Planning a vacation can be as good as the vacation itself. The feeling of going somewhere, to some beautiful place where you’ll do only the things you love it’s irreplaceable. In that process of preparation, the word perfect would probably be more pronounced than ever before.
We are with all these wonderful positive thoughts daily that in those moments we might miss out some signs that can lead to a huge disappointment, like scam signs. It’s true that when we feel great we are more exposed to being scammed than otherwise.
Nowadays we all prepare our travels on the internet. Actually, it’s quite convenient to have such an easy access to so many companies, accommodations and low-cost options for traveling. People sharing their reviews and thoughts make things even easier when choosing the destination, the place where to stay at and where to eat or simply to get the picture of what to expect.
What to watch out for when booking a vacation rental online?
When we are looking for a place to stay over the internet we should be more cautious and examen all the possible security measures before making a payment. First of all, expect that there are scams on the internet and when you’re looking for that perfect apartment for rental or condo consider that there is always a possibility of frauds. The best advice is to search for your vacation rentals on reputable sites. But, even then their profiles or email maybe hijacked. So, while you may be thinking that you’ll be writing to the homeowner you’ll be actually talking to some criminals that will offer you whatever you want and will agree on anything extra you’ll need just to make you send them the money. And the worst part will be your thoughts saying: what a nice owner.
There is a way lower possibility on the reputable sites for a scam though. Avoid listings on new sites that may be nonexistent apartments or rentals, usually with irresistible low prices and extra amenities put on the offer. You should always be left by the owner with enough time to make your decision. Anything other than that attitude from the owner should make you think twice. Simply put you shouldn’t be rushed in your decision-making process. Finally, it’s always a good idea to check on the address to confirm if the property is for real.
The most secure way for you is to always pay with a credit card or through reputable websites that have their own payment system when booking your vacation rental. Never send wire money for any reason even if they send you a contract and you hear from them over the phone. Never agree on that way of payment. You won’t have any back up on that money. It’s like sending cash.
More and more travelers are choosing to book their short-term rentals accommodation with reputable vacation rental websites such as HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb. Mainly because they get a better price, more comfort, and spacious rentals. These websites are defined as a sharing economy service which means that individuals or unlicenced accommodators can rent their homes. Sharing economy isn’t a new thing in the world but before they existed in a form of a personal recommendation which in a way it’s present today too with the reviews on the sites. The technology and the security on the internet, including the payments and protection, made them flourish. So, if you want to experience a more local type of a vacation, have a place for yourself and probably cook too, then this is a thing for you.
One of the best websites for that, and very popular is Airbnb.
I must say that Airbnb gave the world one very nice and secure enough option for all the travelers worldwide. Probably many people that love traveling and do that more often have experienced booking accommodation through Airbnb at least once. Moreover, because of the fact that Airbnb can offer accommodation for anyone, budget or luxury, anyone can rent a home, house or an apartment, a condo and stay on the location that meets their taste and needs.
So what is exactly Airbnb? Airbnb is a secure website, an online community that connects people that rent with people that are looking for a place to stay at. On this website, people can be hosts and rent their homes to guests all over the world. Airbnb lets property owners list their spare room, apartment or home in thousands of cities worldwide. Hosts list and rent out their unused spaces, and travelers search for and book accommodations in 191 countries. And the truth is that I haven’t yet found a location on this beautiful planet that doesn’t have a host on the Airbnb with very nice places to stay at.
How does Airbnb work then? After you open your own account as a guest you just have to put your dates and the destination, the city or the island and you’ll get listings of properties and homes to choose from. You can see the price, the distance on the map, photos of the place, all the amenities, rules of the house and cancellation policy.
You’d probably want to look a bit deeper of the host’s profile too and the description of his/her experience before you proceed any further and start your communication with your host. The feedback that the previous guests have left on the host’s profile about their personal experience during their stay is very important. So take a close look up before you make any further decision. Make sure you read all the reviews of the property and watch not only what are people saying but with how many stars the property was rated. People sometimes avoid expressing themselves with negative words, but instead, they’ll give their opinion in a good manner and rate the place with fewer stars. And you want to look for 5 stars only.
These apartments are private homes and could be located in neighborhoods outside of the tourist areas. Although Airbnb hosts are encouraged to inform the guests of any important local information check on the neighborhoods and explore the area on your own ahead, before booking anything. The apartment sometimes may look like a nice and attractive place but the area won’t be as good or safe, or close to markets, or won’t have an easy access to transport. The good thing is that on Airbnb they have neighborhood guides that can give you a clue where to look for your accommodation and which area would be the best choice for you.
The idea of the Airbnb was to give that chance for the host and the guest to get to know each other before the money transaction happens. Look for the response rates on their websites which will tell how much are they available to their guest which is again an important thing. So call your host, talk, ask anything before you make your decision. And if you are new to the site choose an experienced owner. It’s a good idea to make a few phone calls and ask anything you want to know about the place and location.
After you hear from your host when you pick your place you can make the payment over the Airbnb and they will charge you a fee for the service which is a guarantee for yours and host’s safety. Airbnb has a very secure payment platform that ensures your money is transferred to your host directly and safely, so never wire money or pay someone directly. Anything that’s been said or transferred and paid out of the Airbnb site it’s on your own responsibility. The best advice would be to never leave the site when booking your vacation rental.
Even after you make your booking you can proceed your contact throughout Airbnb with your host until you get there and check-in. Finally when you get there if you sense something isn’t right and you experience inconveniences you can immediately contact Airbnb and ask for assistance or help.
Airbnb is a very secure platform that can offer nearly 5 million listings of various property types. Although the type of accommodation that Airbnb has to offer are homes or apartments for people that would like to stay in quite different rental types than the hotels still it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is attractive enough to be one of the main topics in the hospitality industry among the world’s biggest hotel chains.