Is Airbnb Safe?
Hi Travel Bugsss! Danielle and I swear by Airbnb but find that a lot of our friends and family are weary of it so we decided to share our opinion and experiences with the service in hopes of easing some of your reservations about the safety and comfort of using it.
Let's just jump right into it. Is it safe? In a word, absolutely. "Even for women?", you ask? Yup. Backed by the fact that woman agree as they make up 54% of Airbnb users, making them the majority. Another statistic that should make you feel more comfortable is that out of 100 MILLION airbnb guests in 2017, only one of them was harmed by hosts. Staying at an airbnb is safer than flying or driving a car.
The least of your worries when staying at an Airbnb will be your hosts. The service does not just allow anonymous people to use their platform to rent. In the US, every host is subjected to a background check and universally around the world, the host's identity is tied to their listing. So if something were to happen to you during your stay, your host would be the first person of interest, thus serving as a deterrent to harming you.
Your primary concern when booking should not be your host but the Airbnb location. Like anywhere in the world, you want to avoid seedy neighborhoods where the crime rate is high. So take to booking Airbnb like you would a hotel. You want something central (close to downtown or main attraction as possible) with decent amount of traffic. This is not to say that you should NEVER book a stay in a remote location. We did this in Bali and it was one of the most incredible experiences we have ever had. I don't recommend such an experience for first timers but is certainly something to aspire to.
"Your primary concern when booking Airbnb should not be your host but the location of the booking."
The next thing you should be looking in order to ease your mind when renting is comfort. I have a hack for this and it is using an awesome native Airbnb tool.
A super host is someone verified using multiple background checks and has stellar reviews. Here is the full list of requirements.
- Host at least 10 trips
- Maintain a 90% response rate or higher
- Receive a 5-star review at least 80% of the time you’ve been reviewed, as long as at least half of the guests who stayed with you left a review
- Complete each of their confirmed reservations without cancelling
As you can see, you have to be VERY reliable to be a super host. Maintaining a ZERO % cancellation rate is NOT easy. Rest assured that if you are booking with a super host that you are NOT booking with an enthusiast but someone who approaches Airbnb like a business and their business is making sure you are HAPPY.
"Nervous about your first stay? Book with a superhost."
So if you are wanting to ease into Airbnb, your best bet at starting off on the right foot is booking your stay with one of these super hosts. It is not hard to spot a superhost as the word "superhost" can be found underneath the pictures of listings right next to their star rating.
Our personal experience with Airbnb has been incredible overall. Only 2 times has a host cancelled and only once has the accomodations been unsatisfactory. We have used Airbnb over 20 times between us. There have been times where we have run into other issues that while weren't ideal we would not consider "bad" and likely could have been avoided.
One such incident happened when I went to Bermuda with a friend and we were held up at immigration because we did not have an address for the Airbnb and we had trouble reaching the host. Many countries will not allow you to enter if you are missing some details such as location of stay or a ticket out of the country. We were delayed in our entry because we were not prepared for this but have learned from that experience and now we know to have the address before we land.
In conclusion, you will run into issues. It will not be perfect. But overall, I believe that you will find Airbnb to not only be safe, but also a unique and exhilarating way to inject yourself into the local culture.
Check out our 5 favorite Airbnb stays to date right HERE. Thanks for reading and hope you will be back for more content. Cheers!