As the world starts traveling again after a long pandemic, new trends are emerging in the travel industry. Flexibility has always been an important quality when traveling, but now it is taking on a new meaning. Travelers are choosing to be flexible right from the earliest stages of planning their trip. Planning is no longer just about choosing a specific time and location for your trip. Travelers now are looking for unique experiences and are less choosy about exactly where they’d like to stay. Airbnb has made it easier than ever for travelers to find interesting getaways by introducing Airbnb’s new Flexible Destinations feature.
How to use it
Flexible Destinations is an exciting new function on Airbnb that matches travelers with unique vacation rentals. All you need to do is click the “I’m Flexible” at the search bar. The search results display hidden gems in order of their proximity to your location. These aren’t going to be your average Airbnb rentals. Instead, you’ll find boats, treehouses, tiny homes, domes, and more. They are grouped by category so you can easily narrow down what kind of unique stay you want to book.
The Flexible Destinations feature is a global release that connects travelers to 170,000 types of unique properties on Airbnb. Flexibility is a key trend in travel planning since the pandemic. With that trend in mind, Airbnb also released Flexible Dates in February, helping users plan trips around flexible dates and destinations.
Improved booking experience
This feature also improves the booking experience for users, since you no longer have to amend your filters when you’re looking for a unique stay. It can be used in conjunction with the Flexible Dates feature for travelers who are just looking to go on a vacation, location and dates notwithstanding.
New trends on Airbnb
Many travelers no longer want to stay in traditional, home-like rentals after being stuck at home throughout the pandemic. There’s a global interest in unique rentals like treehouses, tiny homes and yurts, with 55% of Airbnb’s 100 most wishlisted homes falling into unique categories. Searches for unique properties have also increased by 94% in 2021 compared to 2019.
Unique stays inspiration
Here are some of the highest earning unique stays in the US
Raven’s Nest Treehouse is nestled in a peaceful wooded setting near Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. This modern A-frame cabin looks rustic but it has all of the comforts of home, including a full soaking tub in the master bathroom upstairs.
The cabin has two decks from which you can take in the sights and sounds of the woods, and on chilly days, you can also curl up next to the trees inside that the house is built around. Outside, guests have access to a fire pit, barbecue, and a patio under the house.
Raven's Nest Treehouse at MT Treehouse RetreatColumbia Falls, Montana, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsi appreciated the comfy bed plush towels locally roasted coffee and other amenitiesthe bedding is super comfortable and linens fresh and newthe full size washer and dryer and well appointed kitchen were great surprisesfun treehouse clean and stylishthe treehouse was sparkling cleancharming clean and the perfect spot for an intimate elopementtruly unique space immaculately clean and beautiful settingthe house is spotless the appliances are brand new and the whole vibe is absolutely charming
Host:she was super responsive to all my questionsmy favorite airbnb hosts so far thank you guyskatie was a fantastic hostthe host was incredibly responsive and went above and beyond in efforts to assist usdarin and kati did a wonderful job with this unique and beautiful treehouse and were such wonderful hostsRead more reviewslocation is greatclose to beautiful earth all aroundbeautiful and convenient location and the treehouse was super coola unique and fun experience while being in a very convenient locationperfect location flying into kalispell property is about 10-15 mins away
Suspended in a grove of towering white oaks near Asheville, this stunning treehouse is the perfect spot to connect with nature. This two-story treehouse looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale, with whimsical decor inside to add to the atmosphere.
Though you’ll feel miles away from modern life, the treehouse has all the amenities you’ll need, including wifi and a TV. There are lots of cozy spaces to hang out inside or head to the deck outside to rock in the rocking chairs and take in the views of the mountains.
Sanctuary, Treehouses of SerenityAsheville, North Carolina, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthe couch on the main floor extends into an extremely comfortable bedthe views were spectacular and the home is perfectly cozythis is a must see such a wonderful cozy place with a great viewthey also had the best recommendations for local breakfast spots breweries and hikes while we were in ashevillevery clean and comfortablelts spotless clean with special touchesit is very clean cozy and comfortablevery clean and comfortable - we will be backthe place was spotless and check in/out easy
Host:the hosts are extra accommodating and easy to communicate withmike & caroline were wonderful hosts and have truly thought of every detailthe nicest most thorough and gracious hosts we have metit was perfect and caroline and mike were the most accommodating hosts we have hadcaroline and mike are most hospitable and thoughtful hostsRead more reviewsthe location is greatif you get a chance to book and visit this location please dothis is an outstanding treehouse and locationwonderful place to stay wish we had stayed longerwe had such a good time staying at caroline & mike's place
Live out your dreams of being a hobbit in the shire by staying in this earth home in Washington. This cozy home built into a hillside looks straight out of a fantasy novel. Enter through the front gate, walk up the stone pathway, and enter the home through the round doorway.
