The concept is a little daunting. You’re traveling out of your city, state or country and you’ve found an Airbnb that looks like a good match. You’re about to spend the night in a completely foreign environment managed by someone you’ve never met and oh, those guests down the hall? You don’t know them either. All this begs the question: “How safe is Airbnb for guests?”.
First, the nature of Airbnb is that it will always be a bit riskier than a hotel. There will always be a degree of uncertainty. Your safety as an Airbnb guest will be determined by your ability to assess, manage and minimize risk at all opportunities. How does one minimize Airbnb risk? Start with reviews. Previous customers can provide solid insight on everything from the softness of the pillows to the personality of the host to the safety of the surrounding neighborhood. Read reviews carefully for a more complete picture.
After reading reviews, check out the “Trust” section on the Airbnb listing .You can see whether the host has a verified ID and whether reviews have been positive enough to earn your prospective host a “superhost” badge. Look at total number of guests as well. An experienced Airbnb host with a long list of guests will be a safer bet. If there are some hazy details or you have questions that the post doesn’t answer, reach out and quiz your prospective host. Getting to know the host beforehand can shed a lot of light on what you’re getting into.
Finally, as a rule of thumb, trust your gut! If you’re getting a bad vibe, move on. There are plenty of Airbnbs — and other options — out there. Let your research and intuition guide you.