By AP Business Writer
updated 8/19/2008 2:31:40 PM ET 2008-08-19T18:31:40

Travelers booking their vacations on now have the option to rent a private home or condominium for their trips rather than a hotel room, online travel agency Orbitz Worldwide Inc. said Tuesday.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

Orbitz is now offering roughly 30,000 fully furnished properties in North America, Central America and the Caribbean through a partnership with Zonder, a Salt Lake City-based vacation rental provider. Financial details of the partnership were not disclosed.

In an interview, Orbitz Worldwide Inc. President and Chief Executive Steve Barnhart said that the vacation home rental market is highly fragmented, with most rentals advertised and booked locally. Orbitz, he said, is the first major online travel agency to offer a dedicated inventory of rental homes.

The option is timely given the economic downturn, Barnhart said. He noted that a rental home allows vacationers squeezed by rising fuel and airline prices to trim costs by, for example, cooking their own meals.

Zonder's platform allows travelers to view photo slideshows of the properties, get real-time availability information and receive booking confirmations immediately. Customers can also search for amenities like pools, Internet access and barbecues, as well as proximity to skiing, surfing, scuba diving and other activities.

Zonder also acts as an intermediary between the property manager and the renter and handles all rental payments directly.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments