VRBO is Vacation Rental By Owner. We have done many VRBO rentals and they have been outstanding. What makes it good, as opposed to AirBnB and others, is there is no middleman; you can be in direct contact with the owner of the property so you can get information easily. You can pay the owner directly. You are able to rate the owner/property and they are able to rate you, so it keeps everyone honest.
VRBO has the largest number of vacation rental properties and has listings all over the world. We may continue to use VRBO but there are others out there as well: homeescape.com and hometogo.com work in a similar way to VRBO, but do not seem to have the depth of listings.
Here are some final thoughts about vacation rental sites:
In all cases, listings come with numerous photos of the property so you can get a pretty good idea in advance of what you will be getting. There are reviews from former renters and they are important to read to get a sense of what the place is like. The listing includes the available amenities, eg. internet, cable, washer/dryer (very important for long term stays, and allows you to pack much lighter as well). We prefer staying where there is a well-equipped kitchen where we can prepare our own meals. This cuts down on the expense of eating out all the time and allows you to explore foods that are available locally. Our typical pattern is to eat a light breakfast at home, go out for lunch, then a light dinner at home again. We also like having a “home base” where we can unpack and not have to live out of a suitcase. We take a lot of day trips and occasionally a short overnight at a hotel if the distance is too far, but all in all, it is more economical and much less stressful than traveling from place to place.
I recommend the idea of vacation rental sites to anyone thinking about traveling and staying somewhere for a period of time. I think less than a week would not be worth it, but a week or more, makes sense. There is a lot to consider. Do your homework, research as much as you can, but we have had good luck using vacation rental sites.