Staying safe when booking Airbnb rooms

Staying safe when booking Airbnb rooms


By KAVITHA SUBRAMANIAM

SAFETY of self and belongings is key when you travel, especially when it involves you staying in a stranger’s home.

So, how do you stay safe when faced with renting short-term via Airbnb?

In the two years that I’ve used this service, I’ve not been disappointed with any of my choices. If anything, I wish I could have stayed longer! My hosts have all been super nice and the places I’ve stayed have been lovely.

You could call it luck, but I would much rather call it attention to details and a good dose of gut feeling.

It’s all in the details

Once you’ve done your search for places to stay in the city/town of your choice, you might get a hundred results. Which one would catch your attention? Look out for details.

Details such as user reviews, references, owner’s description, photos and location of the home. There’s also going with your gut feeling … but we’ll get to that later.

Knowing if the neighbourhood is safe can be tough when you’re not familiar with the city or town you’re visiting. So, that’s where user reviews can help. They will generally point out if the place is easy to get to or if there are any safety concerns in the neighbourhood.

It’s also worth your time reading up on the owner’s description of their home. Some owners make it clear that they have pets roaming about freely, while some let you know who else lives or rents in their home.

If you’ve found a perfect place, yet are still unsure of certain things, you can always message the owner for clarification prior to booking with them.

Photos of a room or apartment are equally important. After all, you are spending money and precious time on that rented space. You would want it to look nice, and be clean and spacious enough to fit you, your family and your luggage.

Trust your instincts

A friendly host who replies to your messages and answers your questions helps calm your nerves prior to booking your room. It also gives you a good feeling about the place.

This pre-trip communication is key as you want to be able to get along with your host and create a sense of trust. It’s something that is as important to them as it is to you. After all, they are opening their home to a complete stranger!

If a place you’ve chosen doesn’t sit right with you, don’t book it. You are under no obligation to book a place just because it’s cheaper or more convenient. Yes, you do want those things, but you also want a sense of ease and security. You are also under no obligation just for asking the host a lot of questions.

Be open and positive

It’s important to remember that there are a lot of good people out there opening their homes to you. And chances are you will get to stay with them and experience a fun and interesting way of travelling.

You’ll get a local’s insight into how things are, where to eat, what to see and much more. They may even give you a jar of home-made jam or a book as a parting gift, or better still, they may just end up becoming your friends.

Be open, trust yourself (and others) and be safe – you’ll get to experience the world in a more positive light.

* For more information and safety tips, check out the official guideline from Airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/241/i-m-a-guest–what-are-some-safety-tips-i-can-follow?topic=245)

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