Short term rentals overview

Give your travelers more of what they want by surfacing 900,000+ vacation rentals via the Rapid API.

Note: Vrbo inventory is a new product that is currently only available to a limited number of partners.


The vacation rental market is high-growth. Travelers today want to stay in places that offer unique experiences, travel together with larger groups, and enjoy quality time together. Vacation rentals are the perfect answer for those needs.

  • Demand for vacation rentals is strong and the market is growing faster than hotels, according to Skift Global Research (2022).
  • Vacation rentals as a percentage of the overall lodging market have doubled from 7% in 2014 to 14% in 2022, and the market is projected to grow to over $150B by 2024.

Meeting traveler needs often goes hand-in-hand with growing your business:

  • According to Expedia Group internal data (2022), Vrbo travelers spend 5x more, stay 3x longer, and bring 2x the amount of people compared to other travelers.
  • Not only are these vacation rental trips higher value, but delivering unique traveler experiences will help you build a customer for life.

Rapid has over 900,000 vacation rentals, meaning you can benefit from bookings with a longer length of stay, longer booking windows, and a higher average booking value. Vacation rentals on Rapid can be split into two types:

  • 265k+ integrated with Expedia Group.
    • Available to all Rapid partners via the Rapid API today.
    • Identified by the Property Category ID.
    • Primarily managed by professional hosts.
  • 650k+ integrated with Vrbo.
    • Limited offering to select partners.
    • Available via existing Rapid APIs.
    • Managed by a mix of professional and private hosts (property owners).

How to identify vacation rentals on Rapid

There is no single common method to identify a vacation rental property. The definition may vary by region or regulatory body. As such, you may consider the following approaches.

Note: Some jurisdictions may consider other property types offered on the Rapid API as vacation rentals if they only offer a single unit. Please refer to regulations in your point of sale for further definitions and requirements.

Property category

Vacation rental properties can be identified using the category object in the Rapid Content API.

Category IDCategory
17Private vacation home
23Condominium resort
44Mobile home (caravan/RV)

Property category + unit count + front desk

In addition to property categories, you may also choose to leverage additional identifiers to define a vacation rental for your market and guests:

  • Multi-unit vs. single-unit
  • Front desk


Include hotel-like vacation rental properties within hotel search:

  • Categories: Aparthotel, condominium resort, and residence.
  • Multi-unit = true
  • Front desk amenities (24-hour front desk and front desk (limited hours)).
  • Can be displayed via a hotel template.
  • Multi-unit vacation rentals with a reception are the closest to conventional lodging and may be included in a hotel search path as well as a vacation rental-specific shop experience.

Multi-unit vacation rentals without a reception: These have organized management but may require additional operational dedication as there is no front desk. Guests should be made aware that the property does not have a front desk and the property will provide arrival instructions via email.

Include hotel-like vacation rentals and single-unit vacation rentals in a dedicated vacation rental search experience:

  • Categories: All vacation rental categories.
  • Single- and multi-unit.
  • Properties with and without a front-desk.
  • Should be displayed in a custom vacation rental template.
  • Single-unit vacation rentals require a high level of communication with end travelers prior to arrival.
  • Clearly communicate that the property has no front desk (so check-in instructions will be provided post-booking) and whether the location is exact or has been obfuscated for privacy reasons.
  • Provide the traveler email address with every booking.

Host and traveler conversations

Enabling direct communication between the host and traveler is critical to enabling a positive stay experience for travelers, building trust and confidence in the stay, and avoiding issues at time of arrival. Many issues related to the stay can be resolved between the traveler and host prior to arrival. Likewise, any issues that arise during the guest's stay can often be resolved without support agent involvement.

While communication between host and traveler is important to any vacation rental stay, it is most important for single-unit vacation rental properties which do not have a front desk or, in many cases, a manager on-site. We recommend you provide the traveler email with every vacation rental booking, and leverage our Property Message Center to facilitate those communications. Vrbo bookings via the Rapid API are not currently compatible with Property Message Center, and require the traveler email to enable conversations.

Rapid API Types of Vacation Rentals Example

Vrbo on Rapid

Vrbo on Rapid provides you with content and rates for 650k+ instant book, professionally- and privately-managed Vrbo properties. You can use the APIs we provide to build a customized vacation rental shopping experience that caters to your travelers and business.

  • Access 650k+ Vrbo properties via the same Rapid API used by partners for access to our hotels and vacation rentals today.
  • Limit to properties offering a single payment.
  • Limit to properties which do not require damage deposits.
  • Limit payment via partner virtual card.

Advanced Vrbo on Rapid options

  • Provide payment via the customer credit card when one of the following two attributes are present:
    • Enable properties with payment schedules (+15-25% more available properties).
    • Enable properties with damage deposits (+2% more, often higher-end, available properties).

Supported APIs

Currently, the following Rapid APIs natively support Vrbo inventory:

  • Geography API
  • Content API
  • Guest Reviews API
  • Availability and Price Check APIs
  • Booking API
  • Retrieve Itinerary API
  • Cancel API (for eligible bookings)
  • Notifications API (cancellations)

Un-supported features

Currently, the below Rapid APIs are not supported:

  • Hold/resume
  • Change room details including guest name, stay dates, occupancy, and pets
  • Special requests
  • Notifications API (changes)
  • MFS
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