The Truth behind AirBnb

The Truth Behind Airbnb

Are you in the planning stages of booking a trip to one of Juniper Tour’s exquisite destinations? Have you considered the types of accommodations you prefer while traveling? Do you think the cheapest, convenient, and safest option would be to rent an Airbnb or similar homestyle accommodation such as Homeaway?
Think again!

Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb travelers have seen an astounding array of properties that have enticed visitors and given people new and unique options for accommodations while exploring a new city or staying in the countryside. However, the current landscape has changed. We are going to lift the lid of Pandora’s Box and give you the Top 6 Reasons why you should stop using AirB&B when traveling abroad.  

1. More Expensive

In quite a few surveys, many people reported that they have been enticed by an affordable per-night rate for their AirB&B stay. However, after much research, there seems to be an exorbitant percentage of fees associated with cleaning and other miscellaneous costs that sometimes make it more expensive than an actual hotel. In many areas, it’s hard to see the benefit of Juniper Tours’ vetted properties where you will get a supreme level of service for, at times, half the budget for your trip in Europe. When compared side-by-side, the accommodations used by Juniper Tours offer a superior value for our travelers who will receive breakfast, room service, and other amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and a concierge to name a few, that is sorely lacking at an Airbnb vacation rental.

2. Lack of Customer Service

Airbnb properties lack many amenities that preferred Juniper Tours’ accommodations provide. From trying to connect with hosts to get information about check-in to luggage storage to first-hand knowledge about the destination travelers are in, to housekeeping and room service. They simply don’t have full-time staff ready to answer questions or assist with any problems that could arise when visiting a foreign country. Airbnb leaves it up to the individual hosts to resolve-or, not resolve-any issues.  

Additionally, many people have reported issues with their rental property spanning from safety concerns, damage to the structure, lost or missing keys or access, or even falsified postings that have left travelers without a place to stay – with no recourse from Airbnb’s headquarters. Likely due to AirBNB’s financial advantage, many of the most shocking stories don’t appear in widespread media to avoid negative PR.

3. Bait and Switch

A common practice is for Air B&B’s to lure you in with some tempting, beautifully staged pictures and false advertising. Upon arrival, and much to your dismay, your booked AirB&B is far less attractive and isn’t up to the standards you expected. Not to mention what do you do in the event of an emergency?  

For example, we know of a multigenerational that planned a dream trip to Scotland in 2017.  With elderly grandparents and small children in tow, they arrived at the seemingly legitimate Airbnb in Edinburgh only to find that the pictured key lockbox was superglued shut, that the apartment they rented wasn’t a real listing, and it had been rented to more than one family.  They then had to find accommodations in real time, where only the subpar properties and the most expensive luxury options had any availability – though they were lucky to find vacancy at all!  (These were not Juniper Tours clients.)

At a B&B, hotel, or castle and manor home, you would visit the front desk and receive a prompt response about your concerns and frustrations. With an Airbnb-think again…, and refer back to #2.  

4. Safety Issues

Airbnb hosts don’t follow consistent and strict regulations like preferred Juniper Tours’ properties for fire, security, and safety. There have also been many instances where illegal subletting has happened-unbeknownst to the renter-and hidden cameras without consent have been found. Does this make you feel safe and secure about traveling abroad?  

5. Negatively Impacts Locals 

“Cheaper” Airbnb rentals have made it impossible for some locals to find affordable housing – causing many to be priced out of living in their own cities. This problem is pervasive, especially in highly sought-after cities across Europe. Apartments or houses that could be permanent homes for locals, and provide a safe and beautiful place for children to grow up, are instead used as passive forms of income for the elite. We prefer not to be a contributing factor that forces people out of their home towns and artificially inflates rental rates in our destinations.

6. Contradicts the Juniper Tours Ethos

Juniper Tours is a tremendous advocate for sourcing local vendors and helping keep the economies in our destinations flourishing. From receptionists, housekeepers, concierge, chefs, and servers – you are paying for services that add additional security to your safety, and belongings, and, give you peace of mind while you travel abroad. You are also contributing to the livelihoods of the people who call your destination of choice home.

While Airbnb has become so commonplace it seems like a benign, cheap option for your trip, there are also some bad and ugly. And, when it’s ugly – it’s ugly. We encourage you to investigate for yourselves and to listen to your Juniper Tours’ Travel Specialists, as they are the experts. Please trust that we have your best interests in mind, and only want to ensure you experience the trip of your dreams when traveling with us. This, clearly, does not include utilizing Airbnb.

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