However, one viral ‘money-saving’ trick that’s currently doing the rounds has been criticised for not thinking about the bigger picture.
TikToker @annathingbutanimals says that, when it comes to booking her Airbnbs, she usually goes directly to the source.
Instead of booking through the platform, she saves the phone numbers of past hosts and then reaches out to them directly when she’s travelling to the same location – in the hope they will offer a lower rate than Airbnb (without the additional cleaning fees and taxes).
While this sounds like a pretty great money-saving hack in principal, it’s not so good when it comes to safeguarding and security – not just in terms of your money but personal safety, too.
Platforms such as Airbnb have all kinds of processes in place to protect both hosts and guests.
Often, they charge additional fees to ensure you’re getting what you’re paying for and to protect against last-minute cancellations, scams and other dodgy situations.
So while you think you might be saving money in the short-term, you’re putting yourself at risk by not being protected by an established platform.
Travel expert Joshua Rasia explains that are actually six reasons this isn’t good advice: the host could cancel your stay at any minute, it might be scam, you might not get assistance during your stay, your account could be suspended, personal safety could be compromised, and there are other legal repercussions from ‘cheating the system’ this way.
So there you have it.
Why the hack is a bad idea, according to Joshua:
- The host can cancel your stay at the last minute.
- You may get scammed.
- You may not get any assistance/help during your stay.
- You may get your account suspended.
- Your personal safety might be compromised.
- There are potential legal repercussions.
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