Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) / HomeAway Connection Guide

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Note: Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) is part of HomeAway family.

This article will walk you through the entire process of mapping your myfrontdesk rooms to your Vacation Rentals By Owner Channel rooms / HomeAway. Once you have completed all of the steps below, myfrontdesk will update VRBO / HomeAway with your availability and will download VRBO / HomeAway bookings into your reservations page of myfrontdesk.

Vacation Rentals By Owner / HomeAway is a calendar-based channel, which works differently than normal distribution channels. For example, only availability can be updated, no rates or any other stay restriction will be sent or updated. You can learn more about this by reading our article here.

As a reminder, Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) / HomeAway only supports the following:

  • Availability updates
  • Booking Downloads (Channel sends booking to myfrontdesk, myfrontdesk can automatically adjust availability)
  • Automatic Adjustments
  • Close (Disable room for bookings without overwriting the original availability)
  • MinLOS, MaxLOS (Minimum length of stay, maximum length of stay)

 

Note: Calendar channels do not support receiving rates from a channel manager. You must enter rates directly into your VRBO / HomeAway extranet.

Cancellations 

Cancellations from a calendar channel can not be transmitted to any 3rd parties (including myallocator).

Since myallocator (channel manager by Cloudbeds) is unaware of any Calendar Channel cancellations, the property must manage the inventory manually.

Example:  

  1. Guest books your property and the booking is sent to myallocator (channel manager) 
  2. Guest cancels the booking
  3. Myallocator is unaware of the cancellation
  4. The property must log in to myfrontdesk and cancel the booking manually (by changing the reservation status to "canceled")
Connecting VRBO / HomeAway

Login to your myfrontdesk account

1 - Click on Manage at the top right corner of your screen

2 - Go to channels setup section under Distribution Channel section

3 - In order to proceed with setup, search by "HomeAway" and click on the setup button

4 - Put a check mark in order to enable the channel and click 'Next' to proceed

Import External Calendar

Copy the calendar URL from myfrontdesk

Follow these instruction provided by VRBO / HomeAway in order to import the calendar from myfrontdesk

Log in to your VRBO / HomeAway account.

1. Navigate to Sidebar -> Calendars -> Reservations

2. Then, click on the two arrows icon
3. Import Calendar
4. Give the calendar a name
5. Select a color to represent the calendar.
6. Enter the calendar URL (URL that you copied from your myfrontdesk account)
7. Select whether the calendar will block availability. (Note: in order to block availability, the event must span at least one night.)
8. Click "Import Calendar"

Note:
* Currently, you can only import five additional calendars. The calendar is updated every hour.
* You will need to copy and paste URLs for all the calendars you have (for each room type)

Export calendars

Obtain your VRBO / HomeAway export calendar URL:

1. Click on the two arrows icon again
2. Click on Export Calendar
3. Copy the URL.

4 - Please, uncheck the option "Include Tentative Reservations in the calendar export". This will stop all guest inquiry reservations coming through the ical. More information about this option, please, check the next section of this article.

Once you copied the URL from your VRBO / HomeAway account, go ahead and paste the Vacation Rentals By Owner / HomeAway URL into the Exported calendar URL in myfrontdesk

You're done!

Send a full refresh to all channels

Scroll up to the very top of the same page and click on FULL REFRESH.

After that click on Continue and everything will be updated.

Why do I need to uncheck the option "Include Tentative Reservations in the Calendar export"?

Calendar-based channels work differently than normal distribution channels, and this type of connection does not support cancellations. Also, all inquiry reservation will be considered as "confirmed booking" and not a tentative.

When the guest books the room on VRBO / HomeAway, even if it's only a tentative, the system will send this reservation as confirmed to myfrontdesk -  it means that this reservation will close your availability. Then, the property needs to cancel the existing reservation in myfrontdesk, so they will be able to clear it in the VRBO / HomeAway calendar allowing guest to book. 

If the guest decided not to make the reservation, the request would expire after 24 hours on VRBO / HomeAway side, but the reservations remains on myfrontdesk because the property needs to manage cancellations manually.

Leaving this option unchecked, you will prevent this situation.

Have more questions? Contact Support

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