There has been a real shake-up in the Vacation Rental industry of late. Expedia purchased VRBO/HomeAway (same company) in late 2015 for $3.9 billion USD and have now started to implement their new policies. They are now charging the traveler (you) a 6-15% booking fee if you use their site to find your vacation home. They do this by forcing us (owners) to accept online bookings and payments. They hide the identity of both of us until you pay with your credit card and there is no way to speak to us prior to paying. They will only give us your contact info AFTER you pay. That is done so that we can’t go around their system and try to save you the booking fee.

We want to speak with our guests and they also want to speak with us. We personally own our four homes and care very much about who is coming to stay. Just as I am sure that our guests want to know who they are renting from.  We already pay a lot to advertise on HomeAway and VRBO so we don’t understand why they want so much money from our guests too. It’s too bad as we have been on their site for 14 years and have had a great experience, until now…..

Many of the other big box listing sites are also charging guests hefty booking fees and masking contact info such as AirBnB. TripAdvisor is rumoured to be heading that way as well. The best way to find a vacation home is to use Google. Search whatever city/region you want to visit followed by “vacation homes”, for example, if you were going to Boston, you would search “Boston Vacation Homes” in Google to find owners directly. Many of the vacation homeowners have their own websites with reviews and take online secure payments, just like the big listing sites. There are also many free listing sites that will come up in a search like that.  Remember, you will always get the lowest price, guaranteed, by going direct and cutting out the middle man. Not to mention the value of speaking with the owners directly about the area and the fine details of the property you are renting, BEFORE you decide to proceed with a reservation!

You can find us and the lowest rate on the web at;

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you into one of our homes in Historic Niagara on the Lake!