I’ve recently taken the step of investing in the UK domestic tourism market. I have been running a holiday cottage in a gorgeous Cotswolds town since September 2020, and so far it’s proving to be a popular place to go. My experience of running this cottage has also informed myself as a traveller and the differences in holiday home rental prices.
If you’re looking for a home rental for your holiday, then you should be aware that the main platforms are charge small businesses a large range of commission:
- AirBnB: 3.6%
- Booking.com: 20%
- Tripadvisor: 3%
- Vrbo: 8%
Note that this commission is taken out of all fees that you may pay too. So, for example, if as a holiday home owner I charge my customers £80 cleaning fee, Booking.com will take £16 of that – if I need to pay my cleaner £80 then I have lost £16 because of Booking.com’s commission. I will therefore increase my cleaning fee on this platform accordingly.
Because Booking.com take the largest commission, I will charge the highest holiday home rental prices on this platform. Because AirBnB and Tripadvisor charge the lowest commission, my prices are cheaper on those platforms. I doubt that I’m alone in adjusting my prices this way.
My advice, therefore, would be that if you are looking to rent a holiday home, compare the price on Booking.com and on AirBnB as the owner may well have also decided to increase their prices on Booking.com in order to receive the same income. You may pay, for example, £400 for your holiday on AirBnB, but £480 on Booking.com, with the owner receiving exactly the same income.
Even better, of course, is booking direct. Neither you nor the owner will pay fees to a third party, and the owner may also be able to give you a discount for your next stay if you book direct – this is what I do, anyway.
Oh, and if you’re interested in my place, contact me – I’ll give you an excellent price!