Welcome to Day #19 of 100 Days of Travel. For the next 100 days, I’m exploring Albania and Macedonia as safely as possible. I’m three weeks into my trip and have booked two stays with Airbnb. But how safe is to stay there?
In Skopje, I booked a week-long rental for when I arrived in Macedonia and another two-day apartment when I returned to the capital. Skopje and Ohrid have the most listings, but outside those two cities, the number of Airbnb rentals drops dramatically.
Airbnb has released “Enhanced Clean”, a five-step process developed with former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy and backed by global health and hospitality experts. It’s clearly marked on the listing if a property is following the protocols and by November 20 of this year, it will be required for everyone.
This is straight from the Airbnb website:
Sanitize surfaces: Sanitize every high-touch surface, down to the doorknob.
Use approved products: Use cleaners approved by health experts, like disinfectants with 70% alcohol or higher.
Thoroughly clean: Refer to our extensive checklists while cleaning room-by-room.
Wear a mask and gloves: Help avoid cross-contamination by wearing a mask and gloves.
Wash all linens: Wash linens at a high heat setting.
Both my hosts correctly wore masks and followed social distancing recommendations during check-in and check-out. It was definitely reassuring to see them following protocols. One of the hosts had hand sanitizer on hand at the entry.
Very safe. I only stay with “superhosts” when booking with Airbnb. These are hosts with a proven track record of exceeding guest expectations under normal circumstances so I trust they are following the additional cleaning requirements. I have only stayed in entire apartments, no shared stays or guest houses for now. I’m also traveling in the off-season, so I imagine there’s a buffer between me and previous guests.
Yes, but only if the hosts have committed to the “enhanced clean” program. Airbnb has some stellar deals for weekly and monthly stays, so if local restrictions lead to lockdowns, I will most likely use this service to book a long-term stay.