Despite a variety of complaints about short-term rentals, it appears they are here to stay for the long haul.
Some are concerned about the safety of such rentals, and others complain they are ruining the heart and soul of certain neighborhoods.
Many travelers still prefer hotels over vacation rentals such as Airbnb, VRBO, and even some listings on Booking.com.
But it’s Airbnb who takes the cake in being the #1 vacation rental platform, and with that comes the potential for being misled into thinking your rental is better than it is.
It’s important to have a keen eye for detail when choosing a place to stay on such sites as Airbnb.
These are 6 ways Airbnb rentals are misleading travelers into booking:
Too Picture Perfect
We’ve all had that one friend who seems to take a selfie of every single aspect of their life. Using filters, duck faces, and calculated angles to make themselves appear more Instagram-able — maybe even photoshopping.
It’s no different with Airbnb listings where deceptive tactics are commonly used.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, low-quality pictures can hide negative aspects of the rental.
So if the listing seems too good to be true, or you catch yourself squinting at blurred photos, it might be best to book elsewhere.
Oops…Did I Forget To Mention That?
It’s probably not always easy being an Airbnb host and being able to fully encapsulate what travelers should expect.
Hosts provide a summary of their property, but some travelers have been disappointed to find key elements left out of the description.
Perhaps a couple is looking for a romantic getaway in a private cabin only to arrive and find out its actually a guesthouse in someone’s backyard.
Maybe someone is looking for some solitude only to arrive and realize they are located across the street from a loud mechanic shop.
It’s important to not only read through the property description but also past guest reviews, if applicable.
This will limit these disappointing experiences for travelers.
I’m Sorry, But This Wasn’t In Your Video
On the surface, videos seem like a much more reliable way to get a feel for a rental before seeing it in person.
Unfortunately, there are bad apples out there who will purposely record at certain angles, or even record something entirely unrelated to present a false scenario.
Maybe those epic views of the ocean are coming from another area of the building and not the specific unit you will be staying in.
Perhaps the dwelling itself is remodeled, but the building is janky and falling apart. Would the host include that in the video?
These tactics do not violate Airbnb terms or laws in any way. That’s why its important for users to be vigilant in turning over every stone before clicking “Reserve”.
A Little White Lie Never Hurt Anyone
Bending the truth can alter guests’ expectations. It would be very disappointing to show up to a dreamy place to stay only to find it doesn’t match expectations.
Maybe you plan on staying a while and taking full advantage of a nice, open kitchen with all the bells and whistles.
When you show up, maybe it’s more college-style with a mini fridge and microwave. Hosts could also be deceiving in describing other amenities, such as washing machines and dryers.
Maybe they word it in a way to imply it’s in the house, but really they live a block away from a laundromat.
Excuse Me, Where Is Your House Again?
Sometimes hosts might imply they are a little closer to certain attractions, when in reality, that’s simply not true.
Say you were to book a cozy apartment in San Diego and wanted to be within walking distance of a nice beach.
Airbnb does not disclose the exact location of rentals before officially booking. The listing only shows a blip on the map.
To become more appealing, hosts might exaggerate the location and say things like “walking distance” and “close to”, when in fact it might not be walkable at all.
What Are These Charges?
In rare cases more common in other countries, some properties may charge for the use of air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and not-so-clear cleaning fees.
It’s important to read the fine print of the listing to ensure there are no surprise charges upon checkout.
Although uncommon, it does happen and can result in an uncomfortable back-and-forth dispute between the host, yourself, and Airbnb.
To combat these frustrations, travelers should know Airbnb has implemented a new guarantee called AirCover to ensure the best experience possible.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com