Airbnb Risks for Guests - Why Airbnb is a Dangerous Choice
Does staying at an Airbnb have risks for guests? Travelers have diverse reasons for going on holiday, with varying expectations for vacation accommodation based on their destination. For example, a family vacation may require an ample kitchen and dining area or a spacious lounge to gather up. Some years ago, it was truly a significant advantage in saving money to choosing Airbnb accommodations rather than staying in a hotel. Ah, those were the days, weren't they? Although Airbnb can provide one-of-a-kind experiences that many travelers find enjoyable, there may be a better choice to book a hotel for your upcoming journey. Are you wondering why? Well, there are several other aspects where Airbnb needs to be improved compared to traditional hotels. Here are some reasons why reserving a hotel may be a better choice than an Airbnb.
1. Your Money at Risk! Pay For This, Pay For That…
The most annoying thing about renting from Airbnb is paying the cleaning, taxes, and customer service fees. In what kind of era do we live? Oh, how wonderful it is to book an Airbnb, where you get the opportunity to clean up after yourself as if you were at home, but with the bonus of an extra cleaning fee on top of it all. Yes, Airbnb truly offers no such luxury. And let’s not forget that nowadays, you are even paying for their service, but they also take the affiliate fee from accommodation owners. So even though it might look like you are saving money, it is just like a similar price to a hotel after taxes.
2. Is Your Airbnb Stay Against the Law in Your Destination City?
It is important to note that the existence of listings on Airbnb for a particular destination does not necessarily mean that the host and Airbnb comply with local laws. This is an important consideration when deciding whether to use Airbnb or similar services instead of traditional hotels, particularly in major cities, because it can actually cause problems for you with the police and government for using an illegal service. Here are some facts to consider.
Short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb have been controversial in many cities worldwide. For example, renting an Airbnb apartment for less than 30 days in New York City is illegal. This law helps to ensure enough long-term housing is available for locals rather than having apartments taken off the market to cater exclusively to tourists. Despite this regulation, however, New York City remains one of Airbnb's biggest markets, with many listings available for tourists seeking short-term accommodation.
This issue is not limited to the United States. In Barcelona, for instance, almost half of all holiday rentals are unlicensed and thus illegal, according to the city council. In addition, short-term rentals have been blamed for driving up housing prices, creating more competition for affordable housing options, and worsening the housing crisis in many cities ( Rome, Paris, Mallorca, etc.)
While short-term rentals can benefit tourists and homeowners alike, it is important to consider the broader impacts of these services on the local community. Let's jump from my point of view, the most crucial reason you should consider staying in a hotel rather than Airbnb.
3. Airbnb Creates Difficulties for Locals in Finding Rentals
The rise of short-term rentals through platforms like Airbnb has led to a number of concerns about its impact on the quality of life for local residents. One major issue is that the growing demand for vacation rentals can drive up the cost of rent and housing, making it more difficult for locals to find affordable places to live. For example, if you type in Google Spain or another tourist & nomad's favorite destination adding "Airbnb locals," you'll be flooded by articles about how the limited supply skyrockets rent.
The growing popularity of Airbnb long-term and short-term stays and other short-term rental platforms has raised concerns about the impact on the housing market in many tourist destinations. Recent reports suggest that the presence of Airbnb has driven up housing prices in these areas, making it increasingly difficult for locals to find affordable homes. This issue is particularly acute in Spain, and lately around the world, which has one of Europe's smallest rental housing markets. As tourists flock to popular destinations in Spain, locals are frequently forced to compete with them for available housing. This makes it difficult for residents to find affordable, long-term housing options that meet their needs.
So even though there are benefits to the sharing economy and short-term rental platforms, it's important to recognize the negative impact that these services can have on the quality of life for locals. As a traveler, it's important to consider alternative accommodation options that support the local community rather than exacerbating existing housing issues.
Maybe you should think of Airbnb Alternatives.
4. Farewell to Pampering Services
We all know that hotel often provides 24-hour front desk service, housekeeping, or room service available, so it's important to note that staying at a hotel offers some benefits. Moreover, hotels provide jobs for locals, such as housekeepers, receptionists, concierge staff, and kitchen staff, which helps to support the local community. Pretty nice, isn't it? Many more reasons can help you compare Airbnb vs Hotels.
On the other hand, when you book an Airbnb, you might have to check in and out at the host's convenience, as there is no dedicated reception desk to manage this process. So if the host says he will bring you a key at 2 pm, it doesn't mean he will come in time. He might try, but life happens, and many situations might occur. Moreover, you can always try to upgrade your hotel room if you find it uncomfortable or something wrong. Finally, there's always the risk of last-minute cancellations by Airbnb hosts, which can cause many issues and struggles.
5. Are You Sure You Are Going To Have Privacy?
There are several online stories about Airbnb hosts using hidden cameras in rentals to lurk at your private life. Youtube is full of videos on finding out if any room is bugged. So I highly recommend checking.
If you are thinking of becoming an Airbnb host and want to create a nice atmosphere for your guests, make sure to follow all the Airbnb Tips for Hosts.
Moreover, let's not forget that there is a possibility of being followed by a stranger. I am a frequent traveler and occasionally interact on Facebook groups; if you do that too, you won't be surprised by stories of how many women were scared of staying in Airbnb rentals and seeing shadows under doors or being followed. I am not stating that it happens all the time. But it happens. And it is better to know about it and prepare it psychologically so that it might happen.
If you choose to stay at an Airbnb, make sure to read our Guest Airbnb Tips to choose the best option possible and also get discounts on your Airbnb stays. It is also helpful to consider staying at an Airbnb Plus or Luxe.
You might be interested in reading about the horror stories people experience while staying at Airbnb.
People choose Airbnb, believing it will save more money than staying at a hotel. Little do they know that a great tool called RatePunk ensures the fairest and most affordable prices. For instance, the RatePunk browser extension compares hotel prices from all major OTAs and shows the cheapest. It also works well on Airbnb, suggests similar hotels to your chosen Airbnb rental, and has cashback and rebooking features. And most of all, it is free to use, and no registration is needed. However, registration is necessary if a traveler wants to get a notification when the hotel price drops or to get cashback. Say no more; it is definitely worth trying!
Frequently Asked Questions about Airbnb Risks for Guests
Are there hidden cameras in Airbnb?
According to Airbnb, hidden cameras are not allowed in the properties. Airbnb clearly states that cameras can only be used in public spaces (ex: a front door or a driveway) or common spaces. These cameras should not be hidden and must be disclosed in the listing description.
How safe is Airbnb for guests?
Generally speaking, Airbnb is safe. However, it is essential for guests to do their research before renting any property, read the reviews and make sure they are choosing a safe place to stay.