VRBO's Cancellation Policy

Navigate Vrbo's cancellation policies with ease! Learn the differences between custom, moderate, and strict options for a hassle-free travel planning experience.

Tobi Miles
July 8, 2024
Navigate Vrbo's cancellation policies with ease! Learn the differences between custom, moderate, and strict options for a hassle-free travel planning experience.

Vrbo is one of the most popular sites for travelers to reserve one-of-a-kind vacation housing and for hosts to rent their extra space to visitors. They offer a great alternative to hotels. Allowing visitors to rent out a comfortable home over a stuffy double queen room! However, they tend to have a pretty restrictive cancellation policy that can catch visitors by surprise.

Vrbo has a variety of possible cancellation policies, all of which are selected by the hosts. The most flexible allows a full refund if canceled 14-days before check-in, while the most strict requires cancellation 60 days before check-in. There is a 48-hour policy that grants you a full refund if you cancel within two days of booking.

It is always best to know your travel reservations' cancellation policy to avoid unexpectedly losing money if something interrupts your plans. Vrbo's cancellation policies may not be easy to understand for new travelers or those using the platform for the first time. So here is a simple rundown of Vrbo's cancellation policies and other information that may come in handy!

What is Vrbo's Cancellation Policy?

What is Vrbo's Cancellation Policy
Vrbo's Cancellation Policy

Vrbo's setup does not have a singular cancellation policy that every listing follows. Hosts can choose their policy to determine how flexible they would like to be. Cancellation policies range from flexible, moderate, firm, strict, and absolute. These policies tend to what two different deadlines. If you cancel before the first deadline, then you will receive a full refund. And if you cancel by the second, you will receive a 50% refund. After those dates, you will not get one at all.

It can feel like a lot of information, but Vrbo makes it easy by labeling these policies with the deadlines you need to remember! Below we break down each of those possibilities you could run into with your Vrbo booking. All to help clarify what kind of refund you could be entitled to!

What are the Vrbo's Cancellation Options?

Vrbo's Cancellation Options
Vrbo's Cancellation Options

Vrbo does have a handful of cancellation policies that can be selected by the hosts! These range from flexible 14-day full refunds to a strict 60-day refund policy. They all follow a similar structure, with one deadline enforced for a full refund and another for a 50% refund.

The oddballs are the custom policy, which is designed by the host, and an absolute no refund policy. Here are a few more details on each option to be aware of!

Custom Policy

Vrbo does allow its hosts to create a custom cancellation policy, although you will likely not run into it often. This custom policy does not have a general set of guidelines to follow, so it is hard to determine what you should expect if you see this term on your Vrbo booking. Essentially, custom policies will have different cancellation terms and fees associated with them than the standard Vrbo policies.

If this comes up on a property you are interested in, be sure to read the unique policy before making your reservation. It is the best way to avoid potential fees if you need to cancel.

The terms of these policies are usually available for you directly on the property page. However, if you can not find the cancellation policy on the property page, you should contact the host directly to clarify their cancellation terms.

Relaxed: 14 - 7 Day Policy

Vrbo's first and most relaxed cancellation policy is the 14 to 7-day policy. This is the most flexible as it allows you the most time before your reservation begins to cancel. Cancellation policies with this company tend to be pretty strict, so this is the best setup you could get.

The policy goes like this; you will reticence a 100% refund if you cancel at least 14 days before check-in. This also means you will face no cancellation fees so long as you cancel two weeks ahead. However, if you cancel between thirteen & seven days before check-in you will get a 50% refund (minus the service fee).

With this policy, if you cancel the reservation after the 7-day mark before your check-in, then you will receive no refund at all. So if you cancel before the 14-day mark you get a complete refund. And if you cancel before 7 days you get half of your money back!

Moderate: 30 - 14 Day Policy

Next is the moderate cancellation policy. It follows a very similar setup to the relaxed policy but with a less forgiving expiration time! It is likely the most common policy you will run into, as it works well for those who plan their trips far in advance while also being protective of the hosts' income.

For this policy, you will receive a full refund if you cancel your reservation at least 30 days before check-in. If you cancel your trip later, between 29 and 14 days before check-in, then you will receive a 50% refund, excluding the service fee. Finally, if you cancel after the 14-day cut-off, then you will receive no refund at all.