Inside, the home is designed with unique details like a stone fireplace, round doorways, and a wooden bathtub. The home is located on a hillside overlooking the Columbia River Gorge, and it is hard to believe that you’re not in the Shire.
Underground Hygge 🍄Orondo , Washington, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsgreat experience whether you are a lotr fan or notbreathtaking view and adorable cozy hole in the groundthis was a great weekend getaway with an amazing view and cozy lotr ambianceit can be a bit stuffy inside but a small fan was provided which helpedit is cozy with the attention to details throughout we had lotsa fun taking photos inside and outthe hobbit hole was more amazing then we ever could of imagined very clean and welcoming
Host:shoutout to kristie for being such a wonderful host highly recommend checking it outeasily fixed by not sleeping with covers the care and attention to detail by the host is obviousconsidering this is a pet friendly stay that didn’t seem safe to megreat place great host great feelings insideRead more reviewsit is a very cute and chill placebeautifully recreated decorated locationthis place is amazing to disconnect from my busy life with technologygreat stay the place is amazing location is beautiful and the baked goods were a very nice touch
Eco-friendly homes are the future, but you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to be kind to the planet. This small yet sustainable home is powered by solar energy, which provides electricity, wifi, and hot water.
Thermal energy is used to cool the house in the summer heat and warm it on chilly nights. It was constructed with 40% of the materials from recycled items like tires, cans, and bottles. Inside, the home has a cozy, bohemian vibe and big windows that let in tons of light and views of the desert.
Newest Simple Survival Earthship StudioTaos County, New Mexico, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewscomfortable huge bed and low key but stylish decorthe shower is amazing bed is very comfortable and check in/out is super easy and convenientthe space was so clean quiet and colorful this was a wonderful place to wind down and just relax
Host:highly recommend for anyone who wants to experience an earthship or learn how to be eco friendlykind of like a glancing experience with everything you needRead more reviewssuch a beautiful and unique place to staysmall touches to the location were nice
If you think a houseboat rental would be a cramped space in the hull of a ship, think again. This houseboat rental on the Willamette River near Portland is a full floating home, complete with two stories and three bedrooms. Inside, the home is bright and modern, with all the amenities of a regular house.
The houseboat is surrounded by a spacious cedar deck where you can spend hours watching the beauty of the river while soaking in the hot tub, casting a fishing line, or even lighting a fire in the fire pit.
Floating Vacation Home Featured on Travel ChannelOregon City, Oregon, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsbeds are so comfy there is plenty of space the fire pit on the water is gorgeousthe beds are all comfortablethe sheets/bedding and pillows were so nice the kitchen was the best stocked i’ve ever experiencedsuper clean large living areasit's clean and beautifully decorated inside and we had everything we needed for our staywe loved our stay at the floating home it was clean quite and just what we neededthe home is spacious clean and a wonderful experience
Host:craig was super responsive and helpfulthe caretaker was very attentive and helpfuljoyce the owner made sure all details are taken care of as wellthe caretaker gary is absolutely amazinggary the caretaker is the most helpful and cheerful personRead more reviewssuch a fun location beautiful and relaxingstunning location home has everything you need and plenty of spacecouldn’t be happier and so thankful for the time together at this perfect placetruly an amazing place to stay
With room for up to 12 guests, this desert retreat is the perfect spot for a get-together of friends or family. There are a few different places to stay on the property: inside the bright, bohemian geodesic dome, or in one of the three mural-painted trailers.
During the heat of the day, cool off in the pool or take a nap in one of the shaded hammocks. As the sun goes down, gather around the campfire to roast s'mores and soak in the hot tub as you stargaze.
Serenity Dome Oasis at Joshua Tree -AC/Pool/HottubLanders, California, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthe pool and views are absolutely amazingpool and jacuzzi were perfect tempsinner dome area could be designed better for group of friends to comfortable hangout /play board games etcwe visited during winter so when the pool is heated that will be amazingmy family and i felt very comfortable in our trailers and in domewonderful place very clean and funthe house was clean peacefuleverything was so clean and comfortablesuper clean and neat overall a wonderful experiencei love that there are 3 full bathrooms and they're super clean
Host:stephanie is the perfect hoststephanie and her husband were accommodating and thoughtful hostsstephanie was an excellent host accommodated to all our needs and very quick responsethe place was great stephanie was very responsive and checkin/checkout was super easystephanie was very responsive and helpful when it came to booking our reservationRead more reviewsgood location great outdoor seatingthis is a great location for a family getawayi am definitely recommending this location to family and friendssuper fun and unique place great valuethis place is unique and nice in general
Located on top of a ridge with dramatic mountain views, this treehouse is one of the most unique vacation rentals in North Georgia. The treehouse is designed to take in the gorgeous mountain views. You can view the vistas from the large deck, or from the warmth of the living room through the large windows.
