10 Surefire Ways to Spot a Secure (or Sketchy) Airbnb

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Airbnb vacations are the perfect way to explore new places and unwind. But before you settle in with a cup of joe, it’s important to size up your rental for safety. Here are ten warning signs that might mean it’s time to find a more secure Airbnb. Following these tips can transform your Airbnb stay safe, and enjoy your adventure.

A Clunky Lockbox

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Imagine hundreds of strangers fiddling with that rusty, beat-up lockbox clinging to the door. This is a major wake-up call! Ask the host to confirm if they changed the combination code between guests for your welfare. Otherwise, say goodbye and move on.

Easy Access Key


A casual greeting like this seems friendly, but it sends shivers down your spine security-wise. Stashing a key under the doormat leaves an “open door” sign for anyone walking by. The host is likely short on security measures, so consider looking elsewhere.

Busted Smoke Detectors


This one’s a deal breaker, plain and simple. Functional smoke detectors are necessary in case of an emergency. Do a quick check upon entry and politely ask the owner to replace dead batteries. It’s non-negotiable, and they should be reported to Airbnb for violating policies.

No Escape Route

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If the windows are nailed shut or there’s only one flimsy exit, decline this rental at once. Fire safety is paramount. Imagine a fire erupting, and you’ll have no means to get out. Putting yourself at risk is never worth it, no matter how gorgeous the place may be.

Party Animals Welcome

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This might sound fun to some, but is it the peaceful getaway you envisioned? Determine if the vibe aligns with your expectations, particularly for late-night noise. “Party Animals Welcome” depicts a wild night, the opposite of a relaxing retreat.

“Reviews Pending” is the Only Review


A lack of reviews is similar to gambling on your vacation. For peace of mind, look for rentals with a history of positive guest experiences. Without legitimate customer feedback, you’re flying blind and could end up in a less-than-ideal situation.

The Host Likes to Ghost

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If your messages to the host go unanswered after booking, it’s a big communication red flag. Responsive hosts are a good sign! They should be readily available to answer any questions you have before, during, and after your trip.

A Pet Roomie

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Unmentioned pets can be a surprise, especially if you have allergies. Always clarify pet policies with the property owner beforehand to avoid any unexpected animal friends (or itchy eyes) upon arrival.

Hidden Camera Vibes

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If the listing has remarkably few photos or oddly angled shots that seem to skip certain areas, voice your concerns immediately. Trust your gut feeling! A lack of transparency can indicate something fishy.

Higher Security Deposit


An exorbitant security payment is already a clear sign of problems ahead. Research typical deposit amounts for rentals of equivalent value to minimize any financial surprises. There’s no reason it should cost more than your actual stay.

Written by Devin J