Vibe may be an overused word in 2022, but every traveler has one, and seeks one. Sometimes finding that “vibe” is more about a general trip preference or feeling, than a specific destination.

Like, “I want a beautiful open floor plan bungalow overlooking an ocean.”

As countries, cities and destinations crack down on short term rentals and debate the pros and cons of mass tourism, Airbnb is now fighting the trend, with a search that has nothing to do with a specific destination at all. It’s designed for you think wider.

The new search has everything to do with that perfect stay for you. Airbnb is calling it the biggest feature change in a decade, and if you want inspiration through a new lens, they may not be wrong.

Distributing Travel Desire

The modern age of travel is a time where a singular Instagram picture can inspire a trip. Whether it’s a tree house in the woods of Scandinavia, or a desolate villa in the Greek islands, or a cozy flat in London, everyone has a sense of what they’re looking for.

But Scandinavia doesn’t have a monopoly on cute tree houses, desolate villas are a feature of pretty much all of Europe, not just Greece, and a cute flat can be found in any city.

To take people outside of the norm, the expected, or the handful of destinations they were likely considering, Airbnb is distributing travel demand by suggesting places of a certain “filter” vibe, wherever they may be.

If it’s a treehouse you seek, Airbnb will show you all the swoon worthy tree houses on the global platform, rather than just places in a specific destination. If it’s a historical mansion you want, you can filter that way too. There are at least 56 filter options that aren’t based purely on a location.

And yes, of course, if you want to just search the old way, you still can. You can still enter a city or place and get filtered results with all vibes on offer. This discovery tool is just a fun alternative that hopes to inspire travel outside expected norms, destinations or plans.

It might be the inspiration you need to swap India for Sri Lanka, or Greece for Albania. Or, just to realize that there’s some amazing stuff you’ve yet to see, in places you didn’t expect.

Tackling Over Tourism?

People are naturally drawn to major cities and major attractions, but for people looking for getaways more about recharging, nature, or togetherness, the world isn’t nearly as limiting.

By suggesting places based on the desires of the stay, smaller towns in more places can grab a small, sustainable share of new tourism while reducing the burden on cities. In many instances, it may be as simple as suggesting to someone looking for a stunner in Spain that their best option would be a secondary city, or vineyard town.

It’s certainly not going to be an overnight change, but as Airbnb continues to skyrocket in popularity, the chance to showcase lesser known destinations is huge. Whether that means sending people looking to live out ‘The Holiday’ to cute suburbs, rather than the city of London, remains to be seen.

“Most of us can only think of a few dozen cities to type into the search box, but there are Airbnbs in 100,000 towns and cities around the world,”


New Airbnb Guest Protections Too

Aside from this potentially inspiring new search feature, Airbnb has rolled out a new standard for trip assurance. Dubbed ‘Air Cover’, the new program creates a series of satisfaction guarantees. Most importantly, it’s free for all bookings.

If a host cancels a booking within 30 days of checkin, there’s now a guarantee of an alternative comparable accommodation or full refund. The same applies to stays that aren’t as described, or where check in proves impossible.

If things go wrong during the stay, such as promised amenities that are broken, Airbnb now guarantees resolution. You just need to report the issue within 3 days of check in. The company will either reaccommodate someone at a similar or better place, or issue a full refund if things can’t be resolved.

You can read up on the new Air Cover policy, here.

Airbnb Updates: Exciting Changes?

One of the biggest knocks of Airbnb has always been lack of quality control or action when things go wrong. This new Air Cover policy should change that. The 24/7 safety line is also a vital new addition.

But there’s a lot to love with the new trip filters tour, which makes the accommodation front and center for any trip plans. You can still search by destination just like before, but if you are open to your “Chateau” being in the South of Italy, rather than the South of France, you might get to explore a new destination and beat the herds.

It could be a big deal for travel, as the world looks to balance overtourism and spread demand into wider spaces.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Will be interesting to see what happens in reality but I feel like the Air Cover having a full refund option makes it pretty weak, if a host leaves you hanging in a high demand location that you locked in months ago at a decent rate then a full refund isn’t any good to you!

    Of course if there is really nothing available then airbnb can’t perform miracles but I hope if it’s just a case of the alternatives being a lot more expensive they’ll eat the difference without quibble

    1. This is an area I’d definitely like clarification on. Is it like EU rules, where it’s “my choice of alt accommodation, or refund”; or will they just want to default to refund.

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