We’ve partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, leaders in adventure travel, to provide safety recommendations and best practices to help you be prepared on an Experience involving ice.

In addition to reading the description of the Experience, reading the guest reviews can also give you a good sense of what to expect. You should always feel free to message the host before booking with additional questions.

Choose an Experience that works for you

Find out about health, fitness, or other requirements you’ll need to safely enjoy the Experience:

  • Make sure you’re clear on what skills are required, and ask the host if you have questions or concerns.
  • Let your host know about any medical concerns you have that may affect your participation or enjoyment (from food allergies to a heart condition).
  • Find out if you will be exposed to ice-cold temperatures for the entirely of your Experience, or if you will be hiking for some distance before you are on the ice.
  • Make sure you are satisfied with your insurance coverage.

Know your host

Your host’s bio will be included in the description of the Experience. You can message them at any time (before or after you book) to ask additional details including things like their background in leading people on Experiences involving ice, or how long they’ve been working in the area you plan to visit.

If you’ll be more than an hour away from medical care, you may want to find out what kind of medical training or certification your host has, such as a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), or CPR. You can also ask them about their safety evacuation plan in case of an emergency.

Preparation

Make sure you’re clear about what you need to bring with you and what the host is providing, along with anything else you need to do to prepare. For Experiences involving ice, this may include information about special clothing and gear to keep your body, hands, and feet warm, as well as help you avoid slipping on the ice.

Message your host to let them know about any special considerations–medical or otherwise–you may have, and find out if specific accommodations can be made for you.

There may not be cell service where you’re going, so ask your host about this if it’s important for you to stay connected.

Once you arrive

Your host will give you an overview of what to expect. Feel free to ask any questions you have as they come up. Some examples of things you might want to ask, if the host hasn’t already covered them, include:

  • Are there animals or plants that shouldn’t be touched, or that you should keep an eye out for?
  • Are there places that shouldn’t be entered, or paths that should be followed?
  • Are there guidelines for how to interact with the local people?

Your host should also cover practical matters like access to water and restrooms, and when (or if) you’ll eat. At this point, you should make sure that you have what you need to be comfortable for your entire Experience.

Check your gear

If your host is providing gear for your Experience on the ice, such as crampons, make sure they are in good condition, fit properly, and are appropriate to the activity you’ll be embarking on. If you’re doing something technical where the gear is new to you, like cramponing or climbing, you should ask about anything that looks old, worn, or askew. Generally, pointed crampons are used for ski touring and glacier travel. Some things to look for include ensuring they fit to your boot size, or any damage to binding straps or points.

Know the conditions

Talk with your host about the range of conditions you’ll likely encounter, including temperatures and associated windchill, sun reflection, precipitation, and wetness from ice melting. Find out how you can best prepare for these conditions, as well as any other unexpected challenges.

Safety

Your host should provide you with a clear itinerary and let you know what kind of first aid supplies they have available and what to do if you become lost or injured. When you’re out on the ice, some of the common concerns include frostnip or frostbite to exposed skin, slipping and sliding near ledges, getting lost in a whiteout, falling ice from above, falling through ice, avalanches, crevasses, snow blindness, and hypothermia. If you have questions about these, ask your host for guidance.

Remember, you are the best judge of your own capabilities. Trust your judgment, and if you ever feel uncomfortable, speak up.

Emergency Planning  

We recommend that all guests and hosts engaging in an Experience prepare an emergency plan in case of a natural disaster or any other kind of emergency that could occur during an Experience.

Here are several useful safety plan templates provided by the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):

Making an Emergency Plan

Airbnb provided trip protections
All multi-day trips include 24/7 customer support. We also maintain $1 million of liability insurance under our Experience Protection Insurance program, in order to provide hosts and guests with peace of mind (certain exclusions apply). Additionally, in the event of a life-threatening injury, we also have partnered with an emergency medevac provider which may be activated to reach an injured party to support a medically necessary evacuation.

Leave a positive impact

Experiences on ice are a great opportunity to give back to the local environment and community. Ask your host about any local rules or etiquette of the area you can follow in order to help create a great experience for everyone. You can also do your own research to find out about the local culture before your Experience.

Partner Disclaimers

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)
Courtesy of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. ©2019 Adventure Travel Trade Association. All rights reserved.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) name and logo are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement or vetting of, express or implied, of any product, service, person, company, opinion or political position. The ATTA does not select or approve, and is not involved in the selection or approval of, Airbnb Experiences or hosts. For more information about the Adventure Travel Trade Association, please visit adventuretravel.biz.

American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
Courtesy of the American Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. ©2019 The American National Red Cross ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

The American Red Cross and International Federation of the Red Cross Red Crescent name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by The American National Red Cross. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org.