US: Airbnb has released safety tips and advice for hosts and guests getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in the United States.
This weekend is expected to see the largest surge of travel activity to and from cities in the history of the platform, according to Airbnb.
The advice is aimed at experienced Airbnb travellers, seasoned hosts and those celebrating the Fourth of July holiday with a large group of friends or family. It applies to those hosting and staying in an Airbnb rented property and those taking part in one of the company’s Experiences, as a guide to keeping safe.
Airbnb is providing the following safety tips to help ensure the Fourth of July holiday period passes by safely for hosts and guests respectively:
• Add additional guests to your reservation: Be sure to add other members of your party to your itinerary if you are travelling in a group. You will only be able to add guests up to the total number that you originally set in your booking request, and if you expect more guests might join, it is important that you communicate this in advance to your host.
• Include an emergency contact: Negative incidents are incredibly rare, adding an emergency contact to your account is easy to do and helps Airbnb’s community support team contact your designated contact in the event of an emergency.
• Communicate your plans in advance with your host: The Fourth of July is a great time to grill out, enjoy fireworks, and celebrate with friends and family. If your Airbnb listing has a grill, take a moment to communicate with your host on how to use it, clean it, and stay safe while your barbecue. If you are planning to use fireworks, ask your host in advance if that is permissible and be sure to familiarise yourself with local laws beforehand.
• Be respectful of your neighbours: We know the holiday is a time to celebrate and have fun, but it is important to be respectful of neighbours and members of the community. Be sure to check out your listing’s house rules for quiet hours and rules around playing music etc in order to ensure a seamless trip.
• Check out water safety tips: Whether you are planning to swim in the pool, ocean or lake, take time to read up on local water safety tips, as every body of water is different. An accidental drowning can happen in a matter of seconds, so adults should always be fully focused when supervising children who are in or near any body of water. Read more about the importance of water safety at the Red Cross website.
• Keep safety information and equipment handy: It is important that hosts to equip their homes and guests with the safety essentials guests might need in the event of an emergency. This includes things like a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector, a fire extinguisher, and a first aid kit.
• Get to know guests in advance: Airbnb’s secure messaging tool gives hosts the chance to get to know guests and answer or ask any questions that come up before or during the trip. Messaging is also a great place to coordinate things like check-in or provide local recommendations. Hosts should strive to find out specifically what is bringing their guests to their area and use that information to provide the most personable and safe experience possible.
• Set clear expectations: Listing descriptions should let potential guests know about the unique features and amenities of the home. Even small details like the number of flights of stairs to the front door or how to properly turn on the hot tub can help make sure guests enjoy their time. Hosts can also outline specific expectations in their house rules. Outlining quiet hours will be particularly important during the holiday celebrations, as many guests will be watching the fireworks or attending events downtown that could have them getting back on the later side.
• If anything is not right, reach out: In the rare event that an issue should arise, Airbnb’s team is available 24/7 in 11 languages to support hosts and guests. It offers rebooking assistance, refunds, reimbursements, a $1 million host guarantee and host protection insurance program to help make things right.
• Always communicate through the platform, never offline: Bad actors may try to take advantage of the surge in activity during popular travel times likes this by luring people into offline scams where Airbnb can no longer monitor or protect hosts. Hosts and guests can help protect themselves from these scams by staying on the Airbnb platform throughout the entire process – from communication, to booking, to payment.
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