What to Know Before You Book on Vacasa

Vacasa manages vacation rental properties, simplifies booking for travelers and you can earn loyalty points.
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If you’re interested in booking a vacation rental for your next trip, consider taking a look at Vacasa, a centrally-managed vacation rental booking platform that represents properties around North America.

With thousands of property listings in 40 U.S. states plus Canada, Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica, all complete with bright photos and 3D home tours, it might just be your one-stop shop for easy vacation rental bookings in all kinds of interesting destinations. Here’s how it works and what to know about the platform, plus clever ways to book Vacasa for cheaper.

What is Vacasa?

Similar in many respects to Airbnb and Vrbo, Vacasa is a vacation rental platform for travelers who would prefer to skip the traditional hotel experience and instead have a whole home, condo or similar type of rental space all to themselves — though there are also rooms in hotel-like lodges available).

And while Vacasa also markets their properties on Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, and more, instead of the website being a smattering of individual private owners managing rental properties like on other platforms, Vacasa as a company manages all listed properties and rentals for homeowners. So travelers can book directly on Vacasa’s website or via the Vacasa app, much like they would on other booking platforms, but Vacasa is the only point of contact and in charge of the booking from beginning to end.

And it’s not just for short-term rentals; travelers who want to stay longer (like snowbirds, summer vacationers, etc.) can also book long-term rentals through Vacasa.

» Learn more: How does Vrbo work?

How does Vacasa work?

Vacasa vacation rentals are different from most listings on Airbnb because instead of private property owners managing, cleaning and listing their rental properties online themselves and then having to deal with renters personally, they pay Vacasa to do it all.

Which means renting feels less like interacting with a private party and more of a business transaction, which also tends to mean there are fewer extreme variations in processes, experiences and check-in/check-out rules as things tend to be more streamlined.

Travelers simply search for listings like they would on other platforms like Booking.com or Expedia, make a reservation, then the rest is handled by Vacasa’s network of employees. There’s even a 24/7 support team you can reach out to with questions or concerns.

How to book a stay on Vacasa

You can peruse listings and filter by property type, numbers of bedrooms, nightly rate or by the amenities available. There is also a map so you can see exactly where each property is located.

Booking and paying

To find Vacasa rentals wherever you’re headed, start on the Vacasa.com home page where you can type in your destination, travel dates and number of travelers.

When the results page loads, complete with images of available properties, simply select the one you want to learn more about.

From the new page, you can read more details about the property, including whether pets are allowed, look at more photos, see what activities are available nearby and read reviews from others who have stayed.

When you’re ready to book, click on “Book now” to start the checkout process, enter personal info about who’s staying and select “Continue.” You’ll then be taken to a page where you can review the cancellation policy, look over house rules once more, and add optional trip insurance.

After you select “Continue” again, you’ll be taken to the final step: a payment page where you’ll enter credit card info or select if you’d rather pay with Affirm, choose if you’d like to pay in full or half now and half later (if that’s an option for you specific booking), and then select “Book now” to finalize your reservation.

Keep in mind that to book most properties, you have to be at least 21.

Checking in and checking out

While the actual checkout process may vary from property to property, you can likely expect a contactless check-in via smart locks or smart boxes. The morning of your reservation, you’ll receive an email with entry codes and further instructions.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can also call support at 800-544-0300 within 24 hours of check-in to get instructions.

Vacasa also recommends downloading its Vacasa app, which will have all the details about your booking (as will your Trip Manager dashboard online). You can see home listings, digital lock codes for your rental, get directions, trip details, and more. You can also reach out to support through the app.

When it comes time to checkout, Vacasa states that there is currently no late check-out option; you’ll have to be out the door by 10 a.m.

Vacasa’s cancellation policy

If you do have to cancel your reservation, Vacasa allows you to do so for any booking made within the last 24 hours, though you shouldn’t expect a refund for last-minute bookings made less than 24 hours before the scheduled check-in time.

After 24 hours have passed, you can still cancel and get refunded most of what you paid, so long as you do so at least 30 days before your stay is scheduled to start. The booking fee and any taxes will not be refunded, though.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Booking with a credit card with travel insurance or buying a supplementary policy can help you recoup some cash if you have a qualifying reason to change your plans.

To start the cancellation process, simply head to the Trip Manager page online, log in, and make your cancellation request.

Is Vacasa safe?

As far as any vacation rental booking platform is safe, so is Vacasa. There are always risks when it comes to staying in someone’s home, but the platform aims to reduce these risks as much as possible.

Safety measures between guests and hosts

There aren’t any background checks required to book on Vacasa, but Vacasa employees, those hired to clean or maintain the property, often have had a background check, and the platform has safety measures in place to protect hosts from fraudulent or problematic bookings.

There are also smart locks on Vacasa properties that Vacasa installs, which helps ensure guests are the only ones who will have access at any given time.

Vacasa’s stance on surveillance devices

Vacasa instructs property owners that they are generally not allowed to have cameras anywhere in or around the house where guests might be, especially in areas that aren’t visible from the road.

There is an exception, though, and that’s for areas of the property where it’s been clearly stated that guests aren’t allowed to be, like garages. If these cameras exist, Vacasa will disclose that info in the listing details.

How to save money on Vacasa

While prices on Vacasa listings are fairly dynamic (meaning they may change from day to day or season to season depending on demand, there are still a few ways to save some cash when you book.

Book with Wyndham Rewards

While Vacasa doesn’t have a loyalty program of its own, the site does partner with Wyndham Rewards, which means you can use those points to book your vacation rental. You’ll have to call Wyndham Rewards in order to book a reward stay.

Book with Marriott Bonvoy points

You can also book thousands of Vacasa properties with Marriott Bonvoy points (and earn them on Vacasa stays) when you book on the Home & Villas by Marriott website.

But before you start using your Marriott Bonvoy points, you have to earn them. Beyond qualifying hotel stays, another way to amass a large number of points is to earn a sign-up bonus for a Marriott-branded credit card.

Marriott credit cards
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Bevy American Express
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual fee

$0.

$95.

$250.

$650.

Rewards

• 3 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 2 points per $1 on grocery stores, rideshare, select food delivery, select streaming and internet, cable and phone services.

• 1 point per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 3 points per $1 on up to $6,000 a year in combined purchases on grocery stores, gas stations and dining.

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 4 points per $1 on up to $15,000 a year in combined purchases at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S).

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

• 6 points per $1 at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.

• 3 points per $1 at restaurants worldwide and on flights booked directly with airlines.

• 2 points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Terms apply.

Other benefits

• 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status

• Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.

• 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite status, plus path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.

• 1 Elite Night Credit toward Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.

• Free Night Award (valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $15,000 in a calendar year.

• Gold Elite status, plus 15 Elite Night credits each year toward Platinum Elite status.

• 1,000 points per paid eligible stay booked directly with Marriott Bonvoy at participating properties. Terms apply.

• Free Night Award (valued up to 85,000 points) every year after your account renewal month.

• Platinum Elite Status and 25 Elite Night credits per year.

• Fee credit for either Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

• Priority Pass Select lounge membership (enrollment required).

• Up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.

• Terms apply.

New cardholder offer

Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Earn 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Earn 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

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Be flexible

As a general travel rule, being flexible with your travel dates can often save you money, and that includes Vacasa bookings.

In one search for a rental property in Austin, Texas, a one week stay in October 2024 was $2,118, while the very next week prices shot up to a whopping $6,346. So if you don’t find something in your budget for one week, try alternate dates.

Use a card that lets you “erase” charges

If you have a travel card that lets you redeem points for statement credits, you may be able to book a Vacasa rental and pay with the card, then cash in some points once the charge appears on your bill.

Here are some example travel cards that offer this perk.

Travel cards with statement credits
Bank of America Travel Rewards® Credit Card
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Bank of America's website

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on American Express' website

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
$0
$395
$95
$695
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Use other booking platform credits

Because many Vacasa properties are also listed on other booking sites, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Expedia and more, if you find a property you like but happen to have a credit on one of the participating platforms (including OneKey Cash), you can check to see if booking elsewhere is an option if it will save you money.

Is Vacasa legit?

Yes. Vacasa is a well-maintained and organized site full of rental properties and vacation homes that are all managed by one company, which offers a streamlined booking and stay process.

It’s easy to use, there are lots of property types listed, and even though Vacasa doesn’t have its own loyalty program, you can still earn and redeem some loyalty program points on bookings.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Cards for Airbnb from our Partners
Citi Custom Cash® Card

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash® Card
4.7
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1%-5%

Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

2%

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Credit Card

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card
4.5
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-3x

Earn unlimited 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services and phone plans. Plus earn 1X points on other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

20,000

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

Points
See more cards for Airbnb
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