Airbnbs are popular vacation homes away from home that gives you the amenities, space and convenience you need on your vacation. But some people worry about the safety of living in other’s homes during their getaway. To keep your family safe, there are a few tips you should keep in mind before you book your next stay.
First, Are AirBnbs Safe?
You’ve probably heard a few horror stories about Airbnb stays or experienced a few mishaps of your own. Truthfully, Airbnbs and other vacation rentals can be just as safe or dangerous as hotels. With Airbnb, each host is regularly screened on watchlists and completes background checks. Airbnb also hosts expert-led safety workshops to teach hosts how to ensure a safe stay for their guests. And each listing has a risk score based on analytics and other red flags to be on the lookout for potential dangers with the home or host.
Airbnb also has a reminder on their site to call the police or emergency responders if you believe your personal safety is in danger.
Airbnb Safety Tips to Follow Before Booking
Before you book an Airbnb, hotel or any other lodging take time to understand the area’s restrictions or warnings before travel. For example, some countries are restricting travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many states are requiring travelers to quarantine for 14 days if they travel to an area where the Coronavirus is wide-spread.
If everything checks out, find an Airbnb that’s to your liking, with all the amenities and nearby attractions you want. But don’t forget these tips:
- Get what you want. Airbnb and other rental agency websites have search filters to help you choose the accommodations you want. For example, you can narrow down your search by specifying the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. And, you’ll have a plethora of filters to help pick the perfect spot including filters for parking, gyms, pools and pet-friendly homes.
- Look for a Verified ID. When you check out the host’s profile, you’ll see that some hosts go above and beyond to give Airbnb extra information to verify their identity. You’ll see a photo for every host, but if the host has provided additional identification they’ll have a ‘Verified ID’ badge on their listing. You should also look for a ‘Super Host’ badge for hosts that are experienced and come highly recommended by customers.
- Read the reviews. Guest reviews of the host and their home can be very telling. They’ll share what they like, what can be improved, or any other red flags to be aware of before you book.
- Ask questions. Before you book, message the host to ask any questions you may have to feel comfortable. It may be best to ask about carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, security systems or other equipment to keep you safe during your stay.
- Use the Airbnb secure payment system. No matter the reason, never pay for your stay using any other payment method than Airbnb’s secure payment system to keep your account and personal data safe.
- Be aware of the house rules. Before you book, be aware of the rules of what’s allowed and what’s not inside the host’s home. While you might not be aware of the reason for the rule remember to respect their home and wishes for your safety. Common rules include no smoking, pets, parties or unapproved guests.
- Trust your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable after messaging the host for further questions or the place doesn’t feel like the right fit, just say no and keep looking. It’s better to trust your gut before booking a place with a strict cancellation policy.
Airbnb Safety Tips for Guests During Their Stay
When you arrive, take a look around the place to make sure you feel comfortable and everything is the way you expected. It’s a good idea to take pictures of the place so you’ll have proof of the home’s condition before you start your vacation.
Airbnb suggests knowing where all of the safety equipment is, including carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. If you’re not sure whether certain equipment is available, ask the host. Some safety devices are also travel-friendly just in case.
You should be especially mindful if you’re traveling with children. Look for any safety hazards, such as glass or sharp objects left out. Then ask your host if it’s okay to make minor adjustments for your safety and their peace of mind.
If you have any questions about the place during your stay, always communicate using Airbnb’s app. It’s the safest way to communicate with hosts and keep a log of the conversation safely. And if anything goes wrong, Airbnb also has a 24/7 customer service line to assist.