Booking places to stay
What are the requirements to book on Houfy?
We ask everyone who uses Houfy some information before they can book on Houfy.
Guests need confirm their e-mail address and phone number before they can make a reservation request.
Houfy's requirements for guests include:
- Full name
- Introductory message
- Agreement to house rules
Guests in some cases can pay on Houfy where hosts connected to their Stripe or Square account. In this case guests will require:
- Payment information
Guests are encouraged, but not required, to have a profile photo.
It is highly recommended for hosts to ask guests to provide ID before booking their space.
Why book through Houfy?
When guests are looking to book a vacation, they are always looking for the best deals. They want their money to go as far as possible to allow them the best experience their budget allows. This will mean prioritizing, based on their own groups preferences and needs. Some will go with budget accommodations to allow for grander or more frequent day trips, or splurging on gourmet dinners. Others will cook-in and stay put so they can rent a property that is so wonderful, they never want to go anywhere else. But many guests neglect the savings that come with booking direct with owners.
Booking direct means you save hundreds of dollars in service fees (up to $599 on Vrbo or up to 15% on other sites) and still get to stay at the best homes, but for less. The savings, coupled with a more personalized experience, mean guests can put that money to use on the extras that make a vacation unforgettable.
So why Houfy? People are justifiably cautious. Scams and scammers are real. Craigslist and even the major platforms, like AirBnB, have had difficulty (if they even tried) keeping the scammers at bay. But owners who list on Houfy are verified by a REAL person... each and every owner! Houfy is safe to use. You can use a credit card, and get the same online experience as offered by the other online vacation rental platforms. Only better!
Houfy connects guests to hosts so that you can talk directly, in real time to each other. They don't get in the middle of your transaction, but facilitate it. If you have a question, call or email directly... no platform to go through.
But what about reviews? Houfy allows owners to sync their reviews with all the major sites so you can see just how other guests rated their experience. And the reviews are all on one site! Keep in mind some of those reviews may be a reflections of those guests' experience with the platform, and not just the owner. And you can leave your own review too!
Shopping for the best price? You will find it on Houfy! Without the middleman, owners can offer a better price since you are not paying the service fee (a charge for using their platform) that doesn't have any real value. Sometimes an owner will take alternative payments, like checks, and pass the savings on processing fees to you. This can be offered right away or after a relationship has developed between parties.
What about the "guarantee" offered by the big online travel sites? What guarantee? Look at the owner's rental agreement for cancellation policies. This is what the big sites do! They offer trip insurance that you can purchase online or is often included in your credit card agreement! And if something happens before your stay to the home to make it impossible to stay, what is Vrbo or AirBnB going to do? They can't build you a new home, or relocate you to another property unless there are vacancies. Their "guarantee" is nothing. They can't find you another place to stay if there are no other places to stay.
And in the event they do, it may be miles from where you want to be or in a hotel or a less desirable property.
And as for "service" from the service fee? If you can't find the blender, will the customer service representative (who has never been to the home) know the location? With direct contact, you can get REAL service, faster!
Houfy is like the other online travel sites... Only better! Better price, better communication, better vacations! AND NO SERVICE FEES!
Time to Houfy! Book your next vacation through Houfy! And if the home you want isn't listed there, ask them "When will you Houfy too?"
Communicating with hosts
Can I message a host without making a reservation?
Yes. You can message a host on Houfy to ask them questions about their availability, their listing(s), and your specific needs.
To message a host without making a reservation:
- On houfy.com, go to the listing for the host you want to contact.
- Click Ask the host a question on the listing page.
- Enter the dates and number of guests for your trip. You can adjust this information before messaging.
- Write your message and click Send Message.
Make sure to review the listing page before reaching out to clarify anything you need from the host.
What can you do when you try to contact a host about a Houfy property and they don’t answer?
If you have not yet received a response, there are a few steps you may take:
- Verify that you received an inquiry confirmation email from Houfy. This will confirm that your inquiry was delivered to the host.
- Verify that you do not have any response messages in your email’s junk or spam folder.
- Adjust your email filter settings to allow for incoming messages from “@houfy.com”.
Alternatively, search for other properties on Houfy.
Reviews for guests
Edit or delete the review posted on Houfy
The owner of the review(guests) who posted a review about the property on Houfy are able to edit or delete the reviews.
- Right menu > Settings & Privacy
- Select Reviews from the left menu
- Go to the review and choose "Edit Review" from the dropdown
- Make changes to the review and click save
- Right menu > Settings & Privacy
- Select Reviews from the left menu
- Go to the review and choose "Delete Review" from the dropdown
- Confirm "Yes" to delete the review
Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.
Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a "multi-trip" policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical-expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United States.
Some credit card issuers offer automatic travel insurance if travel arrangements are paid for using their credit cards, but these policies are generic and particular care must be taken to take into account personal requirements. There are many travel insurance policies available in the market place, but care must be taken of what events are covered by each policy, and what exclusions, exceptions and limits apply, besides other issues.
In general, you should expect a plan will cost anywhere from 4%-10% of your total pre-paid, nonrefundable trip cost. For example, if you purchased a trip with a total cost of $5,000, travel insurance policies available to you will likely range in price from $250-$500, depending on variables.
The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:
- Medical treatment, including transportation to the medical facility.
- Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption
- Repatriation of remains
- Return of a minor
- Trip cancellation
- Trip interruption
- Visitor health insurance
- Accidental death, injury or disablement benefit
- Overseas funeral expenses
- Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
- Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
- Flight connection was missed due to airline rescheduling or delay.
- Travel delays due to weather
Medical expense coverage can be per-occurrence or maximum-limit.
Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers. Almost $2 billion in travel insurance is sold each year.
In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:
- Pre-existing conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes)
- Sports with an element of risk (e.g. skiing, mountain climbing, scuba diving)
- Travel to high risk countries (e.g. due to war, natural disasters or acts of terrorism)
- Additional AD&D coverage
- Rental Car Coverage
- Cancel for Any Reason Coverage
- 3rd party supplier insolvency (e.g. the hotel or airline to which you made non-refundable prepayments has gone into administration)
- Acute onset of pre-existing conditions
- Specific event coverage (e.g. to cover travel cancellation costs if the reason the person is traveling, such as a concert, is cancelled)
Certain countries will require that you have purchased sufficient coverage should something happen while you are traveling to that country. Those governments do not want to be burdened with the costs of your medical care and will require you to have a suitable plan meeting certain minimum requirements.
- Students traveling to the USA are required to have a qualified plan during their period of study.
- Depending on the length of stay, travelers to countries in the Schengen area are required to prove they have sufficient insurance at the time of their visa application.
- Health insurance is mandatory for visitors to enter the UAE (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, etc) and require a visit or tourist visa.
- Companies running group tours often require insurance, as do many cruise companies.
- Generally, most countries where you are applying for a visa are likely to also require a minimum level of travel insurance.
The common exclusions in travel insurance policies include pre-existing medical conditions, unlicensed operation of a vehicle, travelling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment, elective surgery or treatment, or injury or illness caused by alcohol, drug use, or reckless behavior, including engaging in some sporting activities. Events arising from war and terrorism are usually excluded, but most policies allow trip cancellation arising from war or an act of terrorism that meets the policy's criteria.
Insurance companies issuing new policies will often exclude circumstances based on an ongoing event, such as typhoons or floods. Long-term exclusions may be announced for specific events.
Some policies exclude travel to certain countries, or parts of countries, where a greater risk is expected. These determinations are often made based on official government travel advice from organisations such as the US State Department or the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs.
Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance. Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared prior to the trip start date. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles to treatment in state-run hospitals in EU countries and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, but it is not a substitute for travel insurance.
- Travel Insurance Advice UK from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
- Travel Insurance Advice USA from the U.S. Department of State
- Travel Advisories CA from Canadian Government
- Travel Insurance Advice AU from Australian Government
- Travel Insurance Advice IN from Indian Government
AIG Travel Guard Insurance for Travelers
Insurance is a must for renting a vacation home and protecting your investment!
AIG Travel Guard
Owners encourage travelers to buy trip insurance. Not for the owners... but for you! What if you get sick, someone in your group gets in an accident, or other extenuating circumstances keep you from going on your trip? A trip planned 12 months or more in advance can run into complications! Check your credit card and home owners' insurance too. You may already be covered. If not, shop around.
Please review each properties cancellation policy in the rental agreement before purchasing a plan. And just reach out to the owners if you have questions before renting. Most will try to work with travelers to accommodate if possible.
For the best vacation, the best prices, and the best rental experience, rent direct from owners on Houfy! They have a HOUse For You!
How to use the favorites list on Houfy
One of the best parts of planning a vacation, is choosing where to stay! The favorites list feature helps you organize lists for all of your upcoming trips. You can also share these lists with your friends and family.
Create a favorite list
When you find a property you want to save, just click the heart icon on the listing, or follow these steps:
- Menu > Favorites
- Click Create a favorite list
- Give your list a name such as "Summer trip to Paris"
Save a property to an existing favorite list
- Find a property you want to save.
- Click the property's heart icon
- Click on the heart next to one or more of your lists
Share a favorite list
When it's time to share your list with family and friends:
- Menu > Favorites
- Click the list you'd like to share
- Copy and paste the browser url
- The recipient will be able to view the list without creating an account
Remove a property from a favorite list
- Menu > Favorites
- Select and click the favorites list you want to edit
- Click the heart on the property you'd like to remove
Delete a favorite list
- Menu > Favorites
- Find the list you want to delete
- Click the "X" in the top right of the image
- Click Yes to delete