Every two seconds around the world someone books a room through Airbnb! It is currently has an estimated worth of over $35 billion and has big hotel chains quaking in their boots! Unlike hotels where the property has been designed for the comfort of frequent guests, Airbnb allows hosts to list their own homes for others to stay in whilst they aren’t there. So how do you stay safe when booking and staying in an Airbnb property?
Safety Checks when Booking
1. Read the Reviews
Reading the reviews from previous guests and how much they rated it will give you a good indication of what the property was like and whether there were any problems. Airbnb only lets previous guests write a review so although it isn’t 100% guaranteed as reviews are so individual you can probably count on them to describe their own experience true to words.
2. Weather and Travel Advice Check
Do your research on your chosen destination before booking to ensure that it is safe to travel and double check again in the days and weeks leading up to your trip. It is especially important if you are travelling to somewhere where there may be strikes e.g. political strikes and somewhere where extreme weather happens frequently.
3. Travel Insurance
Straight after booking take out travel insurance. Should you get injured on holiday you don’t want to be left with a sore head and an empty wallet!
4. Secure Payment
When booking, always pay through Airbnb rather than paying the host directly. Airbnb have a secure payment system that has a ‘multi-layer defence strategy’. Going through Airbnb ensures you won’t be subject to scams and they are able to offer refunds in some circumstances. Airbnb states that they will never ask you to wire money across or prove credit card information so if this does happen to you, report it to Airbnb immediately and do not send and money or reveal the information.
Safety Checks on Arrival
1. Carry out a Property Safety Check
When you arrive at your accommodation walk through the property and do a risk assessment. Make note of where all the emergency equipment is, including the fire alarms and fire extinguisher. If you can’t find something important, contact the host immediately to ensure your safety.
2. Emergency Numbers
Write down the local police and hospital/ emergency room numbers and addresses.
In an emergency, most people panic and make silly mistakes. Be prepared with the numbers to hand so if the worst were to happen you save time trying to locate the correct place.
Airbnb Community Standards
Airbnb has set values of trust they expect their hosts and guests to follow and have established them into five standards. These are – safety, security, fairness, authenticity and reliability. You can read these more in-depth here: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/trust
Like what you read? Take a look at all of our other blogs for all things security based!