HomeAway announces new features to find homes based on cleanliness, flexible cancellations

TD Editor

HomeAway has announced new ways for families to find holiday homes so that when they are ready to travel again they can easily find accommodation that meets their standards for cleanliness and flexible cancellations. 

“HomeAway has been connecting families with private, holiday homes for 25 years, and it is obvious that COVID-19 has added to what people need as they plan their next trip – having the flexibility to change or cancel plans and knowing how space has been cleaned is essential to feeling comfortable enough to travel again,” said Vrbo president Jeff Hurst.

“We’re adding the tools quickly to meet those additional requirements families now have when they are choosing a place to stay, as well as the systems our homeowners and property managers need to clearly communicate their policies and standards with future guests. Transparency between holidaymakers and homeowners about expectations and protocols is more important than ever.”

Cleanliness Guidelines and Search Filters

HomeAway is working with local governments, the travel industry and medical experts to ensure homeowners, property managers and holidaymakers are receiving aligned, clear cleanliness recommendations.

Homeowners and property managers now have clear information for disinfecting high-touch surfaces, building in time between bookings to avoid back-to-back stays and stocking antibacterial handwashes, cleaners and hand sanitizers for guests.

HomeAway is adding enhanced safety steps partners are taking to property descriptions so holidaymakers can choose places to book that meet their expectations. Homeowners and property managers will be able to report if the property is being cleaned with disinfectant, if guests can check-in and out without any person-to-person contact, and whether the property is unavailable for 24 hours between guests. Once property owners have supplied that information, HomeAway will add it to the property descriptions that holidaymakers see on the site and app.

In another addition to HomeAway, families will be able to use search filters to see holiday rentals with the highest cleanliness reviews from other holidaymakers. Former guests have already provided cleanliness reviews on 900,000 HomeAway properties. Even before COVID-19, cleanliness was a top expectation for holidaymakers when renting a holiday home, and holidaymakers say their most valuable source of information is people who have already stayed in the holiday home, cottage or apartment.

Flexible Cancellation Search Filter

When looking for properties with flexible cancellation policies, families can use HomeAway search filters to find holiday homes that provide a full refund when cancelling by a specific date. HomeAway will also highlight listings with the most relaxed cancellation policies, making it easier for families to find holiday homes that offer free cancellation closer to their check-in date.

“HomeAway’s homeowners and property managers told us that in response to COVID-19, adopting more flexible cancellation policies is the number one thing they are considering doing in the near future, so we’re supporting that by making the changes easy for them and highlighting the nearly a million properties that already have flexible cancellation policies and those that are adopting them,” said Hurst.

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