Save Money On Your Next Vacation #BookDirect
Save Money On Your Next Vacation. Today Is Guest Education Day where we share The Importance Of #BookDirect!
February 7, 2018 marked the first Vacation Rental Industry-wide campaign to bring awareness to our guests and guests of ALL worldwide vacation rentals by owners. The industry has chosen a simple hashtag to represent what it means to work directly with owners of Vacation Rentals – #BookDirect.
February 5, 2020 – UPDATE! #BookDirect is working. Our guests are saving hundreds of dollars by booking directly with us, the vacation rental owner, an not using booking sites that charge fees!
For many years Online Travel Agencies (OTA) and online booking sites have been charging guests ‘convenience’ or ‘booking’ fees with little to no added value in the way of products or services. It’s simply a way to line the pockets of corporations with your hard earned dollars.
There was a time (before Expedia paid 4 BILLION dollars to acquire it) when VRBO.com was the vacation rental industry leader. In the beginning, VRBO was a simple plan really that became immensely successful. Create a website where owners can pay a subscription fee to list their vacation rental. Guests pay nothing, but sign up to find rentals in the destination of their vacation, a matchmaking service if you will. But four billion dollars of stockholder money needs to be repaid and Expedia is doing that on the backs of vacationers like you and me. The booking fees are created using a mysterious algorithm and can range from 7 to 18%. Vacation Rental owners do not collect this fee. Needles to say, we don’t list or advertise with VRBO (or any site that collects fees from guests.)
At Kihei Hale O Maluhia, we NEVER charge booking fees and NEVER list or advertise with websites that do either. We think guests would agree that they’re looking for the best travel deals and want to spend hard earned money on activities, eating out or shopping. Not paying fees.
So today we ask that you share with your friends the hashtag #BookDirect. Help spread the word that the true value in travel lies with working directly with owners. After all, who knows our condo better than us? Certainly not an agent in a call center half-way around the world.
Benefits of #BookDirect
• Book direct and save: Did you know that it’s not just VRBO that charges these outrageous fees. Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor also add hundreds of dollars of fees to your booking total?
• When you book direct, you have direct contact with the manager or owner: When booking a vacation rental, peace of mind is important. Want to know if there is a grill, a kayak, 24/7 service, a grocery store close by? When you book direct, you can find out many of these important questions and more before you commit to booking.
• The best price isn’t on the OTAs: Unlike hotels, OTAs and aggregators (like Airbnb, Expedia, Booking.com, VRBO.com, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, and FlipKey) don’t have the best price for travelers. In fact, you can save hundreds by booking direct and booking local.
• Many of the best vacation rentals aren’t event listed on the major sites: Because of the cost of using the big sites, the best vacation homes with the highest demand cannot be found on the big websites. For example along North Carolina’s beaches, alone, only 30 percent of the homes for rent can be found on the big websites. By limiting your search to the aggregating websites, you might be missing out on the best vacation home for your family or group.
• Mangers and owners have intimate knowledge about the destination: They can direct you the best rental for your needs and send you to the best activities, restaurants, and area service providers.
• If you have special needs, a manager or homeowner can help: Looking for help with your family’s special needs or are you celebrating a special event like an anniversary or birthday? An owner or manager can work with you directly to help with any of your individual needs and give you these assurances before you commit to a booking.
• During non-peak travel times, managers and owners have special offers available: From events and activities to special rates to onsite services, with direct communication with managers and owners, you get insider knowledge and the best offers.
The Evolution Is NOW
The travel industry is evolving to meet the needs of travelers and we recognize that and are evolving too. Destination marketing is really a key to survival for owners in a sea of rentals that are popping up. We’ve partnered with www.VacationSoup.com a breakout leader in the travel industry. The approach is simple, Owner contributed travel content driving travelers to destinations. As vacation rental owners, we know our destination better than the OTA’s and we love to share this insider information with our guests. We want our guests to have access to the latest and greatest things to do, places to see, activities to try and we post about it regularly. All of our blog posts are share with Vacation Soup, we’re part of the ‘ingredients’ that make it so immensely successful.
A few weeks ago we wrote a post ‘Best Money Saving Travel Tip‘ about saving money by booking direct. Essentially we were just ahead of this industry wide campaign to bring awareness to travelers looking to save money.
Travel Outside Of Maui
We know that our guests travel to places other than Maui and we’d like to share a few of the listing sites we’ve partnered with that DO NOT charge booking fees and allow direct contact with owners, saving you $$.
• TIP – When searching for a Vacation Rental, seek out regional listing sites!
Listing Sites with NO BOOKING FEES
Alternately, many vacation rental owners who are transitioning away from the big listing sites are still listed there but can be found by doing a simple Google search using the unit #, name of the vacation rental or looking the owner up on Facebook.
And finally, Facebook has seen an explosion in regional groups where owners and guests can chat about rentals available and things to see and do at the vacation destination. Simply search for groups using your desired destination as the keyword.
While we don’t advertise on this listing site, you can see that their parody really sums it up in a comical way.
Looking for more Maui vacation ideas? Lots of things to see and do,
come on over and visit our Local Maui Guide!
2 thoughts on “Save Money On Your Next Vacation -The Importance Of #BookDirect”
Great article and I fully agree with you. We have 2 vacation rentals on Molokai and while we do list on the big vacation sites out of necessity (it seems most people want to use them), we are trying to get guests to come to us directly so they do not have to pay those extra fees. We realize that our guests spend a lot of money to come on vacation and hate to see them waste their money on fees that provide no value to them. Thank you for taking the time to write this article.
Thank you Mike! Please feel free to share on your FB page or elsewhere to get the #BookDirect word out there. Many VR owners are transitioning away from the big sites and gaining independence from their choke-hold. Like you we want to provide our guests the best value for their vacation. Please private message me with your vacation rental website and details. We’ve been thinking about heading over to your island for some fishing!