Lodging Peer-to-Peer Guidelines

Also known as Sharing Economy or Collaborative Consumption, these accommodations have inherent risks that can jeopardize the safety of travelers. Lodging accommodations in this category are not inspected for cleanliness, fire safety or security and in some instances, travelers share accommodations with strangers, which eliminates privacy offered by traditional hotels and presents enormous safety concerns.


Peer to Peer Lodging

Traditional Hotel

Life safety protection

  • Sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire-resistant construction

Lower standards for residential

Higher standards for commercial facilities (insurance, safety inspections)

Sanitation concerns

  • Fleas, bed bugs, mold

These concerns are less likely to be prevented or addressed, little or no recourse

Sanitation is more likely to be a priority (room cleaning schedule, replaced linens)

Security concerns

  • Doors and locks

Security standards and procedures are less likely to be in place

Security is more likely to be a priority (Locks changed for each guest in newer hotels, hotel staff or 3rd party security)

Privacy concerns/ shared space with strangers (kitchen, bathrooms)

Space and entry/exit often shared with strangers

Private space, private entry/exit

Regulations/ permits

Less likely to comply

Required to comply with all pertinent regulations / permits

Additionally, the U.S. General Services Administration in its guidance to federal employees traveling on official business agrees that using peer-to-peer lodging is risky. Federal travelers may use traditional hotels, but must obtain approval from their agency head to use peer-to-peer lodging. 

Faculty/Staff Travel

Based on the above risks, employees are strongly discouraged from using peer-to-peer lodging services. 

Student Travel

Students traveling on GW business that is funded or reimbursed by the University are prohibited from using peer-to-peer lodging services. If the use of peer-to-peer lodging is deemed necessary for the completion of the student’s University mission, students must obtain prior written approval from their student advisor’s office. The student advisor will consult with the Risk Management office to assess the request in advance of travel. Please note that a detailed response from the host is required. The response should specifically address each of the items listed in the table above.

Hotel Reservation Procedures

Employees are instructed to reserve brand named, traditional hotels through iBuy+Travel when business travel requires overnight accommodations. Discount hotel rates at over 40,000 hotels worldwide are available when booking travel through iBuy+Travel. Students should call Travel Leaders (855-771-9109) to make hotel reservations.

Contact Travel Leaders (855-771-9109) or P2P Travel Services ([email protected]) if additional assistance is needed when selecting hotel accommodations.