Watch Out for Hidden Fees on the Most Popular Maui Vacation Rental Sites

It’s easier than ever to find Maui vacation rentals and to compare prices of accommodations all around the island. Big sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and even Trip Advisor let homeowners list their properties so you have more choices than ever. More choice equals more competition and lower prices for you! Not so fast! As many frustrated renters have discovered, each of these sites includes hidden fees that can add up if you aren’t paying attention. That means that the beautiful two bed/two bath condo going for $315 a night could actually cost you an additional $100 or more per night when all of the costs are added in!

Be careful when you begin browsing these sites. The great prices on the search listings almost never reflect the total cost!

Hidden Fees on Airbnb

Over the last couple of years, Airbnb has grown to be one of the largest and most trusted vacation rental sites. It’s got a very user-friendly platform and allows anyone with a property to list their site. Unfortunately, hidden fees abound. Firstly, owners can require a minimum night stay, which can eliminate properties if you are only planning to stay in a certain area for a few days. Next, owners are allowed to include a cleaning fee in whatever amount they want. In a listing for a 2 bed/2 bath condo, the cleaning fee was $242!

Next up is a service fee. What does the service fee cover? We don’t know either, but Airbnb adds it. The 2 bed/2 bath condo with the $242 cleaning fee also includes a $178 service fee. That means you’ll pay over $400 more than the initial price indicated to rent that property, regardless of how long you stay.

Hosts on Airbnb can also charge guests an extra “per person” fee for larger party. For example, a property may charge you a fee of $35 per person, per night if your group has over three people. If you have a party of six staying for five nights, that adds up to $525 more in extra fees!

Hidden Fees on Trip Advisor

Like Airbnb, Trip Advisor hosts can also mandate a minimum stay, so keep an eye out for that if you are looking for a short stay. Additionally, hosts can charge something called “Owner Fees” which is not calculated in the listing price for the property. A quick review of Maui properties listed on the site shows that this fee can range dramatically. For a two bed / two bath condo, we saw fees as low as $150 and as high as $450!

Hidden Fees for VRBO

VRBO seems to work much like Airbnb, allowing property owners to list their properties and assign any fees that they like. In a quick review of the site, we found a refundable damage deposit fee of $500, a property damage protection fee of $99, a cleaning rate of $350, and a pet fee of $500. These fees vary greatly, and not every property lists extra fees. All of these fees can really add up, especially because they are not reflected in the property listing prices.

Hidden Fees of Ali’i Resorts

Here at Ali’i Resorts, we believe in showing you the entire price you can expect to pay for each property before you start the booking process. Our listed prices include cleaning fees, and we don’t tack on mysterious “service fees” or “booking fees,” as a way of getting more money from you. The only fee we add onto our prices is tax!

We hope you will appreciate our commitment to not surprising our guests with hidden fees and will consider us when you search for beautiful vacation rental properties in South Maui.

Related Post: Book Hawaii Condo Direct

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