You can never be overprepared while travelling. Carefully choosing a destination, buying affordable tickets, and finding the right place to stay are essential. With the new age of technology booking flights or a room became easier than ever, but it does entail certain dangers.
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There's an abundance of booking websites, where you can find a cheap but seemingly good room. Beware, not all such services can be trustworthy, and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Using a reliable hosting website is a must, and double-checking never hurts anyone.
There are many cases of travelers finding themselves in a bad situation as a result of not checking their hosts or neighborhoods well enough. This is one of such stories.
Kelly Fyffe-Marshall was checking out of the Airbnb house in Rialto, California with her four friends, three of which were black women, after a normal stay. Upon leaving the place, they got surrounded by police, including seven cars and even a helicopter.
Women were informed that senior neighbor called the authorities on them, as she suspected them of robbery. Five friends kept calm about it, as they knew they were in the clear, but it took a turn. Police weren't aware of what Airbnb was and proceeded to investigate the women. Fyffe-Marshall and her friends showing booking confirmation and correspondence with the owner, but it still took a long time to get things straight.
Police commented in a statement that "through reasonable inquiry officers learned the residence was an unlicensed Airbnb." Despite clearing things up, the women are still not happy about how they were treated and allege that accusations against them were based on race. They're planning to proceed with legal actions against the police department.
Not only travelers at risk
An Airbnb host can be easily mistreated by their guests as well. One such instance happened to one of the service providers who discovered their place robbed after their guest checked out. Everything was gone, including a king-sized bed, a stereo, and other furniture.
The host implored others to only deal with verified users on Airbnb, both hosts and guests. Always check twice, protect yourself, and stay safe.