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WEB BUZZ

HomeAway expands its rental reach

November 23, 2008|Jen Leo

Look out, Rentalo. HomeAway.com is taking over the online vacation home rental market. A new round of $250 million in financing and the acquisition of 11 vacation rental websites make it a serious competitor. For those who haven't been to the site -- it's attractive, has more than 120,000 listings and is user-friendly to boot.

What's hot: The "Travel Deals" section is a natural magnet for travelers. I found properties (that didn't look unbearable) for $30 a day in Florida, tropical hideaways on Kauai for $85 per night and condos in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun for less than $100 per night. For something different, go to the "Travelers" section and check out "Travel Ideas" for lists of inspiration. I liked the Top 10 Most Unique Vacation Rentals, which included an igloo in Connecticut, a Bohemian yurt in Santa Barbara and a floating inn in Boston. You can also search for rentals the old-fashioned way -- by destination. Are you new to the vacation rental game? No sweat. Once you're in the "Travelers" section, click on "How to Rent" for a visual diagram and instructions with a step-by-step process.

What's not: You have thousands of options if you're looking for properties in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. But if you're headed to Asia or Australia, pickings are considerably slimmer. For example, there are only 20 listings for Asia, which includes China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

-- Jen Leo

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