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Do you tip HomeAway home owners?

SaizaSaiza Posts: 1,912Member
We're going on vacation next week and it's our first time renting a house on HomeAway. I was wondering if anyone has any experience doing it? Are you supposed to tip the home owner? Like you're supposed to tip the maid at a hotel? Is it expected? Is it not? Do you leave a small gift? Before we've always stayed with family and baked a special dessert to take or bought dinner and brought gifts for letting us stay at their house. What's the proper etiquette? Thank you for any advice!


  • GrishmaGrishma Posts: 1,905Member
    We usually leave a nice bottle of wine or a batch of craft beer with a thank you note.
  • DSDSDSDS Posts: 56Member
    I don't leave a tip, but I always leave a bottle of wine or booze or a fancy candle or something that seems in keeping with the place itself.
  • JodiAnneJodiAnne Posts: 2,099Member
    I have stayed in a few places from HomeAway and have never left a tip or a gift. I have always left a nice Thank You note though for allowing me to stay at their home.
  • SaizaSaiza Posts: 1,912Member
  • dw85202dw85202 Posts: 355Member
    @Saiza I have used Home Away and VRBO frequently and only once tipped as the owner went above and beyond. Otherwise, I just leave a review of the website. I think a positive review is very much appreciated by the home owners. I do not leave wine or gifts as most are cleaned by hired cleaning crews and the owner often does not live near. For those curious about the time I did tip....I stayed over Thanksgiving weekend in San Francisco to visit my son. The owner lived in the downstairs part and rented the upstairs apartment. He also acted as concierge. He picked us up and drove us back to the airport and also grocery shopped for us and stocked the fridge so I could make Thanksgiving dinner for the family. I tipped very generously!!
  • TAMTAM Posts: 81Member
    I used VRBO for the first time this summer and didn't leave a tip or thank you note. We kept the place very tidy (we do this at hotels too). I left a good review on VRBO. I never thought about leaving a tip.
  • SaizaSaiza Posts: 1,912Member
    @TAM we usually keep hotel rooms tidy, just need them to come in and dump the trash. I just feel a little odd perhaps staying in a strangers house lol. And like I said we always brought a gift or bought dinner to thank our friends or family we stayed with on vacation. Plus not sure what the proper etiquette is these days. People tip on a lot of stuff.
  • vkbrownvkbrown Posts: 439Member
    I have stayed in manyyyy VRBOs and have only tipped once when the owner went above and beyond. (Refunding us a night even though it was no refunds because we had to leave early for a family emergency.)

    I always leave a review for the owners, as that will help with their future business. I think of it as much like a hotel - I pay to stay there, and will tip anyone who does extra things like move my bags, etc..., but not the hotel itself because that is their business.

    I do only stay in "entire homes" though, not in a home with the owner, so that may change if I ever did share the home with the owners present. Probably not, but it may.
  • Maureen_BMaureen_B Posts: 449Member
    I've never tipped, because rarely do I feel like I'm actually in someone's home - pretty much every VRBO i've stayed in feels like it's just a permanent short term rental.

    Now, I have been staying in more traditional B&B's lately, am I supposed to bring a hostess gift?
  • sususubiesususubie Posts: 298Member
    I have used both for years renting in the Santa Cruz, CA area. They’re mostly short term vacation rentals so we never leave tips. Quite the contrary, they should tip me for being an organized, a-retentive type who even cleans the bathrooms before I leave. The places always look better than the day I get there. Yes, the rest of my family thinks I’m nuts too >:)
  • ginamarie135ginamarie135 Posts: 668Member
    What is VRBO? I've heard of HomeAway (never used it) and I've used AirBnb a lot.
    Please ask for my swap id if you are interested!
  • heathervaheatherva Posts: 33Member
    The few times I have used VRBO and Homeaway the owners have lived out of State. I don't leave a gift because I knew they would not receive it. I do leave great reviews. I've thankfully never had a bad experience so never had to think of about a less than stellar review.
  • sususubiesususubie Posts: 298Member
    @ginamarie135 VRBO is Vacation Rentals by Owner and is just like Home Away (I thought they were owned by the same company now but I may be mistaken). I started using VRBO back in the late 90s. They’ve been around a long time.
  • wldflowur13wldflowur13 Posts: 708Member
    Do you guys prefer these types of rentals more than booking a hotel room? We were looking at going to the beach. Hadn't considered Homeaway, Airbnb, etc but now wondering if it'll be a better option.
  • lynndeannelynndeanne Posts: 710Member
    @wldflowur13 It may depend on market of that area. We go to Bethany for a few weeks in the summer and use a management company website. We do it that way because the prices on VRBO, air BNB, etc. are the same in Bethany (at least for the property we want to stay in.) Since no cash benefit to booking directly with owner, I go through the company in order to get the service, check in, etc.

    In general, though, I think the short-term rentals are a great alternative to hotels if you have a need for more space or a kitchen. Some website aggregators will show all the options now... I don't remember if I saw it on Kayak, Trivago or Priceline, but at least one was pulling in from VRBO.
  • SaizaSaiza Posts: 1,912Member
    @wldflowur13 we're going to Denver and found renting a house was about the same price as a hotel. Hotels are very expensive and we could get a nice house for the same price at a hotel and spread out a little more. Plus you have a kitchen to cook in.
  • vkbrownvkbrown Posts: 439Member
    @wldflowur13 my family always does homes when we can because we need at least two hotel rooms, and even nice homes are generally comparable, or even cheaper than hotels in a lot of places. The ability to cook for ourselves is also a money saver and we enjoy it more than just eating out for every meal. It's very dependent on location though. Some places have great options; others not so much.
  • ChristineDChristineD Posts: 82Member
    @Saiza My husband and I stay in Homeaway rentals in Florida every November. Like others have mentioned, leaving a tip or gift usually depends on whether or not the home is frequented by the home owner on a regular basis or whether the property is managed solely by a property manager and almost always rented. I have provided a small gift for a few properties where all my interactions have been with the homeowner. However, the vast majority of the rentals in the areas we stay (Naples) are rented for all weeks but a few throughout the year. Payment, communications, and all check-in / check-out is handled via a local property management company. Every home I have rented also charges a pretty hefty cleaning fee. In those cases I just leave a nice review if all went well to assist the property owner in getting future rentals.
  • ChristineDChristineD Posts: 82Member
    @sususubie So glad I am not the only one who cleans the rentals to better than they were at check-in. They should refund me some of the darn cleaning fee! ;)
  • diamondsonhertoesdiamondsonhertoes Posts: 995Member
    I've never done so. Now I'm wondering if I should be. @wldflowur13 it depends on the situation for us. When it's just my husband and I traveling we typically stay in hotels. When we are inviting family on our vacation we will rent a home. Now that we have the twins we will probably use the service a lot more often now.
  • sususubiesususubie Posts: 298Member
    @ChristineD Exactly! Those cleaning fees are outrageous. I always think I should just move to the coast and start my own cleaning company :p
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