Accommodation rental is being driven by long stays due to remote working and family get-togethers, Airbnb research has found.
Airbnb’s Travel & Living Report said that for many, travel had become newly prioritised just as work was changing to allow for more of it.
“Companies and governments are experimenting with flexible hours and four-day work weeks as well as remote working. For those fortunate enough to be able to work remotely, working from anywhere has become a viable lifestyle.”
Three-quarters of those surveyed in five countries, including the UK, said they were interested in living somewhere other than where their employer was based after the pandemic.
In the UK, 37% of those surveyed said they saw travel more as a lifestyle where they spent increased time in different places throughout the year. However, 46% said they still saw travelling as being about specific trips.
The survey also revealed an “overwhelming” desire for more flexibility in travel in terms of duration and location. Among Airbnb’s searches in April, 40% were flexible in dates, location or both.
The accommodation provider also revealed a trend towards longer stays of at least 28 nights. These have almost doubled from 14% of nights booked in 2019 to 24% of nights booked in the first quarter of 2021. In the UK, they amounted to 19%.
The report said much of the shift was due to families “embracing homes”.
“Family travel on Airbnb for the summer is at an all-time high, with the majority of our summer bookings being at listings large enough for five or more guests. Families are leading the redistribution of travel from all the same places to everywhere by seeking out more out-of-the-way places.”
It added: “About 95% of travel on Airbnb for this summer is booked at entire homes, compared to about 80% in summer 2019. The home, not the location, has become the destination.”
The report concluded home stays were “the travel of our time”, helping hard-hit destinations and their inhabitants.