Recent changes in the owner-managed travel business have caused an uproar from property owners and their guests. Specifically, the titan of the industry, VRBO, has recently instituted a traveler's booking fee, among other unpopular moves. Below is our analysis of the Best Alternatives to VRBO.

Our criteria for this evaluation included:

- Owner Friendly: Provides owners a predictable experience and cost structure, as well as the tools they need to advertise properties, publish a calendar/availability and rates, and communicate with guests.

- Traveler Friendly: Provides search tools, requires minimal commitment and is fee-free.

- Enterprising and Responsive: Sees what the market needs, and moves quickly to address those needs.

Based on the above criteria, our analysis determines that the best alternatives to are:

#1: This site is the clear winner. They have been up-front with a fee-for-listing service with no hidden charges, no guest fees, and a decent-and-improving search model. They still need to increase their market and properties database, and to become more visible in searches but this site has the most potential of all those we have evaluated.  We expect that will fill a large part of the vacuum that VRBO is opening up.

#2: Their search model requires owners to pay to have their properties show up in a search. This hurts owners in the pocketbook, and hurts travelers who want to see the entire set of properties in a particular location, and who don't realize that the search results suppress some properties based on whether owners have paid the search fee. Originally set up as a site where listing properties was free for owners, they are now charging a fee for that as well. Owners report that HomeEscape's credibility has suffered as a result, similar to VRBO.

#3: While their model is to only charge a listing fee, and the fee is presently quite reasonable, owners have reported that connectingrentals doesn't seem like a serious player. For example, their web site was not providing security to their web page for a period of time because they had allowed the certificate to lapse.

#4: This is mentioned only as a comparison. They have become the poster child for abusive customer service, charging excessive and unpredictable fees to owners and guests, and redacting email addresses, web links and phone numbers from guest/owner communications lest they communicate outside their platform. We expect that owners and guests will be leaving VRBO in droves.