules before booking.

7) VRBO etiquette for pets

Some VRBO hosts allow pets on their property, while others do not. 

Check the host rules before booking. If pets are not explicitly mentioned, you should inquire before booking.

When pets are allowed, you should follow the host’s rules during your stay. 

If the host does not allow pets, do not get upset. Book another accommodation.

8) VRBO check-out etiquette

Leave your accommodation in the same conditions you would leave a hotel room. No additional effort is required.

The host may request a check-out meeting to collect the keys. However, hosts often ask to simply leave the keys on the property.

After your stay, you may or may not leave a review. VRBO encourages reviews. Be aware that hosts can publicly reply to your review.

Tipping is not common. Instead of tipping, consider leaving a positive review to your VRBO host.

VRBO etiquette: the worst mistakes

Avoid the worst VRBO etiquette mistakes. 

  • 8/10. Not respecting boundaries with your host.
  • 8/10. Leaving your room or house in a mess.
  • 6/10. Arriving over one hour late at the check-in.
  • 5/10. Checking out over one hour late.