In recent years, vacation rental sites such as Airbnb or TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals have grown in popularity among travelers seeking a budget-friendly, unique place to stay. While these sites do offer amazing deals and experiences, it is important to remember that there are some people out there simply looking to scam you (crazy, right?).
Fortunately, U.S. News & World Report has highlighted ways that you can stay safe when booking with vacation rental sites.
Firstly, never conduct business through an unsecure service. Make sure you are booking through the company’s official site, staying away from any hosts who suggest doing business off of the vacation rental site. If you’re asked to use an instant wire service or to send money through your bank, a red flag should definitely be raised!
If the host also has few to no reviews, you have another reason to be wary. This is when you need to do additional research. You should cross-search on other sites to ensure you are not being scammed. Some sites even offer “verified” accounts that have been checked for authenticity, offering you piece-of-mind.
In addition, it is important to review the listing’s contract agreements to identify the important terms – payment, security deposit, cancellation rules, and amenities. If contracts lack these terms, you may find yourself in a rental scam.
Lastly, if a listing has odd rules or regulations, you may want to pass. Different cities have different rental policies – some don’t even allow overnight rentals! It is up to you to do your homework to ensure the listing you are about to book is legal.
Don’t be one of the many with nightmarish tales about your unconventional vacation rental experience – instead, just be on high alert and take precautionary measures when booking. Prove to that unconvinced friend that these “sketchy” rental sites can actually offer awesome and unforgettable vacation experiences!