Airbnb adds more flexible search options

The company is also making it easier for people to list their homes.


As people think about traveling again, Airbnb has released a major revamp of its website and app. At the center of the redesign is a focus on flexibility. Building on a feature the company started rolling out in February, the next time you look for a place to stay, you don't have to specify an exact set of dates. Instead, you can tell Airbnb you want accommodation where you can get away for a weekend, a one-week vacation or an entire month.

In the spirit of that same flexibility, the app will display homes that fall just outside your search parameters to highlight some of the platform's best properties. And if all you want is to find an interesting place to stay, you can use the Flexible Destinations feature to surface listings like treehouses, boats and cabins. Elsewhere, Airbnb has tweaked the checkout process to make it faster. It has done some work to make cancellation policies more straightforward and reviews more helpful.

For hosts, Airbnb has redesigned the onboarding process to make it faster to add a property. What used to involve dozens of different steps, the company has now distilled to 10. As you add photos to your listing, the app will automatically arrange them based on "guest appeal." It will also offer text suggestions to help you with writing titles and descriptions. And if you live in the US, Airbnb can automatically pull from publicly available real estate information to fill in details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in your space.

Airbnb's new features will appeal most to people who want to get away and aren't particular about the destination. At least in the US, the travel industry is starting to recover after it was hard hit at the beginning of the pandemic, and people are taking advantage of easing restrictions.