Is AirBNB Safe? Well, I think so. I love AirBNB, but there are some good tips to follow to make sure you pick a good host. I have a few friends that have encountered the unfortunate situation where their AirBNB host “flakes” on them and suddenly they are left in a foreign country having to figure out another place to stay. Talk about stressful! This is so unfortunate because a great AirBNB stay really is truly awesome. I’ve stayed at AirBNBs tons of times and have always had great experiences.
Here are my top tips for reducing the likelihood an AirBNB host will cancel on you:
- Look for a “Superhost.” These are by far your safest hosts. AirBNB will award hosts with this badge if they:
- Host at least 10 guests in a year
- Have 90%+ response rates
- Have 50% of their guests leave a review
- 80% of their reviews are 5 stars
- They have never cancelled
- Look for an average review of 4.5 or 5 stars. If you can’t find a Superhost, make sure you are at least choosing a host that gets great reviews. Read through them to see what people are saying. It’s worth the time it takes. I’ve often selected a different place based on details of a few reviewers.
- Look for quantity of reviews. You will be safer with hosts that have many reviews (4.5-5 star average), indicating that they have done this many times over for many other guests.
- Don’t pick the cheapest place. Take a look at what other comparable places are going for and make sure something isn’t really underpriced. If it is, it’s a bit of a red flag and it’s less of an impact on the host if they do cancel.
- Important! Email the host a week before your stay and make sure you have a dialogue about the trip, logistics of meeting and confirming that everything is good to go. I usually chat with my hosts a few times the week before I arrive via the in-app messenger.
All that said, I do want to point out that it takes time to rack up reviews and we want to support new AirBNB hosts! If you’re really nervous, go with my tips above. But I don’t want to discourage people from giving new hosts a chance. For peace of mind, reach out and let the host know you like their place but you’re nervous about the lack of reviews and getting cancelled on and see if they’d be willing to speak or discuss your concerns via email. Let them know you’d rather they say no if there’s any chance they’ll need to cancel. Nothing is ever a sure thing, but this should be a good precaution.
If you are still on the fence about getting an AirBNB at all and need help choosing between a hotel or a rental, check out Hotel vs. Vacation Rental – How to Choose for tips on how to solve this dilemma.
Here are some of my favorite AirBNBs I’ve stayed at that I’d recommend to anyone. (Click to be taken to their AirBNB page):