The holiday season is about to begin, most of us have already planned our trips and have booked our stay. Besides hotels and homestays, Airbnb places have become quite popular. The idea attracts the travelers of staying like a local in a casual and homely setup. But every coin has two sides, Airbnb often seems to be a great offer concerning the hotels, but horror stories by many guests also go around on the labyrinth of the web. We have tried to jot down few tips that might help you to have a safe and happy stay.
1. Try to zero in your travel area. It is always good to have a better idea of the area where you are going. If you are going to be someone whose itinerary is full of activities, then it is better to search for a stay, which is not too far away from the travel spots. That way you will not get tired traveling through the day. However, if your vacation is just relaxing and reading while going to few places, then you can always opt for a place little distant. Avoid places in secluded areas.
2. Like a listing, look at the reviews very carefully. The reviews give a right picture. Sometimes you might not find any feedback by other guests, then check for the ratings. People sometimes just don’t write a feedback, but they always rate their stay.
3. Communicate through Airbnb only, send messages and emails to the host. Try to inquire about the place in details. If the host is not cooperative or do not answer your queries, find an alternative.
4. Search for the host online. In social media, you can look for the same person. There was a story where two women travelers when they reached the house, came to know that the host is a man with a unisex name but had been communicating with them as a girl. The two women later had to run for their lives when they understood his intentions were wrong.
5. Do a neighborhood search. Know the nearest police station, hospitals, and other critical locations.
6. Also, learn the local laws, many American cities, for example, do not allow Airbnb. Being extra cautious does not hurt, you would not want to be stranded in the middle of the night if any problem occurs.
7. Never, never, do a via transfer; in case of any issue, Airbnb will not be able to help you. There had been many stories where travelers have been conned by some people, and Airbnb could not help because the transaction was not done through the Airbnb platform.
8. Before finalizing, get things clear. You do not want a last minute surprise. Ask the host, different questions to be sure of the place.
9. It would be good to meet your host once when you arrive, if the person is out of a station, ask for some reference number in case of emergency. Often the host asks you to take the key from a locker or sends you a password through text. But what if you don’t find the key or the electronic lock has some glitch?
10. It is always advisable to have some plan B. Do some hotel search in advance near that place so that you don’t have to sleep under the stars if things turn wrong.
11. Don’t agree to give any extra deposit for the room. That is not a norm on Airbnb. If you come across such demands, report to Airbnb.
12. Lastly, we believe in your gut feeling, if something feels fishy, most of the time it is. Just walk out of it. Be it the pictures, or the way the host communicates, or even when you arrive at your Airbnb apartment.