Vrbo Instant Book: Pros and Cons

Vrbo Instant Book

By The Hospitable Team

Instant booking is a standard option for OTA websites when travelers can instantly book your vacation rental property without waiting for your approval. Guests choose their travel dates, agree to your house rules, and press the booking button to go through with their payment. They do everything just as they would with a hotel.

Not sure whether you should activate instant book on Vrbo? And would you miss out if you don’t? Read the article to learn about the advantages of enabling Instant Booking for your listings on Vrbo. You’ll also find out how to turn off Instant Booking on Vrbo.

Vrbo Instant Book: How Does It Work?

When you enable the Vrbo Instant Book feature on your listings, all booking requests from guests are instantly confirmed, and the guest’s credit card is charged for the initial amount. You will receive a confirmation email with the details of the booking. Besides, the reservation will be automatically updated in your Reservation Manager.

To keep you as a host in control, all travelers must agree to the following before they book your property:

If a guest doesn’t meet the requirements of your House Rules or Vrbo Policies, Terms, and Conditions, you can still cancel their booking.

If you want to do that, it’s best to ask the guest to submit a cancellation request through their account under My Trips. This way, the cancellation won’t affect your metrics. And if a guest meets all your house rules, the reservation should only be canceled at the guest’s request.

Vrbo Instant Book: Advantages for Hosts

Instant booking is often a preferred choice for travelers because it provides a more convenient booking experience when using Vrbo. In addition, this functionality offers many advantages to hosts. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Vrbo Instant Book Saves Time

Instant Booking makes it easier for guests to book your vacation rental property when it attracts their attention instead of waiting to communicate with you. And you don’t need to review each booking request. So, turning on this feature makes the booking process more convenient and saves time for you and your guests.

There’s no need to worry. You’ll still be able to communicate with all guests as needed after booking reservations are confirmed, even if you get instant bookings.

Effective communication is critical to ensure a perfect guest experience that will lead to more 5-star reviews and, as a result, more bookings. With Hospitable, you can automate personalized conversations with guests and provide them with fast answers to all their questions.

Have conversations with your guests even when you sleep.

We will detect questions and answer on your behalf; send fully custom messages triggered by events, and much more!

Improve Your Performance in the Search Results

In general, your performance in the search results on Vrbo depends on several factors, including

  • The quality of your listing content
  • Competitive pricing
  • The number and quality of reviews
  • Your history of accepting bookings (acceptance rate).

If you enable Instant Booking, you will be able to have a 100% acceptance rate. It shows that you’re committed to helping travelers find and book their ideal vacation rental, are available for more bookings, and provide a perfect booking experience. Vrbo considers your acceptance rate and displays your listing higher in search results.

Of course, there are times when you may need to cancel bookings. One or two cancellations won’t harm your search ranking. According to Vrbo, it matters only when cancellations add up.

Attract More Guests

Guests love the Instant Booking feature. Vrbo allows them to filter their search for vacation rental properties with Instant Booking. Then guests only see properties available for immediate booking. These listings are easy to identify because they have a lightning bolt icon.

Another benefit is increased exposure for your listing. Rental properties with Instant Booking also appear to guests who visit Expedia Group sites over 750 million times a month. It will help you reach more travelers and maximize your bookings.

What Are the Disadvantages of Vrbo Instant Book for Hosts?

Still, there are some challenges and risks of accepting instant bookings. You need to fully understand both the benefits and drawbacks of using this feature so you can adjust your booking preferences accordingly.


Keeping track of multiple listing calendars can be a headache, especially if you enable instant booking features on several rental listing sites. You’ll need to constantly update calendars on different platforms to block out booked dates. Remember that nothing damages a host’s credibility and reputation more than accidentally double-booking a guest.

But you can avoid double bookings if you use Hospitable. Our tool makes it easy to sync your listings calendar on Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com.

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You can’t vet your guests

The vacation rental industry isn’t immune to digital fraud, and although Vrbo is a very safe site to use, hosts risk falling victim to Vrbo scams that can take different forms. You can’t rely on limited background checks on guests conducted by the Vrbo platform because they won’t put off professional criminals or protect you from problematic guests.

If you care about who stays at your vacation rental property, Vrbo instant booking isn’t the best option. You need to perform guest screening before you accept a booking request. The most efficient way is to use third-party guest screening software like Autohost and Superhog.

You can also create a direct booking website with Hospitable Direct and have complete control over the booking process. You’ll be able to confidently accept direct bookings because we’ll help you screen your guests in the booking flow—Autohost powers this feature.

We’ll also insure your STR properties with up to $5M worth of damage protection (powered by the Know Your Guest solution by Superhog). Additionally, your properties will get listed on Google Vacation Rentals, and you’ll be able to get bookings without paying high third-party fees.

How to Turn off Instant Booking on Vrbo

So if you don’t think Instant Booking on Vrbo is a good option, it’s okay—you can opt out at any time. You can easily turn it off in your settings and switch to 24-hour review from your account. Follow these steps to change your booking type.

  • Log in to your Vrbo account. If you have more than one property, click on the appropriate listing.
  • Click Property in the navigation menu and choose Rules and policies.
  • Click Booking type and select Instant Booking or 24-hour review, depending on your preferences.
  • Finally, press Save.

If you select a 24-hour review, you’ll have more time to review each booking request, ask the necessary questions, and decide whether to accept each request. Just remember that you need to respond to travelers quickly to confirm the booking.

Final Thought

Instant Booking on Vrbo makes the accommodation booking process seamless for both guests and hosts, and it’s a significant ranking factor. Vrbo admits their algorithms favor listings with instant booking functionality because they believe it benefits their users. Turning on this feature, you’ll increase your acceptance rate and improve visibility for your property.

However, there are also disadvantages for hosts associated with instant booking, including increased risk of double-booking and less control over the booking process. Besides, with Vrbo instant book, you don’t have the opportunity to screen your guests.

vrbo scams

Vrbo Scams: Safety Tips for Hosts

If you are not careful enough, you can fall victim to internet scams even on a secure site like Vrbo that has comprehensive security procedures to keep users safe. The best way to protect yourself from Vrbo scams is to recognize warning signs and red flags to avoid them.

vrbo cancellation policy

Vrbo Cancellation Policy: Short Guide for Hosts

Vrbo cancellation policy is a must-have for any host. It will allow you to provide your guests with the necessary information about their booking and be covered if your guests don’t show up. Explore the options and best practices in our guide.

vrbo house rules

Vrbo House Rules: A Guide for Hosts

Clear and concise Vrbo house rules are a great way to tell travelers about what is and what isn’t allowed at your property. If you’re feeling a little lost or need some guidance about how much detail you need to go into, in this post, you’ll find examples of rules that you can’t miss in your vacation rental.

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