Airbnb pushes social travel forward with monthly rentals
Monday 05 September 2011
Silicon Valley wunderkind Airbnb announced this week that travelers will also be able to book month-long sublets using its site.
The popular website, which allows people with a spare room to rent it to travelers with little administration, has traditionally focused on short stays in the same manner as Couchsurfing, but the September 1 announcement catapults it into a different market of long-term visitors.
A new website has been launched for the service which lists over 30,000 available sublets in over 5,000 cities, all bookable using a credit card.
"Whether adjusting to a new city, studying for a semester abroad or doing an extensive travel for business, Sublets are the best way to feel at home quickly, but finding one is tricky," Airbnb wrote on its blog.
"It often requires repeatedly searching through listing sites, scheduling appointments to view places one by one and a lot of cash up-front."
Like the short-stay version of the site, users can also see and contact users before they book, helping to build a relationship - although that approach came under significant criticism earlier this summer after one blogger's story of an Airbnb experience gone wrong went viral.
Airbnb responded by introducing a $50,000 compensation guarantee for hosts and a bulk of other new security features.
However, the episode may have played into the hands of Couchsurfing, a more established website that offers a similar service, albeit without a focus on couches rather than rooms.
Last week, CouchSurfing announced a significant investment and plans to expand its staff and infrastructure.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Alohomora: There's a new Harry Potter themed hotel
The 10 Best hiking boots
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...
£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...
Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...