Your Complete Guide to FlipKey
When you’re looking for a vacation rental, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal while also finding a property that’s right for your needs. Fortunately, the internet has made this process much easier than it used to be. There are now dozens of reputable vacation rental marketplaces where you can find the perfect vacation home for your needs.
One such place to find vacation rental properties is FlipKey. The site offers a simple way to browse vacation homes at every price point, size, and level of amenities.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at how FlipKey works. Whether you’re looking for a place to stay for your next vacation or are looking to make some extra money renting out your vacation home, you’ll find the info you need to get started below.
What Is FlipKey?
Founded in 2007, FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace that plays host to over 830,000 properties in 190 countries. Part of TripAdvisor Rentals, this site offers access to the full range of properties across TripAdvisor’s many rental sites.
If you’ve ever used a rental site like Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway, then the layout and experience of FlipKey will feel very familiar. The site offers everything from private rooms on a budget to entire villas for rent. If you have a property that you want to book as a guest or rent out as a property owner, there’s a place for it on FlipKey.
But what does the process of using this rental site look like? Read on to find out.
How FlipKey Works for Guests
If you’re looking to book a vacation rental, then FlipKey is a great place to start. Finding and booking properties through the platform is very easy, requiring only a few steps.
To start, visit FlipKey.com. Once you’re there, you should see a screen like the one below:
From here, you can enter your destination, check-in dates, and check-out dates to begin finding a place. For instance, here’s a search for places in San Diego between September 20 and 27:
And here’s the results page for that search:
As you can see, this search returned 675 properties, which is quite a lot. In order to narrow the search down, we can add additional filters. Some of the most common include:
- Price per night (you can set a minimum and maximum)
- Number of bedrooms (ranging from 1 to 15+)
- Number of bathrooms
- Rental type (everything from apartments to log cabins to yachts)
- Amenities (ranging from high chairs to saunas to private tennis courts)
- Suitability (such as allowing pets, young children, or smoking)
- Activities (such as fishing, golf, and skiing)
To see these filters in action, let’s narrow our search to properties in San Diego that have at least three bedrooms, allow pets, and have access to a swimming pool. Here’s what the filters look like:
And here are the properties we get that meet our criteria:
To see more information about a property, click its title:
You’ll now be able to see a full description of the property, reviews from previous guests, and a full selection of photos:
If you like what you see, you can click “Book now” to start the booking process. Generally, you’ll pay a portion of the full amount upfront, and then the rest when your booking gets closer. The precise amount depends on the owner’s policies.
After you’ve booked the property, you can use the FlipKey website and TripAdvisor app to communicate with the owner leading up to your stay. When your stay gets close, the owner will send you the necessary check-in information, including how to access the property. They’ll also usually give you their phone number (or their property manager’s phone number) for urgent issues.
Once you’ve finished your stay, you can then leave a review and rating on the FlipKey website. This will help other guests decide if the property is right for them, as well as let the owner know what they can improve for future stays.
How FlipKey Works for Property Owners
If you own or manage a property, then FlipKey is a great place to list it for short-term rental. Creating and managing your listing is easy, and the fee structure is also quite simple. Plus, your property will appear not just on FlipKey but also across TripAdvisor’s entire network of vacation rental sites.
Putting your property on FlipKey requires only a few simple steps. First, you’ll need to create an account. This requires you to enter some basic information, as you can see below:
Once you’ve created your account, FlipKey will then ask you for some basic information about your property listing. This includes describing how many people can stay there, what amenities it has, and what there is to do nearby. You’ll also have the opportunity to add photos that showcase your property’s best features to potential guests.
After you’ve set up your listing, FlipKey will then review it to make sure it meets their terms. Then, it will be live for guests to see and book. When a guest is interested in your property, they can submit a booking request. You’ll then have the option to accept or reject their request.
If you accept the booking request, then the guest will make a down payment using their credit card. You’ll receive the full payment amount 24 hours after the guest has checked in. During the booking, you can communicate with your guest through the TripAdvisor app and website. Be sure to communicate promptly, as responsiveness is key to getting good reviews.
To conclude this guide, here are answers to some common questions that property owners and guests have about FlipKey:
1. Who are FlipKey’s competitors?
While FlipKey is a great place to find vacation rentals, it’s far from your only option. Competitors include Airbnb, Expedia, and HomeAway (to name a few). If you’re curious to learn about other options for booking vacation rentals, check out this comprehensive list.
2. Where is FlipKey available?
While it was founded in the United States, FlipKey has property listings all across the world. You can find a Tuscan villa, compact Tokyo apartment, or Florida beach house. If you want to go somewhere for vacation, the odds are good that FlipKey has properties there.
3. How much does FlipKey cost?
This depends on whether we’re talking about what you pay as a guest or as an owner.
As a FlipKey guest, you’ll pay a nightly rate. In addition to this booking fee, you’ll be responsible for covering taxes, cleaning fees, and any other fees the property owner decides to charge. For many properties, you’ll also need to agree to pay a damage deposit in the event that you break something while you’re there.
As a FlipKey property owner, you’ll pay a flat 3% processing fee for every booking a guest makes. This helps FlipKey cover their operating expenses, including the cost of processing payments and providing customer support.
4. Can I use FlipKey to book rental cars, flights, and things to do?
When you use FlipKey, you can only book places to stay. However, if you want to book other things to go along with your trip, you can easily do so through TripAdvisor. Because they’re owned by the same company, the process is quite seamless. Visit the TripAdvisor website to learn more.
5. Can FlipKey help me get vacation ideas?
Yes, they can. FlipKey has an entire trip inspiration resource to help you find the trip of your dreams. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, girl’s trip, or island retreat, FlipKey can help you find it. And once you’ve figured out what kind of trip you want to take, it’s easy to book your place to stay through the FlipKey platform.
6. How is FlipKey different from TripAdvisor?
Because TripAdvisor owns FlipKey, the two platforms are quite similar. Essentially, FlipKey is just a subsection of TripAdvisor Rentals. So if you just need to find a place to stay, FlipKey is a good place to look — it will show you property listings from across TripAdvisor’s rental site network.
Book Your Next Vacation Rental With FlipKey
We hope this guide has given you everything you need to get started using TripAdvisor’s FlipKey. Whether you want a place to stay that has all the amenities of home or you’re looking for a way to rent out a property you own, FlipKey is an excellent place to go.
Enjoy your next trip!