Are Airbnbs Safe? Tips Every Traveler Should Know

The renewed coverage on Airbnb’s safety concerns reminds us of a harrowing reality: crime can happen anywhere, even in Airbnbs. And when you’re traveling it’s more than just a bad vacation: it’s a nightmare you won’t forget. As crime scene cleaners, we’ve heard it far too often, even stories where the crime was against the host. 

There’s no way to eliminate crime completely, it’s inevitable. But precautions limit the possibility of it happening to you. Hopefully these tips on how to stay safe away from home will prevent you from ending up a victim of crime.


Tip #1: Research the neighborhood screenshot is a great place to start researching the neighborhood you’re staying in.

Planning a trip is exciting. You’re looking up all you can do, what sights you’ll see, checking out reviews of restaurants that look amazing, and searching Airbnbs. In the excitement of exploring a new place, don’t overlook the most important detail: the neighborhood you’re looking at staying in.

It might seem boring in comparison, but the neighborhood you stay in can be a huge eye opener. Crime watch sites like NeighborhoodScout exist to show how potentially dangerous an area can be. City-Data, Reddit (if the area has its own subreddit), and TripAdvisor will give you some ideas on the neighborhood. If you’re staying in the city, you can post the street name to one of those sites and become informed on how crime is on that block.


Tip #2: Come prepared and protected

We’re not reminding you to bring your toothbrush or hairbrush, although you’ll probably want to bring them regardless. And by protection we’re not alluding to health class (although that reminder can also be helpful). No, here we mean preparation on a personal safety level.

There are many handy personal protection products on the market. It’s smart and safer to travel with less, so there’s less opportunity for things to get stolen. So what should be essential to bring? In the very least, you’ll want pepper spray, a micro stun gun, and a pen that doubles as a weapon. Double win.


Safeguard your room

Don’t underestimate how often Airbnb crimes are caused by the host’s negligence. Some hosts fail to have locks on their guest’s bedroom doors, leaving a huge vulnerability to travelers that don’t find out until they arrive.

Always be prepared with these three essential safety products:

Addalock Portable Door Lock Wifi Door and Window Sensors Helix Personal Safe


Look inconspicuous

If you live in a popular area, or at least one that draws tourism, you probably know what we’re going to say. Tourists stick out like a sore thumb because of how they dress and speak. Tourists are a walking target to criminals. Be sure you’re not drawing too much attention to yourself, especially if you’re traveling aboard. Too often American tourists travel to areas of Europe without realizing they’re highly visible to criminals by clothes they wear and how they speak. Make sure you dress accordingly if you’re traveling out of your home country. Pay attention to what you say around natives and be skeptical when in doubt.


Tip #3: Stay connected with loved ones

Leaving the familiar behind is all a part of the excitement, but it’s still important to stay connected with friends and family. Have you heard a loved one say, “I don’t know what I’d do if something happened to you”? The shock is real. We see enough faces of friends and families that have had something happen to their loved ones, so think about what we’re saying here. 

When you keep your friends and family informed on your whereabouts, they stand a better chance of knowing when something is up and taking action.

You don’t want us to say we told you so

Airbnb is slowly changing its platform’s laissez-faire approach to safety, but despite that, travel crime will continue. Hotel chains have trained staff that work hard to step in on suspicious activity, but if you’ve learned anything from this article, it should be to never put your personal safety in the hands of another. Crime seeps through at any opportunity. That’s why it’s so important to learn and arm yourself properly.

On a final note: stay alert and listen to your instincts. If your gut is telling you something is off, chances are you should listen to it.