Short-Term Rentals Used To Be A Cheaper Vacation Option Than A Hotel Stay. That’s Changing.

Some Airbnb hosts have upped cleaning fees dramatically, making once-affordable nightly rates comparable to what you’d pay for a hotel room.

By Shelly BrisbinJune 17, 2021 9:55 am, , ,

As pandemic restrictions ease across the country, airports and highways are filling with travelers eager for a break. Many of them are choosing short-term rentals through companies like Airbnb and VRBO instead of traditional hotels. But that idyllic beach house or lake cabin will probably cost more than many travelers expect. And a recent story about Airbnb raises safety concerns vacationers should also consider.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga told Texas Standard that short-term rental companies have done well in the past few months, as travelers wary of shared spaces like hotels, have chosen to rent houses or condos instead.

“As we’re going into the summer and people are vaccinated and going back and traveling again, [there’s] definitely a big spike, not only in availability but also pricing,” Gallaga said.

Highlights from this segment:

– Costs for some short-term rental stays have increased dramatically as property owners have raised cleaning fees and tacked on other extra charges, even as rental rates remain moderate when compared to a hotel stay.

– A recent Bloomberg story described the extensive and expensive measures taken by Airbnb to address sexual assaults and other crimes committed against guests – and a few hosts – in rental units. The company has spent millions on settlements with guests and kept its own name out of police reports.

– To protect yourself from potential harm while staying at a short-term rental property, consider bringing along a motion detector, or using a doorstop to bar the entrance.

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