David Oliver, USA TODAY
Published 9:00 a.m. ET May 20, 2020 | Updated 1:44 p.m. ET May 20, 2020
Airbnb is establishing a new “cleaning protocol” for their rental property hosts and guests, stemming from the coronavirus outbreak.
People are slowly starting to travel again as stay-at-home restrictions lift during the coronavirus pandemic – and internal data from Airbnb shows where tourists may head (eventually) to cure their wanderlust.
Travelers have been using the short-term rental service to explore online experiences in the interim, but travel won’t be stuck online forever.
Guests are adding homes to their Airbnb wish lists from all over the world. The top 10 most wish-listed homes, from March to early May, include stays in Indonesia, Brazil and Greece. Lines in their descriptions touch on the escape travelers are looking for worldwide:
- Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia: “The villa sits in an elevated position in one of the last remaining untouched parts of the island.”
- Santa Catarina, Brazil: “Come for a weekend, a week, two weeks, a month or more. … This property is natural and beautiful: you will not regret it.”
- Santorini, Greece: “The private veranda offers a private space for relaxing, dining, or even sunbathing, having as a background the most breathtaking views of Santorini: the Volcano, the caldera cliff and Thirassia Island.”
Data from the past 60 days shows a swath of keywords indicating guests might be looking to re-create special occasions, not to mention enjoy warmer weather. Popular keywords include beach, getaway, birthday/bday, wedding, honeymoon and anniversary.
As for what type of place guests might want to stay in: In early May, U.S. users increasingly searched for cabins. Of the top 10 most wish-listed space types around the world, that’s the fastest-growing category. Cabins are likely of interest to travelers given the private settings and proximity (a road trip to a cabin is much less of a hassle than heading to an airport right now).
What to do if you are booking a short-term rental on Airbnb, other services during coronavirus pandemic
You might have questions regarding your next short-term rental stay during the coronavirus pandemic. Are people even going right now? Is it safe to stay there? What do I need to know before I go?
Before you get to any of that, make sure you’re aware of the basics – including how to cancel (or book) your stay if you’re wary of traveling or can’t get there because of travel restrictions amid the pandemic.
If you have a short-term rental booked for this summer or plan to book, first check cancellation policies. Is it eligible for a refund or rebooking? If so, for how far out? Remember that if you booked through a third-party site, you may have to abide by its rules.
Keep checking websites if the date you booked isn’t eligible for a refund just yet. The hospitality industry has been updating cancellation policies frequently because of the pandemic. Airbnb, for example, extended the eligibility for certain guests to seek refunds.
On short-term rentals, you may have to work with the company and the host to get a refund or rebooking. These extra steps in the process have been challenging for consumers and hosts alike, though the companies are also hurting.
The hospitality industry is going clean. Really clean. Hotels, resorts announce new cleaning programs amid coronavirus. Here’s what they look like.
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