depends on where you are going.
When we needed lodging for 10 guys in florida, we found it worthwhile.
For just myself and my wife on a weekend trip, it is more cost effective to get a hotel.
Many of them charge huge cleaning fees, and big deposits.
As you know, being in orlando, many of the large chains own family style rooms which is as large as a home, and you can pay hotel type prices for it.
We rented a 3 bedroom apartment from Holiday Inn vacations in orlando for like $179 per night. Did the same thing in galveston last month.
VRBO would have charged you that same fee, plus a 75 dollar cleaning fee, and a hefty deposit.
It really depends on where you go. In some areas, like where my cabin is, VRBO and Airbnb are about the only options. You get a wide range of offerings from cheap to luxury. Pay attention to the cancellation policy for where you are looking at.
We are a group of four couples that do motorcycle trips in the summer and have used VRBO for the last five or six years for a week or ten-day house rentals, noticed last year their fees and deposits have increased significantly, we will not use them again. The problem is they bought the competition so not a lot to choose from.
We have, many times and it's always worked out well. The descriptions have been accurate and the places have been clean and safe. We've always gotten our full damage deposit back as well.
My boss had a problem once. When she arrived the place had been sold. Got her deposit back (from VRBO) but had to find another place to stay - and at last minute rates. But she used VRBO quite often and this happened only once. It didn't put her off using them either.
I wouldn't hesitate to use them, or AirBnB either.
These kinds of rentals work particularly well for a large group travelling together (7 of us, all over Norway), or for longer stays (4 of us, for 16 days in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico).
We have used them twice now, the first time was in 2016, we rented a house in Cape Coral Florida for a week and stayed there with our kids. The second time was this time last year, we rented a condo for a week on Marco Island (also in Florida) No problems either time.
My friend had a house in Florida that he bought when the market crashed and he rented it out using VRBO. He had good tenants and had good occupancy until he sold it recently for 3x what he paid for it. It was in Davenport (Just outside Orlando). It was a semi in a gated community that backed onto a resort and those staying there could use the resort amenities for a small fee.
We stayed there when we drove down one summer. Had a great time.
Mixed experiences with VRBO. We rent the same condo in Myrtle Beach year after year. Same owners, ocean front, reasonable pricing and they keep it updated and clean. We rented a cabin in the Smokey mountains in October through VRBO and were disappointed, though still better than a motel.
We made out OK with the hurricane. Thanks for asking and the compliment on my home. A few screens and some roof shingles were damage by tree branches. Our 3 golf carts were totaled (flooded) and we are in a X flood zone but all covered by insurance.
VRBO I have had great luck along with Homeaway and another one.
There can be a crappy place as a rarity but the companies are great about returning money if places are not properly represented. My sis in law ran into with one place of 20 over 2 months of Europe travel that was simply filthy. They took pics and simply rented a hotel. Homeway or VRBO refunded their money.
We've used VRBO three times to rent Condos or homes in Steamboat Springs, CO.
One time, the unit sold before our rental. The new owners honored all the previous owners rentals (they were looking for the cash flow!) but went through a different property management company. To be blunt, how this is handled depends entirely on the folks you rented from and the new owners. In our case, it worked out just fine.
The other two rentals went down without a hitch. The homes were as advertised (and after the first one made us read the details a bit more ) I'd recommend without too many hesitations. Folks that have a fair number of reviews are good signs too.
In one right now.
Home away is also a good option. Been using both for over a decade now with no complaints.
A lot of the places are huge, so getting a group together and splitting the tab can be cheaper than staying at a local hotel or resort. And the houses are nicer.
One nice thing (I think) is that the reviews are from actual guests that have stayed there. Also if the Host (Owner) maintains high reviews, low cancellations, and is responsive then they can earn the Premier Partner status for VRBO or Superhost status for Airbnb.
Here's some info for the Airbnb program:
And here's a shameless plug for my cabin. Ijust finished remodeling the kitchen: