The difference between instant book and request to book is actually quite simple. Instant book allows a guest to book with your rental immediately by using a credit card. While with a request to book you will have to accept the guest’s reservation manually. Now although these differences are overly complicated the difference it makes on your vacation rental can be huge.

In this article, I will discuss the Pros and Cons of instant booking vs request book:

Pros and cons of instant booking


  • Improved guest experience
  • More bookings 
  • Higher amount of revenue 
  • Appearing higher on search results


  • Potential for getting unwanted guests 
  • Higher cancellations 
  • Required to keep calendars up to date

Pros and cons of request to book


  • Full control over what guest books with you
  • Typically will have fewer problems with guests
  • Fill your calendar up how you want 


  • Not very appealing to many guests
  • Potential loss revenue 
  • Fewer bookings

Instant Booking Vs. Request to Book- Which should I choose?

This question can be slightly complex and really will boil down to what your personal priorities are.  The real two differences are if you value more bookings and revenue over full control of what and when guests book. 

Airbnb and Vrbo have said outright that they do prefer listings with instant booking enabled. This will be an important thing to note if these are the two main sources of bookings.

 AirDNA has done conducted research on the median revenue differences between instant booking and request to book. This research clearly shows that no matter the location you will have an increase in revenue by using instant book. 

Instant booking Vs. Request to book- Conclusion 

The final verdict to instant book or not is really up to you and what you think to be most important. At lodgable we highly recommend hosts to use instant book. We find the value of instant book far outweighs the value of using request to book. The truth is the vacation rental industry is continually growing and continues to change. Every day more and more people are choosing to book places that allow them to book instantly. 


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