Hosts' love this policy as it still protects them while not scaring away too many potential visitors. This policy can be shown in many ways but is typically displayed with the '30 to 14 Day Policy'. So keep an eye out for it!

Firm: 60 - 30 Day Policy

The firm cancellation policy only works for those booking their reservations pretty far in advance. Much like the other policies so far, this one has deadlines from 60 to 30 days before the reservation. Meaning you still have a chance at a full refund if you cancel two months before your reservation begins.

As with the other policies, you will receive a 100% refund if you cancel at least 60 days before check-in. If you cancel between 59 and 30 days before check-in, you will receive a 50% refund minus the service fee. And you will receive no refund if you cancel less than 30 days before check-in.

Since it is not ideal for spontaneous travel, you will see this policy on large and very popular properties. Hosts use this policy to protect themselves from losing lots of money preparing houses and missing out on paydays if people cancel late.

Strict: 60-Day Policy

Vrbo's most strict cancellation policy has a 60-day cut-off for refunds. It only has two rules. So long as you cancel 60 days before your check-in, you will get a full refund. Unfortunately, if you miss this deadline you will have no chance for a refund of any kind.

The most important difference to note with this policy is there is no 50% refund date. So it is important to be very strict and diligent when making a reservation with this type of policy. As you will not see any refund if you cancel after the 60-day mark. This is also the most important policy to keep an eye out for, as it could cost you the most.

No Refund Policy

Vrbo has a No Refund policy, which is pretty straightforward! If you do not cancel your reservation within the initial 48-hour window, then you will not get a refund if you cancel and face some potential fees. This policy is not uncommon for Vrbo so it is best to be certain of your reservation before you pay! 

No refunds are very normal for special Vrbo deals! If you find a property with a huge holiday or special discount, then it is very likely it will have a no-refund policy. This is very typical of all travel reservation companies. It is a good policy to keep in mind if you come across an incredible deal.

Does Vrbo Have An Extenuating Circumstances Policy?

Vrbo does have an extenuating circumstance policy, but it is best to contact Vrbo if this is the reason for your cancellation. Extenuating circumstances are those far outside your control, such as natural distorters or global pandemics. The line is not set in stone, so it is best to get in contact with Vrbo to see if your circumstances apply.

Situations such as missing a flight or having to cancel your trip due to a personal complication are not extenuating circumstances. 

However, it is nice to know that some events are covered! Meaning they do not inhibit you from getting a refund for your stay. To find out if your situation fits within their guidelines, it is best to speak with a representative to receive your refund.

What is Vrbo's Host Cancellation Policy?

Vrbo's Host Cancellation Policy
Vrbo's Host Cancellation Policy

Vrbo has a very simple host cancelation policy. If your host cancels your reservation at any time, then you will receive an automatic full refund! Vrbo understands that the host canceling on you can be incredibly inconvenient and frustrating. So you will not face any fees or penalties if the host of your reservation cancels on you.

The best part is this applies if the host cancels at any time! No matter if it is right after your booking or right before you are supposed to check in. So do not worry about getting your money if the host cancels on you, as it is not your fault!

What is Vrbo's Guest Refund and Cancellation Policy?

Vrbo does not have a cancelation policy beyond the ones selected by the hosts of each property. There is no specific refund for guests, and your eligibility for a refund entirely depends on the hosts' policy.

This makes cancellation and refunds a lot more straightforward for guests, hosts, and Vrbo associates alike! The policy listed on your Vrbo reservation will give you everything you need to know about cancelations and refunds for the property. 

Does Vrbo Have a 48-Hour Cancellation Policy?

Vrbo does have a 48-hour cancellation policy! The majority of companies, such as Vrbo, are legally required to have a 48-hour cancellation policy to allow to cancel penalty-free if the reservation was made mistakenly. If you miss this 48-hour mark, you will be subjected to the property's selected cancellation policy.

This means that if you cancel even 50 hours after you make the reservation, you may get no refund, depending on how soon your reservation is. So be sure to cancel in time to get that full refund!

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
July 8, 2024 3:13 AM

Tobi Miles is a University of Florida graduate turned globe-trotting culinary explorer and digital nomad expert. As the founder of "Bytes & Bites," he combines his passion for international cuisine with practical advice on remote work, inspiring others to experience the world through food and cultural immersion. With 32 countries under his belt and a knack for uncovering hidden culinary gems, Tobi is redefining the intersection of work, travel, and gastronomy for a new generation of adventurers.

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