It's Now Even More Fun to Plan a Trip on Airbnb

Want to stay in a yurt but don't care where or when? Airbnb's got you covered

Airbnb in Joanapolis

Courtesy of Airbnb

If any company has first-hand insight into how travel will change post-pandemic, it’s Airbnb. The popular home-sharing site, which had more than 270 million bookings in 2019, has weathered the travel slowdown remarkably well, as former office-bound workers have embraced their newfound flexibility, packed up their families, and booked long-term stays in their dream destinations.

Now, noticing these changes, the company has just rolled out a host of new features meant to make booking on the site more fun and flexible. Don’t know where you want to go? Don’t know when you want to go? Don’t care if your beachfront booking costs $250 or $270 per night? Airbnb has you covered.  Reflective of the flexibility travelers crave right now, the company’s new features—Flexible Dates, Flexible Matching, and Flexible Destinations—are part of an improved browsing and booking experience announced this week.

Flexible Dates, rolled out in February, lets travelers search for a weekend getaway, week-long trips, or even month-long stays without setting specific date parameters. The company says more than 100 million searches have used the feature since its launch. Meanwhile, Flexible Matching allows travelers to view stays just outside of their search criteria. For instance, maybe you’ve set your max price for a stay at $250 per night. Now, Flexible Matching will show you stays just above that max, so you don’t miss out on the potentially perfect property.

Flexible Destinations feature on Airbnb

Courtesy of Airbnb

But the feature we’re most excited about is Flexible Destinations, which lets travelers plan a trip based on a unique stay rather than a specific destination or set of dates. Airbnb is known for some of its ultra-cool, off-the-radar properties—think ryokans in Japan or trullos in Italy—and the company says searches for unique listings like these have skyrocketed during the pandemic (they’re up 94 percent in 2021, compared to 2019), so if uniqueness is what you’re after, this feature is perfect for you.

Plus, if you’ve ever considered making some extra cash off your spare bedroom, Airbnb just made that process easier too by announcing an improved onboarding process for hosts, including neat tech improvements like AI that automatically arranges hosts’ property photos based on guest appeal. New text improvements help prospective hosts craft clever titles and descriptions too, no creative writing degree necessary.

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  1. Airbnb. "Airbnb 2021 Release: 100+ Innovations and Upgrades Across our Entire Service." May 26, 2021