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Safety Tips For Your Vacation Home Getaway

Safety Tips For Your Vacation Home Getaway

16 Tips for Vacation Rental Home Guests

Over the last decade, tens of millions of people have had uneventful, enjoyable stays in vacation rental units. But let’s be honest – every type of travel carries some risk. While Airbnb, VRBO and others have taken steps to improve platform security and to address concerns, there are actions you can take to better ensure a safe, comfortable trip. We’ve assembled 16 vacation home rental safety tips to help.

1. Pay attention to the property descriptions.

Read them carefully to ensure that you understand the facilities and amenities of the unit, and the features you will and won’t be getting. While many listings on platforms such as Airbnb or VRBO will let you know if there are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, they may not tell you if the backdoor has a working deadbolt or if the room that your children will sleep in has a lock on the window. If in doubt, these are things you should contact the property manager about ahead of time.

2. Read the reviews

Read as many as possible. They will help identify recurring themes, issues or problems as other guests see them.

3. Make sure the property fits the description.

Ask for more pictures beforehand if you have doubts. Note if the reviews say anything about the property descriptions not matching photos.

4. Get to know your host.

Ask a few questions in an email exchange. Check them out on social media if possible.

5. Look out for payment scams.

While Airbnb and VRBO use reviews and complaints to police hosts and offerings, there are still plenty of examples of scams and stolen money. See this blog on risks of Airbnb travelers for more details. In any event, never bypass the built-in platform payment solution.

6. Check to see if the property or host has been blacklisted.

Sites like AirbnbHell & Sitejabber feature stories of Airbnb rentals gone terribly wrong.

7. Check the location and neighborhood appearance on Google Earth or Google street view.

Does it look like a neighborhood you would feel safe in?

8. Bring your own first aid kit if possible.

Your unit may not have one.

9. Check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when you arrive.

While you are at it, look for cameras disguised in light fixtures or as smoke alarms, motion detectors or clock radios.


Hosting During Covid-19: How to Protect You & Your Guests

10. Know where the exits are.

Rehearse what you and your traveling companions would do to escape a fire.

11. Let friends or family know where you are staying.

Many of us have Find My Friends or similar location sharing apps on our phones. This may not be enough. For extra precaution let loved ones know where you are staying.

12. Research the city.

Where are the safest places to stay, and what areas are best avoided? How do you get in touch with the local police or fire station if there is an emergency? Where is the nearest walk-in clinic or hospital? If you ‘d like your host to provide these go ahead and ask them.

13. Often times it’s not the place. It’s the people.

No two people are made the same. You may have had a great experience with one host and not so great with another. Communicate with your host to get a feel for them before you arrive. If you detect any interaction concerns with your host, don’t buy. Move on.

14. Rent out the whole house or apartment.

Staying with strangers may sound adventurous but you don’t know what you’re going to get. Even if your housemates are honest and well-meaning, they may come and go and be active at hours that don’t agree with your schedule. If you want to avoid this, check with the owner to make sure no one else is going to be there with you.

15. Women often travel alone, but additional precautions will make your stay safer and more enjoyable.

First, buy the entire unit to avoid unknown housemates. If you can’t or don’t want to do that, ensure the door to your room securely locks and perform a camera check shortly after arrival. Check that the bathroom locks securely. Follow your intuition. If something does not feel right, it might not be right.

16. Have an open mind.

Whether you elect to buy the entire unit or an individual room, the point of a vacation rental experience is often the conviviality, feeling of exploration, and interaction with fellow travelers and neighbors. It’s a mindset adjustment that can pay off with all-new experiences.

 Over the last decade, the growth and availability of the vacation rental marketplace have opened a whole new range of stay options for travelers. With a little research, advance planning, and common sense, you can be assured of a safe, enjoyable stay.

Still  have questions? 




Don’t Forget To Pack These Essentials For Your Vacation

Don’t Forget To Pack These Essentials For Your Vacation

Let’s face it, packing for vacation can be a real drag. It’s not so much doing it. It’s deciding what you take and what you don’t. Let’s start with the basics. Where are you going? What will the weather be like? Do you have to dress for a special event or excursion? 


Think no further. Lucky for you, sans any special events, this inclusive list on what to pack for vacation will have you covered in 99% of vacation scenarios.

1. First, The Luggage

This one can be tricky- but it is so important! I recently had the wrong bag type when traveling across Europe and it made things much more difficult. Simply put, find a bag you can easily lug around make sure it’s lightweight and can move from one place to another. Wheels are only good if the bag is easy for you to maneuver- easy is key! Some of our favorites are …

2. The Correct Sunglasses

No one wants to have to deal with fighting off the sun while relaxing on the beach or navigating through downtown streets. Make sure you are prepared to protect those eyes with the proper sunglasses. If you tend to lose your stuff while traveling, stop by the drug store and get a cheap pair- but avoid free sunnies with your favorite beer logo on the side, they tend to do little protection from the sun.

3. All Hail Sunscreen

Whether it’s summer or winter, make sure to stay fully stocked while traveling, especially if you are going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. I will never forget the family vacation when I didn’t wear sunscreen and literally burned my eyelids while laying out on the beach. Take it from me, you don’t want to skip this in your routine. Make this step easy, I like spray on sunscreen you can rub in for a quick and easy apply. Check out my favorite by Banana Boat.


