Airbnb launches its biggest update in 10 years, inviting users to discover millions more homes, travel between the two, and be protected with free listings.
For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work and travel. Airbnb is responding with several new features to encourage us to take longer vacations to multiple destinations.
Instead of relying on worldly knowledge (or lack of knowledge) to find your next vacation destination, Airbnb introduces 56 categories organized by home style, location, or proximity to travel activities. You can narrow your search based on your preferences: amazing views, bed and breakfasts, creative spaces, historic homes, iconic cities, freestanding or small homes.
“Airbnb categories make homes unique and help people find places they couldn’t find otherwise.” Airbnb Blog Description(Opens in a new window). “This could help alleviate overtourism by redistributing travel to new locations beyond the same popular destinations.”
Airbnb created Split Stay to make it easy for users to split their trip into two locations.
The option, which aims to inspire people to “stay in two destinations as part of a longer trip,” appears in search by destination and in 14 categories such as camping, skiing and surfing. For example, when exploring national parks, Split Stays might suggest a pair of homes in Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon, about 110 miles away.
“When you view Split Stays on a map, an animated line visually connects the two houses, showing the distance between them and the order of their stay,” Airbnb explains. “Choose Split Stay to book each stay, one house at a time, through an easy-to-use interface.”
According to Airbnb, AirCover is “the most comprehensive protection for travel”. It’s free with your reservation and comes with 4 protections:
Guaranteed reservation protection: If the host cancels within 30 days of check-in, Airbnb will either find a similar (or better) home or refund the cost.
Check-in Guarantee: If you are unable to check in to your home due to an unresolved issue, Airbnb will either find a similar (or better) home or refund you.
Guaranteed reservations the way you want: If, at any time during your stay, your listing isn’t as advertised (i.e. there are fewer bedrooms than listed), report it within 3 days and Airbnb will either find a similar (or better) listing or refund you.
24-Hour Safety Line: If you feel unsafe at any time, please contact specially trained lifeguards (available in 16 languages).
Airbnb’s revamped app and website will be available worldwide this week, and already available in the US.