Third-party booking sites have long-angered travelers with additional fees and charges that rack up quickly, sometimes making stays much more expensive than planned.
While some owners rely on these third-party booking sites to vet guests, others have their own booking systems set up — and if you know how to find it, you can save hundreds in added fees.
That’s why one travel influencer is going viral for her easy hack on how to figure out if there’s a cheaper way to book the rental property that you’ve found on Airbnb, VRBO, or any other third-party booking site.
In the clip, Kristen Glazer shows an Airbnb rental she found for $666 a night in Minnesota. For three nights in October, the total came out to $2,549 with cleaning fees, service fees, and taxes.
Glazer then tells viewers to right-click on the photo of the rental from the Airbnb listing to open a reverse image search, which will show all the different websites with the listing for that property.
Search results will usually bring up the property owner or manager’s direct booking information.
When Glazer found the direct booking site and looked at the price for the same three days, the total was nearly $660 less than the third-party site.
Viewers in the comments praised Glazer for the tip.
“I wish we knew about this hack months ago,” one person wrote. “We learned about the fees on the sites while on vacay & the ways to avoid them after we were already paying them.”
“As a vacation rental owner, I love when my guests figure out how to book directly with me and feel like this strategy is a win-win for the owners and the guests,” another said.
In November 2022, Airbnb rolled out a new fee transparency initiative, which let users — for the first time — see a booking’s total cost upfront, including cleaning and service fees.
The company also put limitations on what Airbnb hosts can and can’t require guests to do upon checking out of rental properties.
“Guests should not have to do unreasonable checkout tasks such as stripping the beds, doing the laundry, or vacuuming when leaving their Airbnb,” the company said in a release time. “But we think it’s reasonable to ask guests to turn off the lights, throw food in the trash, and lock the doors — just like they would when leaving their own home.”
Airbnb was up just under 14.5% in a one-year period as of Monday afternoon.