Huge changes to HomeAway holiday rentals as it relaunches with new name, Vrbo

The original online holiday rental brand gets a refresh in the UK

(Image credit: Getty Images)

World travel platform Expedia Group has now officially re-launched holiday rental company HomeAway as Vrbo in the UK.

Part of the Expedia group, Vrbo was first established in 1995 as the first holiday rental company to offer online bookings of it portfolio to holidaymakers. However until October 14th 2020, the UK arm of the business operated under a different name: HomeAway.

The name change will impact holidaymakers looking to book UK staycations going forward.

Why have they changed HomeAway's name to Vrbo?

President of Vrbo, Jeff Hurst, explained that the move to operate under one brand will help the company to 'simplify and focus on what really matters which is providing British families with a safe and simple way to travel better together.’

He revealed, ‘We are excited to introduce British families to Vrbo’ and that ‘we remain fully committed to helping families all over the world to spend some urgently needed quality time together.’

What changes will the Vrbo relaunch bring?

Quite a few things will change for holidaymakers with this UK relaunch. Though Vrbo say they remain committed to connecting HomeAway’s holidaymakers with their perfect holiday homes.

Holidaymakers will continue to be able to:

  • Book and pay securely online, with the Book with Confidence Guarantee
  • Access their accounts on the website with their current username and password.

Vrbo property

And the biggest changes are:

  • That holidaymakers will have to download the new Vrbo app available for iOS and Android. You will then be able to log in as usual on their mobile application.
  • The launch of a new group-panning tool, Trip Boards. This allows holidaymakers to save their favourite homes on their own personal Trip Board. They are then free to invite all family members to the board, to comment and vote for their favourite.
  • The launch of the Vrbo Virtual Assistant tool, which is on hand to answer frequently asked questions about different properties. It even allows holiday-homeowners to connect with the holidaymaker instantly, so you can get the answers you need fast.
  • The launch of new filters, such as cleanliness and cancellation


What are Vrbo doing to make properties Covid safe?

Vrbo, destination

Safety has never been more crucial for many of us and Vrbo worked with medical experts and local governments to accommodate new requirements.

They now have created new tools and filters to provide holidaymakers with even more transparency so you will then be able to make an informed booking decision. The new filters include cleanliness and cancellation.

‘We are glad that we have the right measures and guidelines in place to provide [holidaymakers] with a feeling of safety and security,’ says Jeff Hurst, adding that ‘they can purely enjoy the change of scenery and precious time together.’

Find yourself wondering where people are booking to go on holiday in the UK at the moment so you can join them (or avoid them)? These are the most popular UK destinations so far in 2020*:

Top 10 staycation destinations on Vrbo in 2020 - quick links to cottages

  1. Newquay (Cornwall)
  2. Whitby (North Yorkshire)
  3. St Ives (Cornwall)
  4. London (Greater London)
  5. Bude (Cornwall)
  6. Tenby (Pembrokeshire)
  7. Edinburgh (Edinburgh)
  8. Bath (Bath and North East Somerset)
  9. Filey (North Yorkshire)
  10. Looe (Cornwall)

*based on bookings from May-August 2020

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!