There’s no question the world of travel has changed immensely over the past two years. Since the pandemic hit in 2020, more people can now work remotely, making getaways possible beyond holidays and weekends. But even with these massive cultural shifts, most travel booking websites have remained the same. That is until Airbnb unveiled its Summer Release – the most significant change to the platform in a decade.
“The way people travel has changed forever,” said Brian Chesky, CEO, and Co-Founder of Airbnb, in a statement. “First, people are more flexible about where they live and work, so we’ve designed a new way to search with Airbnb Categories. Second, people take longer trips, so we created Split Stays to give you more options by splitting your trip between two homes. And third, we’re introducing AirCover for guests, giving you the confidence to book knowing that Airbnb’s got your back.”
Let’s dive in a bit more on these three main changes. First, the new way to search involves new categories. So, when you log in, you have 56 categories from which to choose that “organize homes based on their style, location, or proximity to a travel activity.” This allows users to discover a destination based on those needs rather than inputting a city and sifting through listings. Alternatively, you can search for a destination, and the same categories can organize the results to help you make the best choice.
Secondly, with Split Stays, you can book two homes to split over one trip. According to Airbnb, they noticed that about half the nights booked were for trips a week or more over the last three months. So, with this new feature, you’ll be able to see 40% more listings when searching for longer stays.
Lastly, with AirCover, you get a booking protection guarantee, check-in guarantee, get-what-you-booked guarantee, and a 24-hour safety line (available in 16 languages). All of this is included at no extra charge.
These updates were inspired by some booking trends seen on Airbnb’s platform. The biggest change was the number of long-term stays (of 28+ days) increased. In fact, that number doubled in size from Q1 of 2019 to Q1 of 2022. This comes after Airbnb’s 150 upgrades made last year to improve their service in the ever-changing travel revolution.
What this all comes down to is: Go work from someone else’s home and explore the world.