Is Airbnb safe? I laughed the first time this question was brought up. Then I thought about it for a minute. If someone has never used Airbnb before, then safety could be a legitimate concern. Most people stay in hotels, hostels, or resorts when they travel. There’s a certain level of security almost guaranteed in these places, especially in nice hotels and resorts.
View from an Airbnb rental in Santa Marta, Colombia.
Staying in someone’s apartment is an entirely different story. You don’t know what to expect – especially as a first time Airbnb renter. It can be scary going to a whole new city or country and staying in the apartment of someone you really know nothing about.
It’s a legitimate concern to wonder, “Is Airbnb safe?” Personally, I’ve never felt any threat or danger while staying at an Airbnb rental. You’ll find certain horror stories online, but for the most part – you’ll be perfectly safe in an Airbnb apartment.
Is Airbnb safe? Just follow these five tips to ensure secure travels:
Pay Attention to the Neighborhood
Just like getting a hotel in a dangerous neighborhood could leave you vulnerable, renting on Airbnb in a bad part of town isn’t a good idea, either. No matter how you travel, you must pay attention to the neighborhood you’re staying in. Your safety and security will be determined by the neighborhood more than nearly any other factor, especially when visiting “dangerous” countries like Colombia.
Rely on Reviews
Airbnb does a wonderful job of creating a community of hosts and renters around the world. Hosts can review renters and renters can review host. If a host is dishonest, you’ll be able to tell in the review sections. If a renter is doing unsavory things, a host may leave him or her a bad review. If you’re new to Airbnb, try and rely on the reviews. Only rent apartments with reviews the first three or four times you use Airbnb. This will ensure you stay as safe as possible.
Read the Fine Print
Airbnb is not a hotel. Every apartment comes with different amenities. Some places will come stocked to the brim with hotel-like amenities. Other places won’t have toilet paper or Wi-Fi (rare). To find out exactly what you’re getting, make sure to comb through the fine print of any rental and see what is included. If a deal is too good to be true, make sure all the amenities you require are included. Then check if the neighborhood is safe and make sure the place has reviews.
If you have any questions, you’ll want to ask the host before booking. I often ask about guest policies and if security is provided. It’s important to have a security guard (doorman) in many countries, especially in Latin America. Asking questions also build rapport with a host and gives you a better chance of getting a great Airbnb deal by asking for a discount.
Use Common Sense
Airbnb is safe as long as you can use a little common sense. You’ll find many great deals on the site, but if something is too good to be true – then there’s probably a reason for that. Many times you’ll find apartments with incredible amenities on Airbnb for dirt cheap prices. However, they’ll be in terrible neighborhoods or areas. If safety is a concern, just avoid these types of places! You get what you pay for when renting anything – whether it’s a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb apartment.
Is Airbnb Safe?
Ultimately, Airbnb is safe – as long as you use common sense and follow the few tips above. You’ll be just as safe in an Airbnb rental as you would in a hotel in the same neighborhood, especially if you have a doorman in the building. For first-time Airbnb users, you can be confident about your security when renting on the site.
Travel junkie turned blogger. Location independent. From the Midwest, but often based in Latin America. Big on beaches, rumba, and rum. Addicted to the gym. Committed to showing a different style of travel – one that involves actually interacting with locals and exploring different cultures.