Airbnb is launching its biggest update in a decade, inviting users to discover millions more homes, split trips between two locations, and stay protected with free cover.
For better or worse, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, work, and travel. Airbnb is reacting to that with some new features in a bid to entice us to go on holiday for longer and to multiple destinations.
Rather than relying on your worldly knowledge (or lack thereof) to locate your next vacation destination, Airbnb is introducing 56 categories organized by homes’ style, location, or proximity to a travel activity. Your search can be narrowed based on preferences like amazing views, bed and breakfasts, creative spaces, historical homes, iconic cities, off-the-grid, or tiny houses.
“Airbnb Categories organize homes by what makes them unique, which helps people discover places they wouldn’t have otherwise found,” the Airbnb blog explains(Opens in a new window). “This can help alleviate over-tourism by redistributing travel to new locations beyond the same popular destinations.”
Airbnb created Split Stays to allow users to easily split their trips between two locations.
Aimed at inspiring people “to stay in two destinations as part of a longer trip,” the option appears in destination-specific searches, as well as 14 categories like camping, skiing, and surfing. When browsing national parks, for example, Split Stays may suggest a pair of homes in Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon—some 110 miles apart.
“When viewing Split Stays on a map, an animated line visually connects the two homes to show you the distance between them and the sequence of the stays,” Airbnb explained. “Once you select a Split Stay, you’re guided through an easy-to-use interface to book each stay, one home at a time.”
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According to Airbnb, AirCover is “the most comprehensive protection in travel.” It’s included for free with your booking and provides four protections for your stay:
Booking Protection Guarantee: If your host cancels within 30 days of check-in, Airbnb will find a similar (or better) home or refund the cost.
Check-In Guarantee: If you can’t check into your home due to an unresolvable issue, Airbnb will find a similar (or better) home or refund the cost.
Get-What-You-Booked Guarantee: If, at any time during your stay, the listing is not as advertised, e.g. there are fewer bedrooms than listed, you have three days to report it and Airbnb will find a similar (or better) home or refund the cost.
24-Hour Safety Line: If you ever feel unsafe, access specially trained safety agents anytime (in 16 languages).
Airbnb’s revamped app and website is available worldwide this week, and should already be available in the US.
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