Things to know while renting home stays

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Airbnb made its public debut in August 2008. Since then, Airbnb has become one of the most popular online destinations for travelers seeking unique and affordable accommodations. The site allows users to host guests in their homes and enables travelers to book private or shared living spaces all over the world.

In the years since Airbnb was founded, most rentals go smoothly. However, the site has experienced its fair share of horror stories, such as theft, drug usage, stabbings, and X-rated parties. But this shouldn’t deter travelers from using the site to book a place to stay. Most users have a nearly perfect experience, and Airbnb is constantly updating its policies and terms of service to ensure the safety and privacy of both hosts and guests. If you’ve recently booked an Airbnb or you're currently hunting down the perfect rental, keep the following tips in mind to stay safe.

Read Listings Thoroughly and Ask Questions

Once you think you’ve found the perfect place to book, make sure you read the entire listing. You want to make sure you know everything about the space, such as amenities, house rules, and cancellation policies. You should also read through the reviews left by previous guests and confirm the hosts have verified phone numbers, social media links, and references.

If anything about the listing is unclear, reach out to the host. Airbnb offers a built-in messaging system that makes it easy to ask if there is Wi-Fi or a grocery store nearby. Set clear expectations for your stay and trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe from your conversation, it’s probably best to book with someone else.

Communicate Only Through Airbnb’s Website or App

Sending money or talking to your host outside of Airbnb makes it nearly impossible for the company to protect your private information. It also puts you at a higher risk of fraud or other security issues. Airbnb’s site and app can handle all transactions and conversations.

Prepare for the Unexpected

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As with any trip, you can never predict what’s going to happen. So when planning on staying in an Airbnb, it's even more important to be prepared for anything. Do some research on the area and familiarize yourself with major roads or landmarks in case you get lost.

Put together a plan in case of an emergency, and give your family the address of where you’re staying and the contact information for your host. You can even get a travel protection membership from a trusted company. MedjetAssist can arrange medical transportation in case of an emergency, which is invaluable if you’re taking an adventurous trip out of the country.

Airbnb provides travelers with unique experiences that are worth foregoing access to room service or housekeeping. You’ll get the chance to live like a local, and you might even get to meet new people you’d never cross paths with otherwise. If you take the right precautions and keep the tips in this article in mind, you’ll be able to stay safe and head out on the trip of a lifetime.