Some places get cold at night and your airbnb or hotel may keep things cool. Make sure you pack a sweatshirt or sweater that you can easily throw on to avoid uncomfortable temperatures!

5. Socks and Underwear

You would think this one goes without saying, but then I wouldn’t be saying it right? Don’t forget your underwear, or you will end up like me buying underwear in Amsterdam while questioning how I forgot underwear of all things. If you are skiing or somewhere cold, invest whatever extra cash you have in some thick socks, there’s nothing worse than cold feet.

6. Don’t Forget the Raincoat

I thought my grandmother was just nagging when she insisted I take a raincoat on my last trip, but boy was she right! Being stuck unprepared in the rain can ruin a perfectly good day, avoid the mess with something waterproof. Ladies, if you further want to keep hair from getting unruly and your face going from mascara to macscary, I suggest you throw in a fashionable hat!

7. Moisturizer Must

Different landscapes and elevations can dry your skin out! Make sure to pack some moisturizer and avoid uncomfortable dry and cracking skin. My Esthetician suggests one rich in vitamin C like this CeraVe Daily Moisturizer.

8. Deodorant, Please

When traveling to new places, it can be nerve-racking and sometimes way hotter than expected! Combat travel nerves and heat with your favorite brand of deodorant, for your sake and those traveling around you! Check out our favorite vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free brand NATIVE.

9. Daytime Outfits That Make Sense

Before you jet off to your destination, check the weather and plan accordingly. If you are going to be visiting a lot of tourist attractions during the day, you want to pack something light and comfortable! Layers are your best friend. Think basic colors that you can easily mix and match throughout your trip.

10. Going Out Outfits

This can be hard, if you are anything like me you tend to overpack or under pack in this area. Pack only what you know you will wear, if you are unsure then it shouldn’t make the cut.

Pro Tip: Pack light plain garments like a simple black dress that you can dress down during the day and up at night with accessories. Don’t forget that you can have more wardrobe diversity when you share with friends!

11. Phone Charger, Duh

These days the phone is used for so much more than making calls. Make sure you keep it charged for GPS, pictures, and overall safety! It never hurts to bring an extra charger in case you lose yours. It could also come in handy for that forgetful travel-mate or friend. Make it easier with an extra long charger!

12. Headphones

Headphones are essential for traveling when you need to drown out a screaming baby or to get in your comfort zone. Plane and train rides can be long without some music- especially with possible delays! And if you have bluetooth headphones, make sure to bring your charger.

13. Identification/Passport

This should be on the top of the list. Have some type of photo identification to make traveling easier and for use in case of emergencies. If you aren’t changing countries, protect your identitiy and leave the passport at home.

14. Hydration Station, Water Bottle

It is easy to get dehydrated while traveling and it is important for your overall health to stay hydrated. Bring a reusable water bottle to prevent yourself from going dry. Check out these reusable water bottles and make a positive impact on our environment while keeping your drinks warm or cool!

15. Hat/Visor

Sometimes the most simple thing can be one of the most essential items! If you are traveling somewhere sunny and hot make sure to keep yourself shaded with some extra protection (your bald spot and frizzy hair will thank you).

16. Cash

Sometimes our debit and credit cards fail us, so it’s important to have cash while on a trip. And even though it is 2020, some places take cash only. You don’t want to be stuck with no way to purchase food and souvenirs to take home.

17. Portable Charger

Not only is it important to bring your phone charger, but you never know when you will need to charge your phone. When you need a charge and plugging in to an outlet is not an option, a portable charger will come in handy! (I have one picked out.)

18. Purse/Backpack

No one wants to carry around travel items in loose pockets. Make sure you always know where your things are by packing a purse or backpack. It will keep you more organized and limit the chances of losing anything- just don’t lose your bag!

19. Medication

From prescription medications to over the counter pain relievers, you don’t want to forget any of them. Think about what you take in an average week. Bring some over the counter pain relievers, digestion aids and even a bandaid or two. You don’t want any aches getting in the way of your vacation!

20. Makeup Removing Wipes

Traveling can be tiring, and at the end of a long day you just want to crawl into bed and not worry about taking your makeup off. Make it easier on yourself and pack makeup remover wipes to create an easy transition into relaxation.

21. Reading Material

Even in a day of modern technology, people still read books! Make sure to bring a piece of reading material, a crossword puzzle or something manual to do with your hands should you lose cell service.

Pro tip: I like to get a mini book of sudoku puzzles for those long plane and train rides, just don’t forget a pencil!

22. Tablet/Computer

If you like to travel with your tablet or computer make sure you have everything you need to keep it charged and safe. Download media before travel, when you are connected to WiFi. Don’t forget a case to protect it.

23.  Last but not Least, Daytme Shoes

Picking out your favorite shoes for dinner and a night out is easy, but they won’t be very comfortable if you have sore or blistered feet from walking all day in the wrong pair of shoes. Find some comfortable and still stylish shoes for tours and walking during the day- your feet will thank you!