Airbnb nightmare blog
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How My Bonvoy Card Saved Me From An Airbnb Nightmare

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As we turned down the red dirt road, throwing sandy dust into the air, my daughter spoke of a bad Airbnb nightmare she had about this place — that it was sketchy.

Did she already know? She had booked the Airbnb months ago because it was dog friendly and she was in the process of getting a puppy. She had an idea of what she had booked, I was hopeful but not confident.

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The Nightmare Begins

As we drove up the dusty road decorated with broken down trailers, junk yards, and free ranging dogs, I had a really bad feeling.

Okay, the trailer didn’t look too bad, the yard, a red sandy dirt pile, lacked any appeal, the trailer was unlocked, keys on the table. By the way, the photo below is not the trailer in question – but it’s a fun photo!

My eyes were drawn to the gilded framed print above the cheap linen drapes – the rest of the décor was 70’s velvet Elvis. The trailer was clean, so we dragged our stuff in. After all, we were in Big Water, Utah, and it was only for a few days.

The rear door led to the barely “fenced in yard.” After opening the rear door, the step out was a 5×3 foot plank platform about 18 inches above the red dirt, requiring us to jump down and our 12 pound puppy to tentatively hop off. I’m guessing it was not up to code.  The yard was all dirt and full of dog waste. The trailer next door had a yard full of rusting collectibles guarded by two large and angry dogs. The fence shook as they jumped at it hoping to get a nibble on us or the puppy.

Upon further inspection, the light switches in the bathroom were taped onto the wall – I’m sure that wasn’t up to code either. The shower was marginally disgusting. Worst of all, the exterior doors didn’t shut properly.

Photo by John Mark Jennings on Unsplash

No sleep happening

We decided to stay for the night and clipped the questionable locks closed. When we pulled the louver blinds we discovered there were missing pieces allowing a good look into the living room – where one daughter slept on the futon. 

My other daughter, the puppy, and I took the bedroom. The bed was incredibly lumpy, the sheets were rough, and the pillows were so flat my head was below my shoulders. I parked my massive suitcase in front of the back door, giving me some warning if someone tried to get in. Needless to say, we didn’t get any sleep.

About 2 in the morning there were two very large thumps from the front of the trailer. I flew to the living room expecting to see someone coming through the front door. It was my daughter and she was on the floor. The futon tipped over when she rolled over in the bed. Geeze!

The solution

We needed to get out and decided at 2 a.m. we would move. I had 80,000 Bonvoy points and found a lovely Marriot in Page, Arizona, just a few miles away. They were dog friendly and had a room for the next two nights. We booked it, packed the car, and left.

We texted the Airbnb maven to tell her our plans changed and we were leaving. She actually refunded the two nights – a very small amount – but then complained that we trashed the trailer. In reality, we left a plate, a knife and three wine glasses in the sink. We picked up our puppy poops, tossed out a few food wrappers in the trash, stripped the futon for her, and only used one hand towel and one tiny bar of soap. This chick was crazy. 

We notified Airbnb we were afraid for our safety. My daughter left a very general review about how the Airbnb maven was gracious about returning our rent. In return, she then left a nasty review for my daughter; more Airbnb nightmare.

Return to vacation joy

The Courtyard Marriott Page at Lake Powell was just what we needed. Two queen beds, a sparkling clean shower, a patio door to walk out with the puppy, a pool, and a great location. My points covered the room and we paid a $25 pet fee. Small price to pay for safety and security.

The moral of the story. I use my Bonvoy Card to pay my phone, cable, utilities, groceries, and other expenses. I accumulate over 5,000 points each month and they add up fast. This usually gives me enough points for two, three, or four nights stay in a year, plus I get a free room added on my renewal anniversary. There is an annual fee, but it is nothing to compare to what I get in return.

We have used our Points in many different cities, but this is the second time it has been handy as bailout to avoid a questionable stay. 

If you are looking for a credit card that offers you all kinds of wonderful benefits, you should consider the Chase Bonvoy Card. It may just save you from an Airbnb nightmare.

Enjoy the journey,


PS If you are planning to rent an Airbnb, which we actually do quite often as most of them are lovely; check out my Airbnb Rental Tips And Tricks. My daughter should have followed these suggestions.

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  1. I’ve had awful Airbnb experiences too, and great ones. They’re so unpredictable, and I’m getting fed up with all the extra fees tacked on, so you have to calculate the nightly rate carefully.
    I’m excited about my new Hyatt card – with the SUB, I’ll get 12 free nights the first year. Just got a Hilton card too.
    We think alike!

  2. So glad that you were able to get a room and to get out of that terrible situation. I’m glad that a review was placed to warn others who may not be able to afford to go some place else!

  3. Wow!! That’s worse than our bad Airbnb experience in Naples. Glad you were sitting on points and a way out! Like you, most other Airbnb experiences have been very good.

  4. Scary! We haven’t used Airbnb yet…will need to be careful in looking over our options when we do. I’ll bet that hotel room looked awfully good after that.

  5. We have used VRBO (similar to Airbnb) a few times. I am always so nervous before we get there. So far, we have been lucky. All of them have been lovely, far surpassing our expectations. I am happy that you were able to bail on this one. I would have definitely been in tears.

  6. That’s crazy! I have stayed at AirBnB before but my friends have booked them – this is why I am always afraid to do it myself!

  7. Holy cow that sounds awful! And scary! I’m glad you were able to find someplace else to stay. I’ve never used Airbnb but I can only imagine the struggles.

  8. I’m so glad you were able to have a backup plan that worked out! That place sounds horrible!

  9. Oh geez, what a nightmare! Fortunately, all my airbnb experiences have been wonderful!

  10. Oh my – I would’ve turned around whilst going down that road with the broken down trailers and loose dogs…just, not my style!
    And, I do love my hotel cards – almost as much as my general travel cards – I’m currently just finishing up the SUB for a Hyatt and a Hilton card. It’s great to have the flexibility, isn’t it?

  11. Thank God, you were able to get out of the nightmare and had the Bonvoy card to your rescue. Reasons why reviews are so helpful!

  12. What a crazy experience! Makes my worst AirBnB experience seem like a walk in the park! Its great that at least you were able to get your family to a safer accommodation… and still have fun on your trip!

  13. I am glad you were able to use your points for a place that felt safer so that you could sleep. Sometimes things like that happen and they make for great stories. 🙂

  14. Ugh, what a nightmare! I’m sure that lovely Marriott was a complete relief. We’ve only had one “less than expected” Airbnb experience but it was nothing like yours. Best of luck!

  15. Yikes! So lucky that you found a clean and safe Marriott nearby. We’ve done a few rentals but in general, I tend to prefer hotels or condos – that way I know what I’m getting into!

  16. This sounds like a harrowing occasion and I would have cringed upon arrival. You ladies were good sports for sticking it out even for a few hours. What a relief there was a Marriott so close–with an open room! I have never heard of a Bonvoy card. Now Googling. . .

  17. Yikes! This sounds like a terrible ordeal. You’re a better person than I, as I would have hightailed it out of there once I rolled up and saw the disheveled state of the Air Bnb rental! I’m really glad that you were able to use the Bonvoy points to stay in a nice place!

  18. I enjoyed reading your nightmare AirBNB article. Glad you had a getaway option with the Bonvoy card. Thank you for sharing. You mentioned you were able to get the hotel room and save you safety and security. I think “sanity” would have been a good add too. I can not imagine the stress and worry of having even trying to stay in the other place especially with doors that didn’t officially lock.!!!

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