USB Ports at Airbnb

USB Ports at Airbnb: a reader asks…

I’m going on vacation and will be staying at an Airbnb. The owner says that there are USB ports built into some of the electrical outlets. Is it safe to use these?

Hmm, I’m going to defer to safety in my recommendation and suggest you bring your own USB chargers that plug into standard electrical plugs. You didn’t say where you are vacationing, so electrical voltage and plug type may be different – you’ll need to make sure you have good adapters and your USB chargers should be able to handle whatever voltage is provided at the Airbnb. Why use your own?

Security: USB ports are one hackable way nefarious folks can compromise the security of your smartphone or tablet. Since the Airbnb owner has installed electrical outlets with USB ports, any renter could potentially hack one or more of them, and you can’t count on the owner to regularly check for tampering. This is why I say to never use USB ports provided at any public or semi-public place.


Safety: Cheap knock-off USB ports and chargers don’t necessarily follow the safety standards from your smartphone or tablet manufacturer. The internet has plenty of examples of exploded smarthphones and fires caused by cheap USB chargers. This is why those manufacturers recommend you only use their charger. Quality USB ports and chargers should be UL listed, but this is never a guarantee, especially in a foreign country.

I bring my own USB bricks whenever I travel and only use them, not any provided by the hotel, Airbnb, Vrbo, airport, taxicab, Uber or Lyft, etc. For juicing up in a mobile situation where a regular outlet isn’t available, there are plenty of small power banks you can get for those situations. Look for the UL listing, and be very wary of buying just based on price.

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One Comment

  1. This is really too good about this lovely information and great blog thanks sharing this article

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