“A new world of travel has emerged,” says Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, announcing the company’s Summer 2022 Release. On May 11, Airbnb announced three major updates to its booking platform to make the experience of booking, and staying, more inclusive for guests. In response to the increasing number of remote workers around the United States and globally, Airbnb has completely revamped its search and booking process to accommodate a more diverse set of travelers, including those who, like Chesky himself, “live” in Airbnbs.
“Millions of people are now more flexible about where they live and work, and they’re spreading out to thousands of towns and cities,” Chesky says. “And so we’ve created the biggest change to Airbnb in a decade.”
The biggest update is the new – and very expansive – Categories section. No longer are searches based solely on location. In fact, knowing where you want to travel is not even necessary. The Categories feature allows users to browse by type of home, by interest or activity – say you want to take a ski trip to Colorado but aren’t sure which resort to choose, you can no filter homes across Colorado ski towns and select the property and location that is best for your trip.
Users can search for campsites, for homes ideal for surfing, even for ancient castles. The “OMG” category is perhaps the most unique, highlighting properties that leave you saying, well, “OMG.” Perhaps you want an underwater bungalow or, as Chesky described in today’s release, a yellow submarine – the “OMG” category is the place to find it.
Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.
Airbnb Split Stays
Airbnb noted last year that 50 percent of its nights booked are now for stays of 30 days or longer. For digital nomads and other long-term travelers, long stays often require renting more than one home. Split Stays is the solution to having to search and book multiple properties. For all inquiries of 30 days or longer, users will see a “Split Stays” function that allows them to book two properties at once, based on criteria such as length of stay, location, and amenities like high-speed WiFi.
Split Stays also pairs with the new Categories feature. If you’re traveling to a national park, you can split your time between two parks with one booking using this feature. Users can split time between a cabin in Zion National Park and then a yurt near Yosemite, for example. Perhaps you’re on a surfing tour of the US west coast. You can search two different locations, browse properties in both, and book the property perfect for you in each.
Of course, some users may feel apprehensive about trying out these new features, particularly newer remote workers who have yet to venture out for 30 days or longer at a time. To help users feel more comfortable trying out these new features, Airbnb announced today the release of Air Cover, its policy to ensure guests get what they are paying for. Included are:
- Booking guarantee: ensures your booking, including if the host cancels. The company will find a suitable (or better) replacement for your booking should anything else go wrong.
- Get What You Booked guarantee: Say the air conditioning is broken, or the property is otherwise not as advertised. Similar to the Booking guarantee, Airbnb will find you a similar or better property in which to stay.
“Air Cover is always included, and always free,” Chesky says.