The treehouse has room for four guests, with a separate sleeping loft for privacy. Filled with custom decor and furniture that is nearly all handcrafted by artisans, this is a one-of-a-kind stay in a beautiful rustic setting.
Daybreak- Designer Treehouse with amazing viewsDahlonega, Georgia, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthere are also two bathroom sinks and a third sink in the kitchen which is greatwe enjoyed getting to unplug a bit (no tv was nice ) and have some quality family timeonce you’re up there though it’s a fantastic spot under skylights and a super comfy bedit's clean and comfortableamenities and cleanliness were remarkable
Host:the host has put her special touches throughout the placethank you soo much for hosting and we will definitely be backRead more reviewsthe treehouse and it’s location by all the wineries is a fun place for a girls wine weekendthis is a great place to get away and reconnect
This beautiful treehouse is located within the boundaries of the Daniel Boone National Forest, and you’ll be just steps from many trailheads within the park. In between hikes, the treehouse is a secluded and relaxing place to unwind.
It is separated into two buildings connected by a suspended staircase, which is ideal for groups looking for their own space. The treehouse has its own kitchenette. You can also warm up by the stone fireplace under the treehouse, which has string lights that create a cozy atmosphere as the sun goes down.
Eagles Nest Treehouse ~ Hike/ Relax / Climb!Stanton, Kentucky, United States
Top guest reviewshad great amenities felt very cozy insidesthe cabin is so cute and cozy and has the amenities you needthe pillows and mattresses were so absolutely comfortable and much appreciated after a great day of hikingwe prepared all our own meals and found the kitchen supplies perfectly adequatethe tree house was super i felt cozy and at homeit was sparkly cleanthe place was clean upon arrivalthe cabin was beautiful very clean and stylishit was very clean and an excellent get awaywe had a nice time it was very clean and a novel place to stay
Host:great place very nice and helpful hostswe also appreciated the host sending us detailed information about staying there made everything very simplegreat place to stay allison is a fantastic hostoverall it was a wonderful experience they were very accommodating communicative and the treehouse is adorablefishing the red river was great every person we met was kind and helpfulRead more reviewscute and cozy great locationfantastic location and fantastic placegreat location and great place to staygreat location right in the middle of daniel booneclose to great hiking trails right out the front door
Part classic log cabin, part treehouse, this cozy retreat is the perfect spot for a unique getaway near Hot Springs, Arkansas. This cozy cabin canopy is surrounded by a thick grove of pine trees that create a quiet setting.
Inside, it is sized perfectly for two guests and it has a comfortable king bed. There is a hot tub on the back deck, which is the perfect place to stargaze at night. You can prepare meals on the barbecue outside or inside the treehouse in the fully equipped kitchen.
Whispering Pines TreehouseHot Springs, Arkansas, United StatesSuperhost
Enjoy the best of both a woodsy setting and a waterfront location at this epic treehouse in Port Angeles, Washington. The treehouse is surrounded by towering trees but the property directly opens onto the Salish Sea.
Sit out on the deck, gaze outside the windows, or gather around the fire pit for views of boats on the water, deer in the woods, and eagles soaring in the sky. Inside, the treehouse has room for six guests in its two bedrooms. Every inch of the treehouse has been designed with meticulous attention to detail and it has cozy, rustic furnishings.
Treehouse on the Water -Eagles Nest-20 ft highPort Angeles, Washington, United StatesSuperhost
Top guest reviewsthe interior design of the place was so charming cozy and comfortableclean beautiful and convenientthe treehouse itself is unbelievably cozy and very clean
Host:cozy and stylish just like the pictures suggest communication with the host was easy and fastbeverly is so responsive and wonderfulRead more reviewsabsolutely stunning treehouse and locationgreat access- close by to hurricane ridge and olympic national parki really hope to come back with family again because it’s a place you want others to seea very unique and beautiful place to stayamazing design and the location/sunsets is unreal
Unique experiences for flexible travelers
Adventurous travelers are rewarded with the most unique vacation rentals when they book through Airbnb’s Flexible Destination feature. If you’re willing to let go of a little bit of control when planning your trip, you might end up staying in an interesting place that you might never have found. Be spontaneous next time you’re searching for an Airbnb and you might end up with the getaway of a lifetime.
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