Uncomfortable situations – Not using Airbnb again.

I’ve used Airbnb a handful of times with mixed results. I’ve had a couple of lovely experiences, but also a couple of creepy experiences that have made me realize it is NOT WORTH IT to book through Airbnb – no matter how many “good” reviews the host may have (though I do think Superhosts are probably OK). I should mention I sometimes travel alone and I’m a woman. The good hosts I’ve had I’ve enjoyed chatting with when I would see them in the house. The first creepy experience was when I needed to book a place for one night as I was passing through town. The host greeted me as I arrived and seemed friendly. This host had a lot of very positive reviews. She lived in a separate house next to the house she rents. I later texted her a question and thanked her, saying it was nice to meet and I would likely not see her as I was leaving very early the next morning. She informed me when she would be back at her home that night, and I told her I would be coming back later in the evening and again wished her well as I needed to be up early in the morning and I didn’t think I would see her. When I arrived back to the house that night, I was surprised to find my host sitting in the living room on the couch, waiting for me – with no tv or music playing, no book to read – she was just sitting on the couch with a ton of bright lights on, waiting for me. This part of the house was supposed to be only for people renting as it was a guest house, not her living space. It may be hard for me to convey how creepy and unexpected this was – I felt a chill down my spine. I felt nervous so I sat and talked with her for a while because it seemed she needed to talk and I felt rude to retire to my room right away. But I was paying to sleep there, not to talk to this lady about her life story. I felt very uncomfortable. Second awkward situation was in Berlin when my host informed me her boyfriend would be in the flat that night while she was out babysitting. That evening, after a long day of sightseeing, I showered and retreated to my room to send some work emails. The door to my room wouldn’t latch easily so it was cracked a couple of inches. At one point, the boyfriend knocked on my bedroom door to say hello. This in and of itself was okay – I was happy to say hello and chat for a minute. HOWEVER – he would. not. leave. I don’t know if it was his awkwardness, but he kept ignoring my saying, “Yes, well, I should be getting back to my work” and kept starting new topics of conversation with me while I was sitting on the bed with my laptop and a towel around my wet hair. Again – neither of these situations were nightmares or anything horrifying, however, they did creep me out as they made me realize WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO these people ARE, and yet we are putting our safety into the hands of strangers. It’s too bad, but for me it’s not worth it.

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