Are Airbnbs safe? We spoke to experts, a company representative, and an Airbnb host to share everything you should know before booking someone's home
We talked to an infectious disease doctor, a cleaning specialist, and representatives from Airbnb about whether it's safe to book someone's home and how to best protect yourself. Read more: Are rental cars safe to drive right now? We talked to 3 leading experts to find out.As America attempts to re-open for business in phases, many are eagerly tracking signs for when and how a return to travel will be safe and feasible. With a vaccine for the novel coronavirus still potentially far off, many travelers will be eyeing a cautious return, starting with the options that data suggest pose the least risk.
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- Airbnb rolled out a new tool that encourages guests to send "kindness cards" and cash donations to their former hosts "impacted by COVID-19."
- The COVID-19 pandemic has tanked Airbnb's revenue, and the landlords who operate short-term rentals through the service have seen rent payments evaporate as people stop traveling.
- But critics lashed out at Airbnb's push for donations, questioning why renters should have to help shore up landlords' shaky financials.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
After the COVID-19 pandemic obliterated Airbnb revenues across the globe, the short-term-rental platform has begun asking guests to chip in by sending "kindness cards" that include cash donations to their former hosts — who have seen billions of dollars in revenue vanish in recent months as travel has ground to a halt because of the pandemic.
A guide to the best credit cards for Airbnb stays
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated with new information. As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next …As states begin to reopen, few are taking to the skies just yet, but road trips are likely to be popular getaway options.
The new tool appears to be another effort to assuage hosts' financial concerns, this time by soliciting contributions from former guests. Airbnb said 100% of the proceeds from the kindness cards would go to the hosts.
But the tool has been met with swift backlash from people on Twitter who say they're similarly struggling to save money amid the pandemic and question why it should be their responsibility to support landlords.
"Airbnb has lost its f---ing head," one person tweeted.
Hosts have directed their anger at Airbnb, saying the company implemented cancellation policies at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that cost them even more money. Airbnb said in March that it would spend $250 million to reimburse hosts for guests' cancellations that stemmed from coronavirus shutdowns.
Airbnb announced vigorous new cleaning protocols for hosts in response to COVID-19. Here's how to know if the listing you're considering is participating — or not.
Airbnb rolled out the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, which is now live online for guests to see when considering booking a home. Here's how to use it.In response to the global pandemic, hospitality businesses of all kinds scrambled to initiate and publicize new cleaning policies that could reassure — and lure — would-be travelers.
The financial situation is especially dire for megahosts, some of whom bought up dozens of properties and built short-term-rental empires that made up their main source of income (about one-third of Airbnb hosts have more than 25 properties, according to the analytics site AirDNA).
New York Times tech reporter Mike Isaac said the program was "like the mortgage-backed securities of the sharing economy."
"I'm not sure I will be contributing to the mortgage for anyone's second house at this time," another Twitter user wrote.
An Airbnb spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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10 Best Hawaii Airbnbs From Honolulu to Kona .
Bookmark these magical Airbnbs for your next trip to Hawaii.There are plenty of beautiful resorts to book across the island chain. But if you’re traveling with a large family or desire more privacy, renting an Airbnb is key for a comfortable and relaxing trip. Although most islands have slightly different laws about where vacation rentals can operate and require owners to obtain a permit to operate, renting an Airbnb in Hawaii is legal. (But it’s best to stick to properties that include a license number in the listing to be sure.