Airbnb unveils major changes hoping to make it easier to book with flexibility

Improvements have also been made for hosts, too.
Improvements have also been made for hosts, too. Photo credit: Newshub/Airbnb

Airbnb has unveiled a series of changes to its platform aimed at improving the user experience for both guests and hosts.

More than 100 changes have been made to the service including new ways to search, improved and boosted checks before being able to become a host, as well as improved customer support.

The biggest change for travellers will likely be the flexibility options available.

'Flexible Dates' began rolling out in February. This allows you to search for experiences such as weekend getaways, week-long holidays and even month-long stays, so you can tailor your time off to suit when the ideal experience is available.

'Flexible Matching' offers a wider selection search results by showing homes just outside of the search parameters. For example, perhaps you wanted a house overlooking the harbour for under $250 per night - the search results will show you all properties that match your criteria, as well as a handful of others, in this case perhaps a house overlooking the harbour but also with a pool for $270 a night.

'Flexible Destinations' turns the location of your trip into the variable in the equation. You can search for specific types of properties and experiences with or without travel dates. This is ideal for finding places such as tree houses, cabins or castles.

The latest YouGov research commissioned by Airbnb found that when it comes to travel in 2021, Kiwis are seeking flexibility over other factors like where and when they travel.

Almost a third said off-the-beaten-track, rural destinations in Aotearoa appeal the most. 

Long holidays are also being sought after. Of those surveyed, 55 percent said they will consider stays of 28 days or longer in the post-pandemic world.