Trusting Air BnB for the main family holiday? Any risks?

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  • Trusting Air BnB for the main family holiday? Any risks?
  • Just spent the last two weeks travelling across Spain in 4 different locations, all airbnb hosts have been amazing, better than anywhere else I’ve stayed, local knowledge, friendly even had ones father give us all a lift up the mountain this morning to hike. Had previous booking cancelled on us but that is always a risk but always found an alternative easy to find. Would always look at airbnb first but the risks are there.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    We used 5 air bnb hosts this year for our dream holiday, every single one was perfect and exactly as described, pictured and advertised.

    rockhopper70
    Member

    We have been looking at flights and accommodation separately for the next summer holdiday, nothing too grand, villa in the Balearics etc.
    I can’t seem to find any guidance on guarantees they offer, what happens when the host says, two days before, I’ve had a change of mind etc.
    Are you scuppered bearing the flight costs or would cancellation by a host be covered under our own holiday insurance?
    Booking just seems very vague and easy, no doubt why they are so big but committing to the main holiday for the family is giving me the heebie jeebies.
    Thanks.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    We did four AirBnB this summer as part of family hols, two years ago was main hols, plus at least one monthly for work over last two years.
    I’m yet to have any significant issues.

    konagirl
    Member

    There is the risk that the host can retract the accommodation, but it happens very rarely. Hosts don’t want to do this because it is automatically posted to their reviews, they can’t remove it, and so if a host were prone to doing this people just wouldn’t book with them. So just look over a few pages of reviews rather than just the most recent before you commit.

    I too have never had an issue. I tend to book cheap places and so my expectations are pretty low, but some places have been very ‘tired’!

    In the very unlikely event the host cancels you would get the cost back automatically from airbnb. Whether your travel insurance would cover the incidental cost of your flights if you couldn’t (or couldn’t afford to) find alternative accommodation depends on the wording of your insurance. And would be the same as if you had booked separate flights and accommodation through any other means. So in that sense, airbnb is no more risky than booking a non-package holiday any other way, imo.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I’ve had a couple of great trips with Airbnb, and then the last one, we turned up and they said “who are you?” because the person running the bookings was out of the country and the person running the house didn’t check the website and neither of them talked to each other. We got the refund- eventually, initially airbnb tried to retain the booking fee- but we were still stranded and ended up paying a packet for emergency hotel rooms.

    I’ll use it again for sure but it does go wrong

    Premier Icon Poopscoop
    Subscriber

    Used it 4 times and had 2 very last minute cancellations.

    So I am cautious about it but above posters seem to have faired better so I must have been a bit unlucky.

    thecaptain
    Member

    I’m another who has used it several times in uk and abroad with never a significant problem. Once a minor comms failure caused some mild inconvenience. Currently staying in a lovely apartment in Hamburg for a fraction of hotel cost plus I get a kitchen etc.

    If taking family with small children I’d have a backup plan in mind tho.

    rmacattack
    Member

    Is there much difference from a hotel really?

    bikebouy
    Member

    I use AirBnB quite a lot during the year, all the places have been exactly as described and in the majority of instances surpassed my expectations. Owners have either been there or left keys with friends or given a location for collection, once in the places have been immaculate to the point of being clinical.. however.. I’m a fussy git so only pay for the best and for that I think I’ve been lucky.
    Last year used them 11 times, 1 cancelled due to double booking (turned out it was the owners best freind and she’d double booked, rather not blocked out my ability to book) took a bit of wrangling to arrange something else locally (peak season, popular place) and a protracted to and fro with AirBnB customer services to get my full payment back and it took a couple of weeks for some reason..
    Since that little incident I’ve used them 7 times this year and all has been perfect.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Is there much difference from a hotel really?

    Ours were appartments, not hotels, we wanted out of towns, small quiet villages etc. Kitchens, extra beds, rooms, etc. All made it different from hotels.

    BillMC
    Member

    I had someone cancel on me in the Canaries and AirBnB gave me £70 compensation (I don’t know if they still do that), it wan’t difficult to find an alternative. I’ve used AirBnB in 5 or 6 countries and never been disappointed, the competition has also helped improve the offer from hotels in some areas.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    Is there much difference from a hotel really?

    As a family, yes. We book whole house/apartments, so can cook in evening etc. It’s short term self catering for us. The last few this summer in France all stocked up the fridge/breakfast for free as well….

    For work we find that we can get places in more rural spots, or closer than a hotel. Default at work is hotel/guest house as needed, but AirBnB complements it nicely.

    Premier Icon surroundedbyhills
    Subscriber

    Use AirBnB pretty regularly, never been let down, only pleasantly surprised.

    Two weeks and 5 locations in Croatia last year, 1 weekend in Italy this year, all been great.

    badnewz
    Member

    It is great overall, I use it a lot, but it is a good idea to acquaint yourself fully with the Ts and Cs, especially around their Cancellation Policies.
    Most owners are moving to moderate or strict policies; the flexible policy is the one which gives you as the client the most authority. For instance, what if one of your children falls ill before the holiday and you have to cancel your end.
    For a longer break, I think it’s worth going with an owner who has lots of good reviews, and no or very few cancellations from their end.
    But I think there is one important thing to bear in mind – there have been rumblings on Majorca about banning airbnb. Look what has happened to Uber in London, for instance. So you could book a great place for next summer and there remains a chance (very small) that airbnb won’t be operating there next summer.

    ebygomm
    Member

    Used AirBnb numerous times without any issues at all.

    I do avoid booking places where it looks like an agency is just using AirBnb to rent out multiple properties.

    thecaptain
    Member

    On reflection I’m a bit puzzled by northwind’s story above. For all my bookings I’ve had direct contact with the owner about arrival time etc, I have never had the opportunity to just turn up without any prior contact.

    poolman
    Member

    I rent a villa on the mainland and q a few other rentals are just doing friends and family as rental licences are starting to be enforced. If you let and don’t have a licence it’s a 40k fine so just not worth the risk.

    I m pretty sure airb n b in Palma have been heavily fined, or their clients have. The hotels are behind it as they employ staff legally, pay all taxes and inspected. Private rentals are not.

    Looking at uber in London and how quickly it went I would not be surprised at anything.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    thecaptain – Member

    On reflection I’m a bit puzzled by northwind’s story above. For all my bookings I’ve had direct contact with the owner about arrival time etc, I have never had the opportunity to just turn up without any prior contact.

    We’d had loads of prior contact, over the course of months. Just, the person we spoke to never told her partner who takes care of the house.

    zokes
    Member

    I’ve used them many times, mostly in Oz, but also in Germany and the UK. Most have been WYSIWYG. Only issue with cancellations I have was us leaving a place we’d booked long term (6 weeks) early as we’d found a permanent place to live. Despite us making it very clear that this would be our intention to the host, it took some effort to get an incomplete refund from the host who decided to hide behind AriBnB’s T&Cs for long lets, rather than honour the agreement we’d come to via email.

    When it comes to travelling with family, having a house/apartment is much better than a hotel unless you regularly plump for a family suite.

    pondo
    Member

    Five locations over two weeks in Sicily this summer, hassle-free, helpful landlords and all WYSIWYG for us.

    docrobster
    Member

    Yep all good experiences so far. Barcelona, Paris, London etc. Only once had a booking not accepted as host decided not to (was only a week in advance). Just picked another one that was available to book direct.
    Last year’s family holiday was a week in estoril Portugal in an Airbnb apartment. No problems.
    Would definitely do it again.

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