What to know if you decide to go

After another wave of terrorist attacks in Turkey and Belgium that appeared to target visitors, travelers like Dianne Bush want to know how to save their vacations.

She had booked an apartment in Istanbul from April 4 to 11 through Airbnb, knowing the risks. But the latest incident, a March 19 suicide bombing that killed two Americans, struck too close to their homes.

“The bomb exploded in the main tourist shopping area,” she said. “This is a place I would surely visit.”

Bush is not easily scared. She’s a policewoman from Cranbourne East, Australia. But her Airbnb host insisted her reservation is only partially refundable, despite the company’s claim it offers full refunds for political unrest.

Travelers around the world are asking similar questions, especially in light of the Brussels airport bombings last week. Should we stay or go? If we go, how do we stay safe? Should we take extra precautions on the road?

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Nick Shapiro, a spokesperson for Airbnb, said the company was “heartbroken” by the recent terrorist attacks. In Brussels, the company took immediate action that allowed Airbnb hosts to offer their places free of charge to those in urgent need of housing. Airbnb is indeed offering an exception to its refund rules for cases like this, and when I asked about Bush’s case, he agreed to reconsider his case. “She will get a full refund,” Shapiro said.


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