Why you shouldn’t use Airbnb

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Are you thinking of booking an AirBnB? If like me you have heard a lot of negative stuff in the press and online then you may be having second thoughts. There has been a fair bit of controversy around Airbnb.  I must admit I was pretty shocked when I first heard about it being made illegal in certain places. So like any socially responsible traveler, I began to look into why Airbnb has become so controversial so I could make my mind up for myself. In this article, I’m going to fill you in on what I have learned so you can decide for yourself why you shouldn’t use Airbnb when booking your future trips.

Why you shouldn’t use Airbnb

If you would like to know more about why it has been made illegal and were then take a read of these two articles as they should help shed some light on the topic.

Some of the main issues around AirBnB from what I can gather are:

  • Hotels are getting upset and saying that Airbnb should be compliant to the same laws as them (I know there is much more to it than this, I’m just trying to summarise).
  • Local residents are being priced out of areas as landlords are choosing to let their properties through Airbnb to make more money.

This is the main reason that I have started to issue caution about my use of Airbnb.

What is Airbnb

The idea behind Airbnb is that if you are someone who has a spare room or maybe you work away a lot and your home is empty that you can make a bit of extra cash. This is through short-term renting your spare room or whole property while you are out-of-town.

What it is NOT supposed to be is an alternative to renting for landlords. So I can completely understand why there are many difficult issues coming up with landlords using Airbnb in this way.

I do not want to be a part of the problem and use Airbnb in a way that has a negative effect on local residents so here are a few things I look out for when considering using Airbnb while I’m traveling.

1. Ok so the top of my checklist is to do a quick google search in the area I am traveling to. Something like “is Airbnb ok in…” or “Airbnb illegal in..” just to see if there has been anything in the local news about it and make sure it’s not an area it is illegal.

2. I then think about why I want to use Airbnb and see if there are reasons why I shouldn’t use Airbnb. I decide using Airbnb is the best option.

Normally I would stay in a hostel or if I’m in need of a bit more luxury (and feeling flush) I will book a hotel.

Is it ever ok to use AirBnB?

These are the reasons I normally use Airbnb:

  • I can’t find a hostel
  • If I want to stay somewhere a bit longer term
  • I need a bed in a non-tourist area where hotels are super expensive (i.e. close to an airport so I can catch an early flight. 

At that point, I  will then search for properties. What I look for is why they are renting on Airbnb ie do they live there. If they do live there and it’s a spare room, or they work away, then I will book it. You can normally tell by what’s written in the description if they are living in the property. If they aren’t and it looks like they are not using Airbnb properly then I’ll give it a miss.

Other things I look for when choosing a place to stay are:

  • Reviews – Read them all and don’t book somewhere with no reviews or bad ones.
  • Area – Check out the area and make sure it’s close to transport links and easy to find.
  • Trust your gut – When I’m deciding on a place to stay if I read something that doesn’t quite sit right then I skip past it. Safety is so important and I’ve learned the best way to stay safe is to trust my instincts and if something doesn’t quite feel right then it probably isn’t.

I have had some great Airbnb experiences. Mostly when I’ve needed a bed close to an airport. But I also think it’s important to be knowledgeable about some of the issues. I always try and do my best to not be a part of the problem.


Why you shouldn't use Airbnb


Final Thoughts

Have you had any good or bad experiences with Airbnb? I would love to hear from you, so leave me a comment below.

If you are looking for ways to save money on accommodation check out my article that guides you through saving money of accommodation using Skyscanner and Booking.com.


Here are my other planning guides

How to Save Money for Travel

How to find the best flight deals online

12 Travel apps to download before taking your trip

 A step by step guide to planning the perfect trip


This post was proofread by Grammarly


Wanderlust vegans

Saturday 24th of December 2016

I have heard of this issue but haven't looked into it too much. I didn't know that airbnb was illegal some places. I wouldn't say I'm against airbnb though as we've had a lot of good experiences and if someone owns a property they can do what they want if they aren't breaking the law. I understand how people are annoyed if they think airbnb is to blame for increased rent.

Bella WW

Saturday 24th of December 2016

I did not know these issues about Airbnb until now, so I'm glad I found out about them in this article. I used Airbnb 3 times so far, and I can say that one of them was a terrible experience. The room was much smaller in reality, and the intimacy was almost completely missing. I think Airbnb is still a good option, but we have to check it well before. A very useful post!

Bruce Schinkel

Friday 23rd of December 2016

Thanks for this post Claire! I've used Airbnb a few times and always loved it. I get some of those issues outlined, but can't say i agree with them ... sounds like just more evidence of historical (often archaic) industries not liking new technologies taking away their market share (like with Uber and Lyft) :)


Thursday 22nd of December 2016

I have used Airbnb many times and have always been satisfied. I like that you can get a more personal service than in hotels and the owners often share great tips about the location and help to find the really authentic spots. I haven't heard that it is now illegal in some places. Thanks for the information, it's all very useful, especially when booking my next accommodation.


Monday 19th of December 2016

Very interesting article and an important topic for all of us travelers out there. I have mixed feelings about Airbnb since they became some kind of superpower. Of course we love to use their services as well and it not only saves a lot of money, it also gives you opportunities that no hotel can offer very often. Sure. But we made also some very bad experiences with Airbnb where either flats are suddenly not available anymore when you arrive or they charge you afterwards completely unfair for things you are not responsible for. So for now I really consider to find a cheap hotel place instead.

Claire Summers

Thursday 22nd of December 2016

Completely agree I have had some incredible experiences but the more I hear and use it the more I'm trying to do it responsibly and also always looking for other ways. If I use it now I prefer to stay with people where possibly.