HomeAway is a site dedicated to helping internet users find and book rental properties. The site provides travel information as well as numerous tools that allow users to not only seek out a rental or available home, but also list theirs for sale or rent. Search features available allow users to tailor their results to the specific date and location they plan to visit. The site boasts more than 230,000 rentals for its users to choose from.
HomeAway was founded in February of 2005 as an online vacation rental marketplace. Founded by Carl Shepherd, HomeAway is currently based in Austin, Texas. There are so many different rentals available in every major travel destination. HomeAway was designed to help users find the best options for their money. The site focuses on offering a wide range of options so that its users can easily search for fitting accommodations, or list theirs as available. HomeAway has thrived since it was first launched and now includes listings that span 120 countries.
The scope of HomeAway is what really makes it stand out among the many other vacation rental and travel websites. The site is not based in one country, but rather covers 120 of them. Users can easily access conveniently located rentals and gain information about what amenities are included, pricing, and other vital information to make a good choice for their next trip. HomeAway has grown and offers an enormous rental list as well as the option to include a rental on the list.
HomeAway features a welcoming site design that is sure to get visitors in the mood to travel. The main menu features an alluring photograph of a tropical travel destination. The logo, which includes a bird house and site name in black and blue, compliments the blue navigation bar and links. The site uses white space well, including open sides and minimal clutter to keep users on the right path to seek out or list vacation rental properties.
A new visitor can create a HomeAway account by clicking the pale green “sign up now” button found just below the center of the home page, in the right hand corner. The user is taken to a page that explains the rental registration process. The registration form can be found along the right hand side of the page. Users are asked to enter their first and last names, email address, area code and number, and agree to the terms and conditions. By clicking the gold “register” button, the information is submitted and the user is taken to the property listing page.
Users searching for a vacation rental property can start browsing HomeAway rentals without an account. No other fees are required other than money necessary to reserve a rental. Those who wish to list their rental property have to pay a yearly listing fee that runs just under $330. This includes exposure to site visitors, online reservation calendar, up to twelve photographs included in the listing, tips and resources, phone and email customer support, and automatic listing renewals.
Travelers who plan to go the vacation rental route can find value in HomeAway. The site offers locations all over the world, so those traveling abroad can easily find what they need. Property owners who wish to list their rentals can also use HomeAway, although it will require a fee to do so. The payout may be well worth it, provided the rental is in a desirable location that will draw interest. HomeAway supplies the travelers and potential customers, and the users supply rentals and interested renters.